Bitcoin (BTC) is a consensus network that enables a new payment system and a completely digital currency. Powered by its users, it is a peer to peer payment network that requires no central authority to operate. On October 31st, 2008, an individual or group of individuals operating under the pseudonym "Satoshi Nakamoto" published the Bitcoin Whitepaper and described it as: "a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash, which would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution."
Ethereum (ETH) is a smart contract platform that enables developers to build decentralized applications (dapps) conceptualized by Vitalik Buterin in 2013. ETH is the native currency for the Ethereum platform and also works as the transaction fees to miners on the Ethereum network.
The Stellar network is an open source, distributed, and community owned network used to facilitate cross-asset transfers of value. Stellar aims to help facilitate cross-asset transfer of value at a fraction of a penny while aiming to be an open financial system that gives people of all income levels access to low-cost financial services. Stellar can handle exchanges between fiat-based currencies and between cryptocurrencies. Stellar.org, the organization that supports Stellar, is centralized like XRP and meant to handle cross platform transactions and micro transactions like XRP. However, unlike Ripple, Stellar.org is non-profit and their platform itself is open source and decentralized. Through the use of its intermediary currency Lumens (XLM), a user can send any currency that they own to anyone else in a different currency.
Monero (XMR) is a private, secure, and untraceable cryptocurrency that was launched April 18th, 2014. With Monero, it is said you are in complete control of your funds and privacy no one else can see anyone else's balances or transactions.
VeChain is an enterprise-focused blockchain ecosystem that aims to enhance supply chain management by connecting blockchain technology with the real world through 'a comprehensive governance structure, a robust economic model, and advanced IoT integration'. VeChain enables manufacturers to assign products with unique identifiers on the platform, thereby allowing participants to track the movement and provenance of products in a supply chain.
Stratis (STRAT) is a blockchain-as-a-service provider that supports C# and .NET development. Enterprises are able to build their own private blockchains, which can be integrated with the main Stratis blockchain.
DigiByte (DGB) is a global blockchain focused on cybersecurity for digital payments since 2014. DGB are digital assets that are mined through a combination of cryptographic algorithms with the intent to minimize mining centralization and maximize difficulty stability while reaching consensus at speeds as fast as 15-second block timings. Focused on securing data and pioneering new innovations, the team behind DigiByte claims to have issued a representation of units which hold value on an immutable ledger and cannot be the subject of counterfeiting or hacking, as any computer or device connected to the network may help to relay transactions.
Lead by the Seoul-based ICONLOOP (formerly theloop), ICON (ICX) aspires to build a decentralized network that allows different blockchains to transact with one another. The project's goal is to unify the balkanized blockchain ecosystem through its protocol and community-building initiatives. Potential use cases for ICX include transactions involving securities, currencies, loans, intellectual property, and personal authentication.
Source of descriptions https://coinmarketcap.com/