There are different sectors in the stock market and it is important to understand each sector because their prices tend to move together.
Likewise, you need to be aware of cryptocurrency sectors in order to understand how new innovations, laws and public interest will affect similar cryptocurrencies. So in this post, we will break down all of the cryptocurrencies that we know of and will put them into logical sectors.
Keep in mind that this categorization has been done to the best of our ability and there may be mistakes, depending on our understanding of the cryptocurrency and/or how the developers have explained it. Projects also evolve over time and may shift their focus.
Note: This is for informational purposes only and is not trading or investing advice. Our only goal here is to create as complete a list as possible, to serve as a jumping off point for your research. Trading cryptocurrencies is risky, do your own research and if in doubt, DO NOT BUY.
This list will be updated as much as possible, but if you see something missing, let us know in the comments.
Alright, let's get into it…
Financial Transaction Cryptocurrency Sector
Yes, all cryptocurrencies are essentially used for financial transactions. But these currencies were created solely for that purpose.
- Bitcoin (BTC) – “Digital gold” and the first widely popular cryptocurrency.
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – A hard fork that tries to improve on Bitcoin by having faster transaction times and lower fees.
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG) – A hard fork that tries to improve on Bitcoin by being GPU mineable, has a more frequent difficulty adjustment and replay protection.
- Decred (DCR) – A currency where stakeholders make the decisions and rules can change over time.
- Electroneum (ETN) – A mobile-first cryptocurrency. I don't know why that makes a difference because you can use a mobile device for many currencies, but that's what their website says.
- Litecoin (LTC) – “Digital silver” and a fork of Bitcoin started by Charlie Lee.
- Ripple (XRP) – Primarily focused on facilitating bank-to-bank, cross border transactions.
- IOTA (IOTA) – Wants to be THE currency for Internet of Things (IoT) transactions. Uses supposedly next generation cryptocurrency technology in the Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG).
- Hcash (HSR) – “Hcash is hard” is probably my favorite quote from their explainer video. I wonder what kind of gun it carries. Seriously, it's an interesting hybrid of both blockchain (like Bitcoin) and DAG (like IOTA) technologies. The Toyota Prius of cryptocurrencies.
- Monacoin (MONA) – The first Japanese cryptocurrency.
- Nexus (NXS) – The website and founder do a terrible job of explaining the benefits. As far as I can tell, it's a cryptocurrency that uses satellites to maintain the uptime of the network and diversify the type of nodes that run on the network.
- Stellar (XLM) – “Move money across borders quickly, reliably, and for fractions of a penny.”
- RaiBlocks (XRB) – Instant, feeless and scalable transactions. Sound familiar yet?
- Dogecoin (DOGE) – The currency that started as a joke, but became quite popular. I guess a lot of people found the joke really, really funny.
- DigiByte (DGB) – Pretty much promises everything that other currencies do. The only difference might be their MultiAlgo mining feature.
Private Digital Currency Subsector
A subset of the Digital Currency Sector are private digital currencies. The goal of these currencies is to make financial transactions 100% private.
- BitcoinDark (BTCD) – Project moved to Komodo Coin.
- Monero (XMR) – By some accounts, the most secure private currency out there.
- Zcash (ZEC) – No features really stand out from others on this list.
- Zclassic (ZCL) – A hard fork of Zcash, removes the 20% fee.
- DASH (DASH) – Again, there's nothing with their technology that really stands out, but they do seem to have more adoption from real-life vendors than other currencies in this subsector.
- Verge (XVG) – Boasts a ~5 second transaction time.
- Bytecoin (BCN) – Private transactions…you get the picture.
- PIVX (PIVX) – The website says that its masternodes are more profitable than other currencies that use masternodes. Great if you run a masternode. Otherwise, no apparent unique end-user benefits.
Fiat Pegged Subsector
- Basecoin – Can be pegged to any index you can get a price feed for. They have a good explainer PDF.
- Tether (USDT) – A substitute for the US Dollar. Very helpful when you need to lock in profits on exchanges.
- NuBits (USNBT) – Pegged to the US Dollar.
Exchange Based Coin Subsector
These cryptocurrencies serve different functions on their respective exchanges.
