There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, varying from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, making it difficult to get started in the world of crypto. To help you get your bearings, these are the 10 best cryptocurrencies by market capitalization or the total value of all coins currently in circulation.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
Over $846 billion in market cap
Bitcoin (BTC) is the first cryptocurrency, created in 2009 under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. BTC, much like cryptocurrencies, is built on a blockchain, which is a decentralized ledger that records transactions across thousands of computers. Bitcoin is maintained secure and safe from fraudsters because updates to the distributed ledgers must be confirmed by solving a cryptographic puzzle, a process known as “proof of work.”
A Bitcoin could be purchased for about $500 in May 2016. The price of a single Bitcoin was over $44,000 on March 1, 2022. This equates to a 7,800% increase.
- Ethereum (ETH)
Over $361 billion in market cap
Ethereum is a favorite among developers because of its potential applications, such as smart contracts that run automatically when conditions are satisfied and non-fungible tokens. At the same time, Ethereum is a coin and a blockchain platform (NFTs).
Ethereum has also exploded in popularity. Its price increased by more than 27 000 % from April 2016 to the beginning of March 2022, from around $11 to over $3,000.
- Tether (USDT)
Over $79 billion in market cap
Tether is a stablecoin, which means it’s backed by fiat currencies like the US dollar and the Euro and potentially maintains a value equal to one of those denominations, unlike certain other types of cryptocurrency. Tether’s value is meant to be more steady than other cryptocurrencies, which is why it’s popular among investors who are scared of other coins’ extreme volatility.
- Binance Coin (BNB)
Over $68 billion in market cap
Binance Coin (BNB) is a cryptocurrency that may be used to trade and pay fees on Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges.
Since its introduction in 2017, Binance Coin has grown beyond simply facilitating deals on Binance’s exchange platform. It may now be used for trading, processing payments, and even booking travel. It can be traded or exchanged for other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Bitcoin. The cost of BNB in 2017 was only $0.10. Its price had risen to nearly $413 by the beginning of March 2022, a gain of over 410,000 percent.
- XRP (Ripple)
Over $37 billion in market cap
XRP, a digital technology and payment processing company created by some people as Ripple, can be used on that network to facilitate the exchange of many kinds of currency, including fiat currencies and other major cryptocurrencies.
The price of XRP was $0.006 at the start of 2017. Its price had risen to $0.80 by March 2022, a gain of more than 12,600 percent.
- USD Coin (USDC) :
Over $53 billion in market cap
It is a stablecoin, similar to Tether, in that it is supported by US dollars and aims for a 1 USD to 1 USDC ratio. USDC is a cryptocurrency based on Ethereum that can be used for international transactions.
- Terra (LUNA)
Over $34 billion in market cap
Terra is a stablecoin blockchain payment network that works by keeping two types of cryptocurrency in balance. The value of TerraUSD and other terra-backed stablecoins is linked to the value of the real currencies. The Terra platform and new Terra stablecoins are powered by Luna, their counterbalance. Based on supply and demand, Luna and Terra stablecoins work together: When the price of a stablecoin drops, users are encouraged to burn their Luna to make extra Terra stablecoins. Likewise, when the value of the Luna stablecoin decreases in comparison to the base currency, users are encouraged to burn their Terra stablecoins in order to get more Luna. As the Terra platform becomes more widely used, so too does the value of Luna.
Luna’s price has risen over 14,200 %, from $0.64 on January 3, 2021, to $92 at the beginning of March 2022.
- Cardano (ADA)
Over $33 billion in market cap
Cardano is notable for being one of the first crypto projects that used proof-of-stake validation. The following method minimizes transaction time, energy usage, and environmental impact. It works by removing the competitive, problem-solving part of transaction verification seen in platforms like Bitcoin. Cardano is similar to Ethereum in that it uses its own coin, ADA, to enable smart contracts and decentralized applications. Cardano’s ADA token has risen slowly when compared with other major crypto coins. In 2017, the price of ADA was $0.02. As of March 1, 2022, its current price is $0.99. This represents a 4,850 % increase.
9. Solana (SOL)
Over $33 billion in market cap
Solana is a cryptocurrency designed to facilitate decentralized financing (DeFi), decentralized apps (DApps), and smart contracts. To conduct transactions quickly and securely, it employs a hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history approach.
The platform is powered by SOL, Solana’s native cryptocurrency. When it was first introduced in 2020, SOL’s price was $0.77. Its price had risen about 13,000 percent by March 1, 2022, to around $101.
- Avalanche (AVAX)
Over $22 billion in market cap
Avalanche, like Ethereum and Cardano, provides blockchain software that enables users to develop and execute smart contracts using their own coins (in this case, AVAX). Avalanche has quickly grown since its introduction in 2020, thanks in no small part to its low gas fees and rapid transaction processing speeds.
AVAX’s price has increased by more than 1,840 % from $4.63 to $89.84 from July 12, 2020, until March 1, 2022.