Ninety-Four Percent of the Current Top 100 Tokens Are Based on Ethereum

By Jack Filiba


Bitcoin may be the overall king of the crypto hill, but Ethereum holds its own title as the most popular platform for digital tokens. As of press time, 94 of the top 100 tokens by market cap run on the Ethereum platform, according to CoinMarketCap.

The Ethereum platform benefits from its first-mover advantage

The sheer volume of top 100 tokens that are built on the Ethereum platform paints a picture of an industry where Ethereum is the dominant platform of choice for token development teams.

Of the six top 100 tokens that aren’t built on Ethereum, two leverage a platform known as Omni Layer. Two others are built on Stellar, one is built on NEO, and the other is built on NEM. The most popular of these is Tether, a stablecoin that leverages the Omni Layer protocol.

Having officially launched in 2015, Ethereum is in many ways reaping the benefits of its first-mover advantage in the space. While cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin predate Ethereum, the majority of these currencies are not interested in serving the same function. While Bitcoin is primarily a platform for financial trading and serves as a store of value like gold, Ethereum is designed to serve as a development platform.

Ethereum also owes its popularity to the ERC-20 standard

In addition to Ethereum’s history in the space, another factor that contributes to the platform’s popularity is the ERC-20 token standard. While there are multiple standards for Ethereum tokens, ERC-20 is currently the most commonly used among leading tokens.

Put simply, ERC-20 is a set of conditions that can be followed to allow developers to make their tokens compatible with other tokens in the same ecosystem. One of the factors driving the standard’s popularity is that it is a comparatively easy method for a project to create a digital token for the purpose of a decentralized application or Initial Coin Offering (ICO).

In recent times, the adoption of ERC-20 tokens has been fostered by growing support among cryptocurrency exchanges. Back in October 2018, Coinbase added support for its first ERC-20 token with the addition of 0x (ZRX). Since then, the platform announced the addition of other prominent ERC-20 tokens like Basic Attention Token (BAT), USD Coin (USDC), Loom Network (LOOM), Maker (MKR), and many others.

Currently, the most popular ERC-20 token in the market is Binance Coin. It is the second most popular token by market cap, and the 12th most popular cryptocurrency overall.

While critics of the Ethereum platform are adamant that one of its competitors will dethrone it, this hasn’t yet proven to be the case — at least not among leading tokens.

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