- 0x (ZRX) – Enables ERC20 tokens to be traded easily.
- Bitconnect (BCC) – Has all the signs of a ponzi scheme (folded).
- Binance (BNB) – Primarily used to pay trading fees on the exchange.
- Cobinhood (COB) – Zero fees cryptocurrency exchange, with very limited currencies available to trade. A blatant rip off of Robinhood, but with a name that doesn't sound nearly as good.
- Ethos (ETHOS) – They want to “demystify” cryptocurrency and make it so anyone can safely and easily buy and store cryptocurrency.
- KuCoin (KCS) – Users get a discount on trading fees on the platform by holding a certain amount of KuCoin. There doesn't appear to be much benefit to traders beyond this.
- Kyber Network (KNC) – Allows cross-chain payments and cryptocurrency derivatives.
- TenX (PAY) – Convert and spend cryptocurrencies anywhere with an app or debit card.
- OmiseGO (OMG) – Wants to allow seamless exchange between fiat and digital currencies. Success depends on the launch of the Plasma Network.
- Qash (QASH) – Provides liquidity to the cryptocurrency market.
- Waves (WAVES) – Allows fast exchange and trading of cryptocurrencies.
Social Tipping Subsector
Have you ever wanted to give someone some money for a fantastic social media post? I haven't, but these currencies want to make that a regular occurrence.
- ReddCoin (RDD) – Allows people to send tips for post on social network.
- Steem (STEEM) – “Blockchain-based rewards platform for publishers to monetize content and grow community.”
A lot of US growers keep a ton of money in cash because of the large gray areas in the laws (legal at the state level, but illegal at the national level). These coins want to provide a safer way for these businesses to store, send and receive money.
- Potcoin (POT) – Banking for the legal marijuana industry.
- DopeCoin (DOPE) – Pseudo-anonymous transactions, ~1 minute execution time and zero fees.
- Cannation (CNNC) – Not a lot of information on their website, they probably got hungry and went to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles instead of finishing the website. But bonus points for the 1990s-esque spinning coin GIF on their homepage.
- HempCoin (THC) – Wants to be the catch-all solution for the entire marijuana/hemp industry, from farming to dispensaries. Built on Bitcoin source code.
Gaming Rewards Subsector
Currencies for rewards, purchasing game assets and more.
- Experience Points (XP) – For incentives in games and educational content.
- GameCredits (GAME) – A currency for the video game industry.
- Storm (STORM) – Gamified micro tasks. Think blockchain Amazon Mechanical Turk.
No introduction needed here. One of the biggest online industries in the world.
- Titcoin (TIT) – Uh yeah, self explanatory.
- TittieCoin (TTC) – “Naughty but Classy,” LOL.
- Sexcoin (SXC) – You get the idea.
Application Platforms Cryptocurrency Sector
These are platforms that allow developers to create distributed apps (dApps).
- Aeternity (AE) – The primary benefit of this platform is that most smart contracts are executed off of the blockchain. This means that they can be executed almost instantly and can be private. Only when there is a conflict, will the blockchain be used to enforce the terms of the smart contracts.
- Byteball (GBYTE) – This blockchain offers a hodgepodge of different features, from requesting payments, to buying/selling insurance, to prediction markets.
- DeepBrain Chain (DBC) – AI applications platform.
- Ethereum (ETH) – Arguably the most popular distributed applications platform.
- Ethereum Classic (ETC) – A hard fork of Ethereum, where they honor an early hack of the network. In the early history of Ethereum, a hacker stole some money from the network. The primary developers of Ethereum decided to get the money back by essentially reversing the transaction. A minority of people believed that this action went against the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency because a few people had the power to reverse a transaction. The Ethereum Classic currency was born from that minority wanting to keep the status quo.
- Cardano (ADA) – They say that they are the first “provably secure proof-of-stake algorithm.”
- DragonChain (DRGN) – Disney-created cryptocurrency and platform. Focused on business services.
- EOS (EOS) – At the time this is being written, there doesn't appear to be any specific characteristics that differentiate EOS from other platforms. Simply fill in the ________ with the usual buzzwords…decentralized, fast, scalable, etc.
