Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, which can make it overwhelming when you’re first getting started in the world of crypto. To help you get your bearings, these are the top 10 cryptocurrencies that could be worth investing in based on their market capitalization, or the total value of all of the coins currently in circulation.
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset that is based on blockchain technology and can circulate without the centralized authority of a bank or government. To date, there are 24,630 cryptocurrency projects out there in the cryptocurrency market that is estimated to reach $4.94 billion by 2030.
- Market cap: Over $550 billion
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 Bitcoin for about $500. Since then Bitcoin has witnessed many ups and downs but has shown tremendous resistance. Last year Bitcoin lost 65% of its market value and now, as of May 3, 2023 Bitcoin is trading in the range of $28,000 to $29,000.
- Market cap: Over $ 220 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%. However, due to the overall market crash, Ethereum plunged to an yearly low of $1,091 on November 9, 2022 and rebounded sharply to the levels of nearly $1,800, as of May 03, 2023.
- Market cap: Over $80 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
- Market cap: Over $50 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%. Even after such a huge market crash, BNB didn’t shake much and is now trading near the levels of $320, as of May 03, 2023.