Ripple making it into Top Blockchain Networks in 2019


As we start off 2019, it’s important to reflect back on the biggest influencers in crypto in 2018 as well as highlight some of the projects they are working on.

What better way to do this than by comparing the achievements of top blockchain networks last year and by looking at what we should expect from them in 2019? All projects in this article are ranked in order of January 2019 market caps.

Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin has continued to maintain its position as the world’s top cryptocurrency by market cap. Since the launch of the Bitcoin mainnet (the world’s first cryptocurrency mainnet) in January 2009, this project hasn’t undergone as many technical changes as others in the space.

Part of the reason for this is the creation of numerous hard fork coins. Instead of improving the original Bitcoin (BTC), projects like Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Bitcoin Gold (BTG) have emerged and gained some momentum amongst the Bitcoin community. These two projects have increased block size and restored control to GPU miners over ASIC miners, respectively.

Still, despite these battles over the future direction of the Bitcoin community, BTC has begun to make some progress at the very beginning of this year. On January 4, one researcher pointed out that transaction fees for BTC haven’t been this low since October 2015. Back then, BTC was only trading at $270.

While it’s easy to think that this was due to lower network demand, this is not the case. In fact, there were 75% more transactions on January 1, 2019, than on October 13, 2015.

What’s the difference? The combination of the Segregated Witness (SegWit) implementation in 2017 and the Lightning Network integration in 2018 have made the Bitcoin blockchain more scalable. While it’s difficult to tell exactly how Bitcoin will continue to evolve moving forward, recent upgrades definitely give it some much-needed momentum.

BTC Market Cap Ranking as of January 2019: 1

Transactions Per Second as of January 2019: 3 to 7

Hard fork coins: Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin SV (BSV), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), Bitcoin Private (BTCP)


Heading into 2019, Bitcoin (BTC) is beginning to increase its scalability.
Ethereum (ETH)
Although 2018 didn’t bring too many major technical implementations for the Ethereum blockchain, it was still a momentum building year for ecosystem development. A lot of ERC20 tokens launched dapps and protocols that gained major user adoption.

Now, a lot of the R&D and testing that was done over the course of 2018 is actually being implemented in 2019. There are at least two major development milestones for the Ethereum community to look forward to in 2019.

First, the release of Constantinople (Ethereum v3.5) with five EIPs (Ethereum Improvement Proposals) on January 19 will prepare Ethereum for future infrastructure changes. Primarily, this update brings a few much-needed reductions to gas costs for specific smart contract operations as well as a change to Ethereum’s underlying economic policy. The move from 3 ETH to 2 ETH rewards for cryptocurrency miners leads to the second big change of the year.

Tentatively scheduled for sometime in mid-2019, the Ethereum core team will likely make the shift from Proof of Work to Proof of Stake. This will lead to the end of ETH mining rewards. As a replacement, any user with enough funds will be able to stake ETH to validate transactions and earn ETH rewards. For now, the minimum amount required for staking is expected to be 32 ETH.

ETH Market Cap Ranking as of January 2019: 2

Transactions Per Second as of January 2019: 15 to 25

Hard fork coins: Ethereum Classic (ETC), Ethereum Gold (ETG), Ethereum Meta (ETHM), Ethereum Cash (ECASH)


Tracking the progress of Constantinople EIP client implementations on GitHub
Ripple (XRP)
Examining the long-term visions of each top blockchain network in this list, Ripple is undoubtedly the most centralized cryptocurrency. However, it’s important to recognize that this project has played a vital role in creating the infrastructure that connects traditional banks and blockchain technology.

This could ultimately drive adoption further and link fiat and crypto payment systems. One of the biggest highlights for Ripple in 2018 was its annual Swell Conference. At this event, Former US President Bill Clinton presented a keynote address and spoke about the role government regulations plays in shaping the future of blockchain and cryptocurrency.

One of the biggest announcements from Swell was the release of xRapid, a blockchain-based product for cross-border remittances. As we enter 2019, major banks are already starting to adopt xRapid and XRP tokens for international payments. AmericanExpress, MoneyGram, Kuwait Finance House, Israel’s GMT, Turkey’s Akbank, CIBC, and Earthport are just a few examples of major institutions using Ripple technology.

