There are over 1,000 different cryptocurrencies and they can be broken up into four major categories.
Transactional Cryptocurrencies, the category for which cryptocurrency was originally intended. Bitcoin is the most popular in this category and often appears in the news. The intention of this cryptocurrency is to remove the control of a central authority and cut out the middleman in day-to-day transactions.
Platform Cryptocurrencies, the category that provides the foundation and building blocks that facilitate the operation of other decentralised applications. Ethereum is a good case in point. It is a decentralised software platform enabling SmartContracts, the code that can execute coin transactions without middlemen and third-party organisations; and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party.
Utility Cryptocurrencies, which are designed for a specific purpose. Siacoin is one of the notable examples. It is designed to facilitate a decentralised storage network, which is a unique concept and a novel application of blockchain technology.
Application Cryptocurrencies, which refers to the class of cryptocurrencies based upon the platform cryptocurrencies.