Update 12/2/17 6:00 am PT: Updated to reflect most recent market cap data. BitShares, TenX, STEEM, Bytecoin, and Status dropped out. New additions include Bitcoin Gold (slide 5), Cordano (slide 13), Stellar Lumens (slide 15), HShare (slide 20) and Populous (slide 25).
Created by an anonymous developer, Bitcoin came out in 2008. Whoever it was, the developer’s goal was to create a “peer to peer cash system that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
What Bitcoin did differently compared to other attempts at digital cash was implement a “blockchain” system that prevented double spending. Instead of using a trusted central party to verify all transactions, Bitcoin verifies transactions through its peer to peer network.
Bitcoin is not just the original cryptocurrency that allowed almost a thousand cryptocurrencies to bloom, but also the king of all cryptocurrencies; Bitcoin currently has a market capitalization (number of coins multiplied by value of each coin) of over $57 billion, or roughly 45% of the value of the whole cryptocurrency market.