- Kin (KIN) – Billing itself is a “community currency,” it seems like their goal is to bring together a few social community apps and have them use Kin as the primary currency.
- Neblio (NEBL) – Another enterprise focused blockchain platform project.
- MaidSafe (MAID) – A data network, that can operate without human intervention.
- NEM (NEM) – Based on Smart Assets, which is their term for things like coins, signature, a status update, or whatever you decide to create.
- Nxt (NXT) – Application platform for FinTech, crowdfunding and governance.
- NEO (NEO) – The Chinese version of Ethereum.
- Rchain (RHOC) – Powered by the RhoVM that uses side-chains to speed up processing.
- SingularityNET – (AGI) – A platform for AI-as-a-Service applications.
- Stratis (STRAT) – They are a little different in that they provide some value added services to enterprises wanting blockchain solutions. Strangely they offer solutions in .NET, which seems like a step backwards.
- Qtum (QTUM) – A mashup of Bitcoin and Ethereum code for business applications.
- Icon (ICX) – Another platform that wants to build an ecosystem of apps, where currencies and technolgy of the apps can be easily exchanged between members of the platform.
- Lisk (LSK) – Integrates with GitHub to help developers leverage existing code and communities.
Blockchain As A Service Subsector
These platforms make it easy for businesses to launch their own blockchains.
- Ardor (ARDR) – Built on NXT technology. Allows companies to build their own child blockchain and related currency. These child chains are secured by the primary Ardor parent chain. Ardor-based currencies can easily be traded with each other. Ardor's solution to blockchain bloat is to have nodes that function as archives, unloading a lot of information from the primary blockchain, while still retaining vital history.
- Ark (ARK) – The primary benefit of Ark is the ability to launch a new blockchain quickly, while using the best technologies from other blockchains.
- Komodo (KMD) – There isn't an actual whitepaper for this project yet, but it seems focused on allowing companies to launch their own blockchain in a few minutes and create an ICO.
Digital Asset Portfolio Investment Subsector
- Iconomi (ICN) – Allows anyone to either create or invest in digital asset portfolios. Possibly a good option for investors who want to place money with proven portfolio managers. Also allows talented portfolio mangers to get investors and grow their assets under management.
Blockchain Asset Backed Loans
You might not have to cash out of your cryptocurrency gains and pay the short term capital gains taxes (check with a certified accountant). Hang on to your assets and simply lend them out.
- Salt (SALT) – Lend money against your existing cryptocurrency assets.
- ETHLend (LEND) – Another peer-to-peer lending network. Get a 25% deployment fee discount when paying with LEND.
- Basic Attention Token (BAT) – Blockchain based digital advertising. Wants to solve the problem of fraud and inaccurate tracking of ad data.
Digital Assets Exchange Subsector
- Wax (WAX) – Buy and sell things like video game assets.
Digital Voting Subsector
The idea of a totally digital voting system is a little scary. But if it works, it would be ideal. Especially if you live in Florida.
- Horizon State (HST) – Secure digital ballot box with identity protection.
- Vote Coin (VOT) – Public elections, opinion polls and crowdfunding.
Online Gambling Subsector
- FunFair (FUN) – Wants to be the go-to currency for online casinos.
- Edgeless (EDG) – An online casino that supposedly has no edge.
Financial Services Subsector
These cryptocurrencies provide a platform for financial services.
- Bitshares (BTS) – Decentralized banking and exchange on a blockchain.
- Veritaseum (VERI) – Peer-to-peer capital markets. Their catchphrase: “Imagine Having Keys to the Internet in 1994” worries me on several different levels.
Mobile Data Marketplace Subsector
- Dent (DENT) – Allows anyone to buy or sell mobile data plans at the best price. You never overpay because you only buy what you need.
- Ripio Credit Network (RCN) – Latin America based peer-to-peer credit network.
- Bloom (BLT) – They want to replace the existing credit scores with their BloomScore. On top of that, they want to provide a platform for identification and credit tracking.
Physical Asset Digitization Subsector
These coins basically allow you to take physical assets and trade/track them on a blockchain.
