From Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, which can make it overwhelming when you’re just starting out in the crypto world. To help you get your bearings, here are the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on their market capitalization, which is the total value of all coins currently in circulation.
- Market cap: over $846 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 ledger recording transactions spread across a network of thousands of computers. Since additions to distributed ledgers must be verified by solving a cryptographic puzzle, a process called proof of work, Bitcoin is secure and safe from fraudsters.
The price of Bitcoin has skyrocketed as it has become a household name. In May 2016, you could buy a bitcoin for around $500. As of March 1, 2022, the price of a single Bitcoin exceeded $44,000. That’s a growth of about 7,800%.
Related: How to buy bitcoins
2. Ethereum (ETH)
- Market capitalization: more than 361 billion dollars
Both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, Ethereum is a favorite of program developers due to its potential applications, such as so-called smart contracts that automatically execute when conditions are met and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). ).
Ethereum has also seen phenomenal growth. From April 2016 to early March 2022, its price jumped from around $11 to over $3,000, increasing by over 27,000%.
Related: How to buy Ethereum
3. Tether (USDT)
- Market capitalization: more than 79 billion dollars
Unlike some other forms of cryptocurrency, Tether is a stablecoin, meaning it’s backed by fiat currencies like the US dollar and euro and hypothetically holds value equal to either of those denominations. In theory, this means that Tether’s value is meant to be more consistent than that of other cryptocurrencies, and it’s favored by investors who are wary of other coins’ extreme volatility.
4. Binance Coin (BNB)
- Market capitalization: more than 68 billion dollars
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 beyond simply facilitating transactions on the Binance exchange. Now, it can be used for commerce, payment processing, or even travel booking. It can also be traded or exchanged for other forms of cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.
The price of BNB in 2017 was only $0.10. By early March 2022, its price had risen to around $413, a gain of around 410,000%.
Related: How to buy cryptocurrency
- Market capitalization: more than 37 billion dollars
Created by some of the same founders as Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing company, XRP can be used on this network to facilitate trading of different types of currencies, including fiat currencies and other major cryptocurrencies. .
At the beginning of 2017, the price of XRP was $0.006. In March 2022, its price reached $0.80, an increase of more than 12,600%.
6. Earth (LUNA)
- Market capitalization: more than 34 billion dollars
Terra is a blockchain payment platform for stablecoins that relies on maintaining a balance between two types of cryptocurrencies. Terra-backed stablecoins, such as TerraUSD, are pegged to the value of physical currencies. Their counterpoise, Luna, powers the Terra platform and is used to mint more Terra stablecoins.
Terra and Luna stablecoins work together based on supply and demand: when the price of a stablecoin exceeds the value of its linked currency, users are incentivized to burn their Luna to create more of that Terra stablecoin. Likewise, when its value drops against its base currency, it encourages users to burn their Terra stablecoins to mint more Luna. As adoption of Terra platforms increases, so does Luna’s value.
From January 3, 2021, when its price was $0.64, to early March 2022, Luna rose over 14,200% to $92.
7. Gimbal (ADA)
- Market capitalization: more than 33 billion dollars
A bit later on the crypto scene, Cardano stands out for its early adoption of proof-of-stake validation. This method speeds up transaction time and decreases energy consumption and environmental impact by removing the competition and problem-solving aspect of transaction verification found on 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 seen relatively modest growth compared to other major crypto coins. In 2017, the price of ADA was $0.02. As of March 1, 2022, its price was $0.99. This is an increase of 4,850%.
8. Solana (SOL)
- Market capitalization: more than 33 billion dollars
Developed to help power the uses of decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts, Solana operates on 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 launched in 2020, the price of SOL started at $0.77. As of March 1, 2022, its price was around $101, a gain of nearly 13,000%.
9. Dots (DOT)
- Market capitalization: more than 22 billion dollars
Polkadot (DOT), founded in 2016, is a unique blockchain interoperability protocol designed to connect different chains together. It also allows exchanging data and processing transactions for parachains or parallel blockchains without compromising their security. Developers can create their own blockchains while using Polkadot security.
The main founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood created Polkadot. The interesting feature of DOT is that it has no hard limit on its total supply. On the contrary, a new token is constantly in circulation.
The price of Polkadot reached its highs in May 2020 at $6.30 and later in May 2021 the price reached its all-time high of $55.11.
10. Litecoin (LTC)
- Market capitalization: more than 9 billion dollars
Litecoin (LTC), an open-source blockchain project launched in 2011, was created by former Crypto Exchange Coinbase software engineer Charlie Lee. It was one of the first cryptocurrencies whose code is imitated from that of Bitcoin. Despite having similarities with Bitcoin, it is developed to have faster transaction confirmation time. It can be used as a way to pay people around the world without a mediator. LTC is often referred to as “Bitcoin’s money to gold”.
Litecoin has a total supply of 84 million tokens. In May 2021, it recorded its all-time high of $413.47, but it fell more than 50%. There is a growing number of merchants taking up Litecoin. It has a per token value of around $106, the 21st largest cryptocurrency in the world.