I was sort of shocked I couldn’t find this data basically anywhere (or where it was available, it was usually only for a list of like 10 coins). So, without further ado, here is a breakdown of the current top 101 coins by market cap, grouped into buckets based on their usage/purpose.
Inevitably some coins try to ‘do everything’. I limited each to only being listed once, so things are grouped by whatever their perceived or advertised primary purpose is, even if they theoretically can do more than that. (For example, probably 75% of the entire top 100 list has ‘dApps’ listed somewhere in their description, but it is not the main point they advertise on, at least currently, for many of them)
Store of Value coins
There’s only one true asset in this category, and it’s not one that intended to be here. Bitcoin was originally designed as digital currency, but insanely high transaction fees, changes in expectation over time, etc. have really morphed it into an asset more akin to gold or other asset stores. (AKA: It’s an investment, not really for spending directly, and has limited other direct use.)
What Bitcoin originally wanted to be, this is a category filled with Bitcoin spin-offs and new tech-focused primarily on cheaper, faster transactions. The use cases range from everyday purchases to more massive actions such as major cross-border intra-bank transfers. ( It’s worth noting about half of this list also offers smart contracts as well ( or plan to soon ), but thus far have been primarily notable for general transaction speed/currency use. )
5 - XRP 8 - Litecoin 10 - Bitcoin Cash 12 - Stellar 17 - Bitcoin SV 21 - Terra/Luna 24 - NEM 46 - Dash 48 - Decred 56 - Ziliqa 65 - DigiByte 74 - Nano 84 - Horizen
Smart Contracts/Distributed Applications coins
This is going to be a long list. Smart contracts/dApps are pretty clearly the most exciting ‘generic’ use for Blockchain/CryptoCurrencies from many people’s viewpoint, opening the doors for a lot of unique applications and financial structures. Essentially everyone in this category is gunning for Ethereum’s spot, and the competition is hot and heavy all the way down the top 100 list, with every entry trying to put their own spin on it.
2 - Ethereum 4 - Cardano 6 - Polkadot 18 - Eos 19 - Elrond 20 - Tron 27 - Tezos 29 - Avalanche 32 - NEO 34 - Solana 43 - Algorand 53 - Ethereum Classic 54 - Kusama 55 - Waves 59 - NEAR Protocol 63 - Hedera Hashgraph 71 - Celo 80 - Qtum 82 - Matic Network 90 - Fantom 95 - Energy Web Token 96 - IOST
These are tokens that attempt to stay pegged to some real-world kind of value (generally USD) via various methods. Pretty straightforward, and mostly varies by what network/exchange you’re on.
3 - Tether 13 - USD Coin 36 - Dai 40 - Binance USD 84 - HUSD 89 - Ampleforth ( Peg to USD is fairly weak ) 91 - TrueUSD
These are tokens that primarily are associated with some kind of crypto-currency exchange, either Centralized(CEX) or Decentralized(DEX). A few of them also try to serve other purposes (Usually as Digital Currencies), but at heart being used as an exchange token is their most notable point, and they will largely rise and fall based on the success of their related exchange.
7 - Binance Coin 15 - Uniswap 33 - Huobi Token 38 - Sushiswap 39 - FTX Token 41 - Crypto.com Coin 44 - UNUS SED LEO 61 - Loopring 64 - SwissBorg 67 - THORChain 68 - Curve DAO Token 73 - PancakeSwap 76 - Voyager Token 81 - OKB 92 - Alpha Finanace Lab 100 - Bancor
Alternative Exchange Tokens
These are tokens that are related to the crypto trading markets but aren’t really proper exchange tokens. Basically for exchange-esque activities, or offering only a specific, narrow type of alternative trading.
25 - Synthetix ( Options Trading ) 52 - 0x ( DEX Aggregator ) 42 - UMA ( Options Trading ) 72 - 1inch ( DEX Aggregator ) 78 - HedgeTrade ( Crypto Hedge Fund Trading ) 87 - Kyber Network ( DEX Aggregator )
These tokens/networks exist primarily to solve the problem of communicating between different blockchain networks/the non-blockchain world, and the transfer of assets across said barriers. (Ex. The Oracle Problem)
9 - Chainlink 22 - Cosmos 60 - Ren 75 - ICON 77 - Quant 99 - Ravencoin
These tokens and networks focus on making trustless lending and banking (savings accounts) possible, and yield-farming via said lending. Generally speaking, they work via encouraging users to stake/lock up digital collateral from other networks into their own, giving the users the network’s own tokens as the loan balance and/or paying the user tokens for other users borrowing their assets.
14 - Aave 28 - Maker 31 - Compound 45 - Celsius 47 - yearn.finance 58 - Nexo 97 - Venus
Fairly self-explanatory, these primarily exist to keep as much data about the network/transactions/wallets as anonymous as possible. They’ve obviously gotten a bad rep at times as being used often for illicit activities, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting privacy either.
23 - Monero 50 - Zcash 101 - Verge
These coins/tokens have largely unique use cases, that leave them without many/any direct competitors in the top 100. Whether they go up or down is going to be mostly based on if their use cases actually exist and if they can succeed in filling them correctly. A few of these are gunning towards long-term moving into the more general categories, but at least currently book themselves as having a more narrow focus.
11 - Dogecoin ( Meme/Intro to Crypto ) 26 - THETA ( Distributed Video Streaming ) 30 - VeChain ( Supply Chain Logistics ) 35 - IOTA ( Internet of Things Logistics ) 37 - Filecoin ( Distributed File Hosting ) 49 - The Graph ( Distributed Search Indexing ) 51 - BitTorrent ( Blockchain-ifying the Bittorrent Protocol ) 57 - Revain ( Distributed Review Platform ) 68 - OMG Network ( Cheaper ETH Transfers ) 69 - Ontology ( Identity/Private Data Management ) 70 - Basic Attention Token ( Web Advertisement/Marketing Replacement ) 79 - Siacoin ( Distributed File Hosting ) 85 - Reserve Rights ( Stablecoin counterbalance token ) 88 - Stacks ( DApp extension onto the Bitcoin Network ) 93 - Decentraland ( Distributed Virtual-Reality Platform ) 94 - Ocean Protocol ( Data Monetization ) 98 - Enjin Coin ( Video Game Items/In-Game Economy )
N/A – Wrapped Assets
These are ‘wrapped’ versions of other assets (Bitcoin) floating around other networks for use on said networks. There’s generally a limited reason to directly invest in these when you could invest in their more liquid base asset. (Ex. You’d only buy them to use them in some specific DApp/etc, not just hold them in a wallet generally)
16 - Wrapped Bitcoin 62 - renBTC 86 - Bitcoin BEP2
Cheers, thanks for the read.