Bitcoin, Ethereum, and most other major cryptocurrencies are falling on Friday, but there's one exception. EOS (EOS-USD) is not only up slightly today, but it's been the best performer of the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by far over the past week.

Here's a look at the latest cryptocurrency prices, what EOS is, and why it could be doing so well recently.

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Image source: Getty Images.

Today's cryptocurrency prices

Most cryptocurrencies are in negative territory on Friday, with EOS (EOS-USD) the only one of the top 10 that's up. Here's a look at the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, and how much each has changed over the past 24 hours.

Cryptocurrency Name (Code)

Price in U.S. Dollars

Day's Change

1-Week Change

Bitcoin (BTC)

$8,633.10

(0.5%)

2.2%

Ethereum (ETH)

$525.93

(2.2%)

(14.3%)

Ripple (XRP)

$0.63

(3.9%)

(9.2%)

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

$1,008.55

(0.9%)

1.1%

Litecoin (LTC)

$160.73

(1.7%)

(3.2%)

EOS (EOS)

$6.97

2.5%

36.7%

Cardano (ADA)

$0.18

(9%)

2%

NEO (NEO)

$66.56

(5.8%)

(4.1%)

Stellar (XLM)

$0.23

(2.5%)

(1.9%)

IOTA (MIOTA)

$1.29

(1.7%)

15%

Data Source: www.investing.com. Prices and daily changes as of March 23, 2018 at 2 p.m. EDT, and prices are rounded to the nearest cent where appropriate.

What is EOS?

EOS (EOS-USD) is a relatively new cryptocurrency created by a company called Block.one. In fact, the first EOS tokens were distributed in June 2017, and the last will be distributed in early June 2018.

In simple terms, EOS intends to be a better version of Ethereum. Rather than being designed to be a currency used for payments, Ethereum is designed to process "smart contracts," which makes it attractive for business applications.

The easy version of what EOS plans to do is to essentially do what Ethereum does, but much faster. For example, Ethereum's network can handle about 15 transactions per second, while EOS is aiming for a capacity of 50,000 per second -- better than even Visa's payment network can handle.

Why is EOS up 37% in a week?

For starters, it's important to point out that while EOS is up by 37% over the past week, these gains follow a terrible couple of months for the cryptocurrency. Even after this week's rally, EOS is down by more than 50% over the past two months.

One recent reason for the decline is that EOS was singled out by Last Week Tonight host John Oliver during a recent segment cautioning Americans about getting involved in cryptocurrencies. Oliver specifically pointed out that there is not a "product" yet and therefore no reason for a multi-billion-dollar valuation. He was also very critical of the involvement of former child star Brock Pierce with the project.

After the segment, which aired on March 11, EOS dropped by 35% in one week. Shortly after, EOS posted a response letter to Oliver on its website making its case as a legitimate technological advancement, and also pointing out that it had already parted ways with Brock Pierce before the segment aired.

Since that time, it seems investor optimism about the forthcoming EOS.IOS platform has risen considerably. There has been increased demand, particularly from South Korean investors. And just this Tuesday, cryptocurrency start-up Everipedia announced that it will distribute its newly created coins in June to EOS holders -- a distribution method known as an "airdrop."

It remains to be seen if EOS will deliver long-term value to its investors, but for the time being, the fallout from John Oliver's segment seems to have dissipated.

Matthew Frankel has no position in any of the stocks mentioned, and owns Ethereum and Litecoin tokens. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Visa. The Motley Fool has no position in any cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.