- Bytom (BTM) – They have a properly shit explainer video, so it's tough to get a good idea of what the benefits of the platform are. Based on the rest of the website however, it seems like want to create a marketplace for things like securities, information and bonds.
- DigixDAO (DGD) – Gold bullion marketplace, cryptocurrency backed by physical gold.
A forecasting or prediction network is basically a fancy term for: “you can gamble on anything.” But seriously, according to these sites, the collective wisdom of the crowd is much more accurate at predicting future events, than any one person, opinion polls or group of experts.
I would have to see this in action to believe it, but their logic certainly makes sense. The basic idea is that only people with relevant information about an event will place a bet and people who are just gambling will eventually lose all their money and go away.
- Augur (REP) – Anyone in the world can create a prediction market by asking a question about anything. Seed the market with some initial funds and get a cut of the trading fees.
- Gnosis (GNO) – They do an excellent job of explaining their platform, benefits and its use cases. Watch the video and read their FAQ.
Shared Computing Power Subsector
These cryptocurrencies allow people on the network to rent out their personal computer's computing power and earn cryptocurrency.
- FoldingCoin (FLDC) – Help Stanford University find cures to the world's worst diseases.
- Substratum (SUB) – Allocate your spare computing power to help run the free and decentralized internet.
- Golem (GNT) – A decentralized supercomputer.
- Aelf (ELF) – Decentralized cloud computing.
Ethereum Browser Subsector
- Status (STN) – A mobile app that allows you to send/receive Ether, browse Ethereum apps and buy/sell Ether locally.
Supply Chain Management Subsector
- Vechain (VEN) – They want to make it easy to manage all aspects of the supply chain on a secure blockchain.
Energy Grid Management Subsector
- Power Ledger (POWR) – Trade electricity peer-to-peer and get paid in real-time.
- Grid+ (GRID) – On electricity trading with the Agent device.
Data Storage Subsector
Blockchains will probably replace some of the major storage services like Dropbox.
- Storj (STORJ) – Runs on top of the Ethereum blockchain, an ERC20 token. Their solution seems more dynamic than Sia. No deposit required to host files.
- Sia (SC) – Runs on their own blockchain. You must put up a deposit to be a host.
- Factom (FCT) – Targeted at document storage and verification for Enterprise, Government and Non-Profit organizations.
- Filecoin (FIL) – Similar to Storj and Sia.
Blockchain Interoperability Subsector
- Aion (AION) – Allows different blockchains to exchange information and currency.
Off-Chain Privacy Network Subsector
- Enigma (ENG) – They are a bit of…yeah, exactly like their name says. They provide an off-chain solution for keeping information private. But there isn't much more information on their website than that.
Medical Records Subsector
Having a central repository for all health related data has not been able to be done for several reasons, a big one being privacy. But blockchain technology could make it a reality.
- Medishares (MDS) – Their goal is to streamline the medical insurance industry, including payments.
Not a sexy sector, but still something that businesses need.
- Populous (PPT) – Allows businesses to sell their invoices at a discount to unlock their funds faster. Basically a note trading platform invoices.
- Request (REQ) – Allows anyone to request a payment.
Content Publishing Subsector
These platforms allow you to publish content to a blockchain, which can make it free from corporate rules and censorship.
- Tron (TRON) – “Internet 4.0 blockchain application development platform.” That might be a stretch.
- LBRY Credits (LBC) – Think blockchain YouTube.
- SingularDTV (SNGLS) – Allows artists to create their own tokens to raise money for their projects. Gramatik is the first artist on the platform. They also want to branch out to build a platforms for rights management and peer-to-peer distribution.
This technically a sub-subsector of content publishing, but given its own set of unique industry problems, it is probably best to put it in its own subsector. Porn has always run into censorship issues and blockchain technology could be a way to finally escape that.
- SpankChain (SPANK) – A cryptocurrency and technology platform for the porn industry. They are primarily targeting webcam models to start.
- FAPcoin (FAP) – In case the name wasn't obvious enough, they will support online video, merchandise, webcam models and more.
Yes, new cryptocurrencies come out every day, so this might not be a complete list. We will do our best to stay on top of all the coins out there.
But if you know of any that should be on this list, leave a comment below and we will add it in the right place.