This is the fifth part of a series that will cover all of the top 50 Cryptocurrencies and provide an introduction to what the coin does, why it matters, and any important highlights. The goal of the Top 50 series is to give readers a basic understanding of each coin that simplifies a thorough technical understanding down into a few easy to understand points. The ranking of coins changes on a day by day basis and may not always reflect the order in this article.
21 of 50 — Waves (WAVES)
Waves is a Russian blockchain platform that is focused on allowing users, companies, and institutions to easily create their own tokens using a system of smart contracts and a decentralized exchange.
Waves is focused on allowing a token to be created in less than a minute to then be used to represent an asset, a currency, equity, or anything else. These tokens can then be easily traded on a decentralized exchange. As a result, Waves is an excellent platform for crowdfunding, ICOs, loyalty programs, and simple assets.
Waves uses leased proof of stake as a consensus protocol. This means that every user can lease their coins to a full node, and while there are a limited number of full nodes, every user can receive mining profits in proportion to the number of coins they lease out. Miners receive payouts in Mining Reward Token (MRT), which entitles the owner to a portion of all newly created coins as well as voting rights. This setup ensures that miners of the waves network will make a significant amount of profit if the platform is used as intended, a one-stop shop for tokens.
22 of 50 — Tezos (XTZ)
Tezos is a project with a long and complicated history. Started in the early days of cryptocurrency, the project attracted significant investment before stalling out due to legal and leadership difficulties. Despite the long wait, the project eventually launched, and all of the coins purchased in the ICO are finally usable.
Tezos is a blockchain platform that is targetting a function similar to Ethereum. It is a smart contract platform with two main formal differences.
The first is that it uses delegated proof of stake (DPOS) although Ethereum is moving to proof of stake in the future with no definite time yet for when that will happen. The second is that it features formal on-chain governance.
DPOS means that token holders can vote to elect nodes and that the network is then validated by those nodes. More importantly, Tezos governance allows the protocol to be upgraded over time via direct voting on the blockchain. This presents a useful tool for developing the protocol as the platform does not need to hard fork like Ethereum or other blockchains.
Tezos also features mathematically provable code which should reduce the prevalence of smart contract bugs due to the coding language.
23 of 50 — USD Coin (USDC)
USD Coin is a stable coin launched by Goldman Sachs backed startup Circle. USDC is hosted on the Ethereum blockchain and is a collateralized stablecoin that is backed by deposits of U.S. dollars into accounts that are regularly audited.
The benefits of a digital dollar include that it is easy to send, receive, use in smart contracts, use on exchanges, as well as being programmable.
24 of 50 — Dogecoin (DOGE)
DOGE coin is a meme-based cryptocurrency. It only exists as a meme, a joke, and was created by its founder as a way to make fun of the way cryptocurrencies have increased in value.
Ironically, DOGE itself began to increase in value rapidly and is still worth significantly more than a joke should be. Perhaps this is because DOGE is very cheap and easy to send. DOGE has also become a target for pump and dump traders.
25 of 50 — VeChain (VET)
VeChain is a blockchain-as-a-service company that is focused around providing supply chain tools. VeChain combines a smart contract platform with proprietary smart chips (RFID, NFC, QR codes) that can be implemented with different Internet of Things items. The goal is to ensure the quality and authenticity of goods. This use case includes everything from luxury goods to agricultural products. In agriculture, the goal is to validate quality controls and monitor variables like temperature over a product’s lifecycle.
As of February 2018, VeChain uses two tokens types: VET and VTHO. The first is used to provide the owner with rights and the second pays for smart contract and DApp operations. VeChain notably attracted investment from Tim Draper.