Top 10 Cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin has been in the news a lot lately and is currently one of the most valuable cryptocurrencies on the market. It’s popularity has also resulted in new digital currencies being created every day. Some of these new cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, have become more popular than Bitcoin. Here are 10 cryptocurrencies you should keep an eye on.
How do I invest in cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that use encryption to secure transactions. In a nutshell, they’re virtual money that can be used in a variety of ways, including making purchases and exchanging money with other people. It’s not surprising then why cryptocurrencies have become so popular for the everyday consumer.
This blog post will walk you through how you can invest in cryptocurrency and make some extra cash on the side.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
- Market cap: Over $846 billion
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central bank or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open-source software in 2009.
Bitcoin offers benefits to merchants as there are no credit card fees and the list of advantages can go on for days! For more information about the benefits of Bitcoin, check out our blog post:
“What Are The Benefits Of Bitcoin And How Does It Work?”
Created in 2009 by someone under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin (BTC) is the original cryptocurrency. As with most cryptocurrencies, BTC runs on a blockchain, or a ledger logging transactions distributed across a network of thousands of computers. Because additions to the distributed ledgers must be verified by solving a cryptographic puzzle, a process called proof of work, Bitcoin is kept secure and safe from fraudsters.
Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed as it’s become a household name. In May 2016, you could buy a Bitcoin for about $500. As of March 1, 2022, a single Bitcoin’s price was over $44,000. That’s growth of about 7,800%.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
- Market cap: Over $361 billion
Both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, Ethereum is a favorite of program developers because of its potential applications, like so-called smart contracts that automatically execute when conditions are met and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ethereum has also experienced tremendous growth. From April 2016 to the beginning of March 2022, its price went from about $11 to over $3,000, increasing more than 27,000%.
3. Tether (USDT)
- Market cap: Over $79 billion
Unlike some other forms of cryptocurrency, Tether is a stablecoin, meaning it’s backed by fiat currencies like U.S. dollars and the Euro and hypothetically keeps a value equal to one of those denominations. In theory, this means Tether’s value is supposed to be more consistent than other cryptocurrencies, and it’s favored by investors who are wary of the extreme volatility of other coins.
4. Binance Coin (BNB)
- Market cap: Over $68 billion
The Binance Coin is a form of cryptocurrency that you can use to trade and pay fees on Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world.
Since its launch in 2017, Binance Coin has expanded past merely facilitating trades on Binance’s exchange platform. Now, it can be used for trading, payment processing or even booking travel arrangements. It can also be traded or exchanged for other forms of cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.
BNB’s price in 2017 was just $0.10. By the beginning of March 2022, its price had risen to around $413, a gain of approximately 410,000%.
5. U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC)
- Market cap: Over $53 billion
Like Tether, USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin, meaning it’s backed by U.S. dollars and aims for a 1 USD to 1 USDC ratio. USDC is powered by Ethereum, and you can use USD Coin to complete global transactions.
6. XRP (XRP)
- Market cap: Over $37 billion
Created by some of the same founders as Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing company, XRP can be used on that network to facilitate exchanges of different currency types, including fiat currencies and other major cryptocurrencies.
At the beginning of 2017, the price of XRP was $0.006. As of March, 2022, its price reached $0.80, equal to a rise of more than 12,600%.
7. Terra (LUNA)
- Market cap: Over $34 billion
Terra is a blockchain payment platform for stablecoins that relies on keeping a balance between two types of cryptocurrencies. Terra-backed stablecoins, such as TerraUSD, are tied to the value of physical currencies. Their counterweight, Luna, powers the the Terra platform and is used to mint more Terra stablecoins.
Terra stablecoins and Luna work in concert according to supply and demand: When a stablecoin’s price rises above its tied currency’s value, users are incentivized to burn their Luna to create more of that Terra stablecoin. Likewise, when its value falls compared to its base currency, this encourages users to burn their Terra stablecoins to mint more Luna. As adoption of the Terra platforms grows, so too does the value of Luna.
From Jan. 3, 2021, when its price was $0.64, to the beginning of March 2022, Luna has risen over 14,200% to $92.
8. Cardano (ADA)
- Market cap: Over $33 billion
Somewhat later to the crypto scene, Cardano is notable for its early embrace of proof-of-stake validation. This method expedites transaction time and decreases energy usage and environmental impact by removing the competitive, problem-solving aspect of transaction verification present in platforms like Bitcoin. Cardano also works like Ethereum to enable smart contracts and decentralized applications, which are powered by ADA, its native coin.
Cardano’s ADA token has had relatively modest growth compared to other major crypto coins. In 2017, ADA’s price was $0.02. As of March 1, 2022, its price was at $0.99. This is an increase of 4,850%.
9. Solana (SOL)
- Market cap: Over $33 billion
Developed to help power decentralized finance (DeFi) uses, decentralized apps (DApps) and smart contracts, Solana runs on a unique hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history mechanisms that help it process transactions quickly and securely. SOL, Solana’s native token, powers the platform.
When it launched in 2020, SOL’s price started at $0.77. By March 1, 2022, its price was around $101, a gain of nearly 13,000%.
10. Avalanche (AVAX)
- Market cap: Over $22 billion
Similar to Ethereum and Cardano, Avalanche provides blockchain software that can create and execute smart contracts powered by a native token (in this case, AVAX). Since its launch in 2020, Avalanche has rapidly grown, thanks in no small part to its comparatively low gas fees and fast transaction processing speeds.
From July 12, 2020, to March 1, 2022, AVAX’s price has risen more than 1,840%, from $4.63 to $89.84.
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