Aptly Named I think of Litecoin as silver to Bitcoins gold or Bitcoin "lite". Litecoin is an early fork of Bitcoin aimed at improving scalability while reducing fees and transaction time. It has been around since 2011 and has been racing to catch up to Bitcoin ever since. The Smaller community will allow Litecoin to adapt to scalability issues much quicker than Bitcoin, however this also means it has less mainstream support.
Makes the list as the number one privacy coin right now! With government interference and regulation lurking in the future of many crypto currencies, Monero offers the choice of a safe haven from the all seeing eyes of "Big Brother" while still allowing selective transparency with parties of your choice.
Founded in 2015 and dubbed "Ethereum 2.0" or "Ether from Japan" Cardano is Premined and secured through a new PoS (Proof of Stake) system, ADA aims to compete with Ether in the future of DAPPs (Decentranized Apps). Peer reviewed, extremely scalable and with a strong team Cardano has an effective plan for making smart contracts accesible to many parts of the economy in the future to spread the use of their coin and improve the amount of transactions they can proccess.
A new coin trying to breathe life into the Internet of Things and change our perspectives on the way a distributed ledger can operate with their new tangle technology. Highly technical yet somehow still lightweight, Iota's tangle manages to offer zero fees through a model of active participation. As you send a transaction over the tangle you are confirming others transactions and thereby helping secure the network. This new Idea provides a highly scalable currency that has the goal of connecting all of your devices to trade information seamlessly.
The Granddaddy Crypto, Founded in 2008, has been struggling to deal with scalability in 2017. As mass adoption seems entirely possible in the coming years Bitcoin has the brand image that will keep new investors flocking too it. Will its community reach compromise on how to protect its value and scale effectively in 2018? Only time will well!