There are dozens of different cryptocurrencies to choose from, from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, making it difficult to know where to start. Get your bearings with this handy list of the ten largest digital currencies, ordered by market capitalization (the total value of all coins in circulation).
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrency, or digital money, is a form of electronic currency that operates independently of a central bank or government. The total $952 billion cryptocurrency industry is represented by more than 20,000 separate cryptocurrency initiatives.
- Market Cap $165 Billion
Ethereum is a new cryptocurrency and blockchain platform that has attracted the attention of developers due to the usefulness of its possible applications, such as smart contracts that are triggered when certain conditions are satisfied and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ethereum’s popularity has skyrocketed as well. Its price rose from roughly $11 in April 2016 to around $1,388 by the end of September 2022, an increase of around 12,518%.
- Market Cap $377 Billion
Bitcoin (BTC) is the first cryptocurrency; its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, released it to the public in 2009. Bitcoin, like other cryptocurrencies, is powered by a blockchain, a distributed ledger that records transactions and is stored on thousands of computers. Proof of work is a verification technique that ensures only legitimate transactions are added to the distributed ledgers, keeping Bitcoin safe from hackers.
Now that Bitcoin is well-known, its value has exploded. For about $500 in May of 2016, you could get one Bitcoin. The price of a single Bitcoin was around $19,531 as on the 30th of September, 2022. The increase is greater than 3,800%.
- Market Cap $ 67 Billion
Tether (USDT) differs from other cryptocurrencies in that it is a stablecoin, which means that its value is pegged to a fiat currency like the US dollar or the Euro. To that end, investors scared of the severe volatility of other coins sometimes prefer Tether since its value is expected to be more stable.
- Market Cap $ 46 Billion
Binance Coin (BNB) is a cryptocurrency used on Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, for trading and fees. Binance Coin, which debuted in 2017, has since gone beyond the confines of the Binance trading platform. It may now be used for buying and selling, collecting payments, and even making trip reservations. It is also tradable for other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In 2017, a single BNB cost only $0.10. Its price increased by 282,900% to reach $283 at the end of September 2022.
US Dollar Coin
- Market Cap $ 47 Billion
Similar to Tether, USD Coin (USDC) is a stable coin that is pegged to the value of the dollar and strives to maintain a 1:1 exchange rate. USD Coin is backed by Ethereum and may be used for international payments.
- Market Cap $
XRP was developed by the same team that brought you Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing firm, and can be traded for other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies over the Ripple network.
The opening price of XRP in 2017 was $0.006. As of the 30th of September, 2022, the price has increased by 7,900%, reaching $0.48.
- Market Cap $21 Billion
Paxos and Binance collaborated to launch Binance USD (BUSD), a stable coin pegged to the value of the U.S. dollar. Paxos has on hand the same number of dollars that are in circulation in BUSD so that the exchange rate remains stable. BUSD, like other stable coins, allows dealers and cryptocurrency users to conduct transactions with other cryptocurrencies while spreading their exposure to price fluctuations.
- Market Cap $14 Billion
Cardano (ADA) is remarkable for its early use of proof-of-stake validation, despite its late arrival to the cryptocurrency world. By eliminating the competitive, problem-solving element of transaction verification on systems like Bitcoin, this solution speeds up transaction times, reduces energy use, and has less of an impact on the environment. Like Ethereum, Cardano is a blockchain platform that supports smart contracts and other forms of decentralized software, all of which are powered by the platform’s own cryptocurrency, ADA.
In comparison to some of the other major cryptocurrencies, Cardano’s ADA token’s growth has been subpar. With a 2017 price of $.02, ADA has seen some significant growth in 2018. As of the 30th of September, 2022, its cost was $0.44. In percentage terms, this represents a 2,100% rise.
- Market Cap $12 Billion
Solana is a cryptocurrency with a special hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history method that allows it to execute transactions rapidly and securely, making it ideal for usage in DeFi applications, DApps, and smart contracts. The Solana network runs on the platform’s native token, SOL.
In 2020, when it first went on sale, a share of SOL cost $0.77. Its price increased to almost $33.72 by late September 2022, representing a gain of about 4,279%.
- Market Cap $8 Billion
Dogecoin is well-known for having originated as a joke in 2013, but its committed community and clever memes have helped it grow into a major cryptocurrency in a short amount of time. However, as there is no cap on the total production of Dogecoins, their value will inevitably decline along with the supply as more and more are issued.
In 2017, one Dogecoin was worth around $0.0002. With a 29900% increase to $0.06 by 30 September 2022, its price is astronomical.
What Is An ALT Coin ?
Bitcoin is typically the coin that comes to mind when one considers cryptocurrency. For one thing, Bitcoin accounts for about 45% of the whole cryptocurrency market. All cryptocurrencies that are not Bitcoin are referred to together as altcoins.
To give just one example, Ethereum is widely considered to be the most prominent altcoin.
What Makes Bitcoin So Valuable?
Bitcoin’s value stems in part from its extremely limited supply. There will never be more than 21 million Bitcoins in circulation. Nineteen million coins are now in use.
Bitcoin relies on a network of crypto miners who are paid in Bitcoin when they successfully add to the Bitcoin blockchain. (Exactly 6.25 BTC are given out when a single block is mined.) The incentives for Bitcoin mining are halved about every four years to maintain stability.
Why Are Cryptocurrencies So Important?
The value of cryptocurrency is on the rise, and it isn’t going away any time soon. While the original idea behind cryptocurrencies was to address issues with fiat currencies, a plethora of new utility coins emerged with the advent of the blockchain.