XRP Market Cap Ranking as of January 2019: 3

Transactions Per Second as of January 2019: 1,500

Hard fork coins: N/A


Basic diagram showing how xRapid works
In June 2018, EOS wrapped up its year-long token sale, raising an unprecedented $4.1 billion. At the same time, this project released two testnest iterations and its initial mainnet in 2018.

Despite its fundraising success, EOS also faced a few obstacles. Specifically, the controversy over the authority of the EOS Core Arbitration Forum (ECAF) to make decisions on EOS address bans led Dan Larimer to propose a new constitution that would change the EOS blockchain governance system.

Still, the project did yield good results in dapp adoption. As of January 8, 2019, there are over 240 live EOS dapps. Some things that the project will likely work on in 2019 include scaling via sidechains, developing aBFT technology (asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance), and launching a Resource Exchange (REX) that will allow token leasing and encourage voting participation.

EOS Market Cap Ranking as of January 2019: 5

Transactions Per Second as of January 2019: 3,996 (average case)

Hard fork coins: N/A


On December 5, 2018, EOS published a stable release of EOSIO V1.5.0.
Litecoin (LTC)
Starting as a fork of Bitcoin Core client, Litecoin has since established itself as a top blockchain project. In 2018, the project had a lot of proposed/scheduled upgrades. Some examples included MAST, Covenants, Confidential Transactions, Colored Coins, talks of various LIPS, Litepay, and Schorr. However, there were a number of delays that impacted the potential for real progress. Additionally, many people have stated that Litecoin continues to only add major updates after Bitcoin has implemented them. These are legitimate points that need to be addressed moving forward in 2019.

Litecoin has made some major headlines with its marketing campaign strategies. For example, on December 29, 2018, the Litecoin logo was featured on the canvas of the octagon as the official cryptocurrency partner of UFC 232.

Similar to BTC, LTC has begun to implement Lightning Network. As of January 5, 2019, Litecoin has 100+ active Lightning nodes. This will likely mean increased scalability and cheaper network transaction fees for LTC over the course of this year.

LTC Market Cap Ranking as of January 2019: 7

Transactions Per Second as of January 2019: 56

Hard fork coins: Litecoin Cash (LCC), Litecoin Plus (LCP), LiteCoin Ultra (LTCU)


Like BTC, Litecoin (LTC) has implemented Lightning as a Layer 2 scaling solution.
Tron (TRX)
Launching its mainnet on May 31, 2018, Tron (TRX) is one of the newest blockchain projects on the market. To close out 2018, this project achieved a number of significant adoption milestones.

On December 23, Justin Sun announced that the network reached 1 million accounts created. This was done in the span of only 184 days (~6 months). To put this in perspective, it took Ethereum 542 days (~1.5 years) to reach this number. On December 28, Sun tweeted that Tron had reached 100 million contract triggers.

Tron’s acquisition of BitTorrent in June 2018 marked of the biggest tech news headlines of the year. Finding ways to integrate Tron’s blockchain will be one of the major focal points of the project throughout 2019. Known as ‘project Atlas’, this will include the launch of BitTorrent (BTT), a TRC-10 utility token based on the Tron blockchain. According to the project website, BTT will be used to power the world’s largest decentralized network and “foster faster downloads, file availability and content creation on the world’s largest decentralized application.”

TRX Market Cap Ranking as of January 2019: 9

Transactions Per Second as of January 2019: 2,000

Hard fork coins: N/A


There’s a large potential user base for BitTorrent (BTT) token.
In 2018, NEO made significant progress in several key areas. For example, it was able to establish more developer communities throughout the world to expand its open-source network. NEL, a Chinese developer community, launched applications like game SDK development and NEO Name Service (NNS). The number of dapps built on NEO grew by 3,000% in 2018.

Additionally, NEO began to move towards greater decentralization. The Swiss Telecom Blockchain was elected as the consensus node for NEO TestNet. Meanwhile, City of Zion and Royal Dutch Telecom (KPN) were officially elected as consensus nodes on NEO MainNet.

For 2019, NEO is putting even more emphasis on reaching greater decentralization of its network. As of January 2019, five of the seven consensus nodes belong to the NEO Foundation. However, four of the five will be passed on to independent organizations within the next year. Organizations will be able to test the use of NEO nodes and will be selected after a series of three-month trial periods. This process actually began back in November 2018 and will conclude in November 2019.

NEO Market Cap Ranking as of January 2019: 16

Transactions Per Second as of January 2019: 33

Hard fork coins: N/A