When you’re just starting out in the world of cryptocurrencies, it can be overwhelming because there are dozens of different cryptocurrencies, from Dogecoin and Tether to Bitcoin and Ethereum. These are the top 7 cryptocurrencies according to market capitalization, which is the sum of all the coins in existence at the moment, to help you gain your bearings.
When people discuss cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is the most talked-about, but there are hundreds upon thousands of other possibilities. Actually, cryptocurrencies that aren’t Bitcoin are typically referred to as “altcoins,” or substitutes for Bitcoin.
Though several other cryptocurrencies have gained enormous popularity, Bitcoin may have been the first significant cryptocurrency to enter the market when it launched in 2009.
How Do Cryptocurrencies Work?
A digital asset based on blockchain technology that is free to circulate without the centralized control of a bank or government is known as a cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency sector, which is expected to reach $4.94 billion by 2030, now has 25K projects underway.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Value of the market: $ 665.97B USD
The first cryptocurrency, known as Bitcoin (BTC), was developed in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto. BTC operates on a blockchain, which is a ledger that records transactions dispersed over a network of thousands of computers, just like the majority other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is protected from scammers because updates to the distributed ledgers need to be validated through the solution of a cryptographic puzzle known as proof of work.
As Bitcoin gains widespread recognition, its value soars. One Bitcoin cost roughly $500 in May of 2016. The price of a single Bitcoin was around $34,430 as of October 24, 2023. That is a 6,786% gain.
Even now, when people discuss digital currency, they usually bring to Bitcoin, the coin that heralded the era of cryptocurrencies.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
$214.573 billion is the market cap.
Ethereum is a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency that is popular among developers due to its potential uses, including non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and so-called smart contracts, which run automatically when certain conditions are satisfied.
Ethereum has grown astronomically as well. Between April 2016 and October 2023, the price increased by 16,513%, from approximately $11 to approximately $1,827.
The second name in the cryptocurrency field that you’re probably familiar with is Ethereum, which is the name of the platform. Ethereum’s smart contract feature contributes to its popularity, but the system lets you utilize the currency, ether, for a variety of purposes.
3. Tether (USDT)
$ 84.53B USD billion is the market cap.
Tether (USDT), in contrast to certain other cryptocurrency versions, is a stablecoin—that is, it is backed by fiat currencies such as the US dollar and the euro and maintains a theoretical value equivalent to one of those denominations. Tether is preferred by investors who are apprehensive about the severe volatility of other coins because, theoretically, its value is meant to be more stable than that of other cryptocurrencies.
The price of a Tether coin is fixed at $1. This is due to the fact that it is a stablecoin. Stablecoins are based on the value of a certain asset, the US dollar in Tether’s example. Tether frequently serves as a bridge for traders switching between other cryptocurrencies. Instead, they use Tether instead of switching back to dollars.
4. Binance Coin (BNB)
$ 33.74B USD is the market cap.
One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Binance, accepts Binance Coin (BNB) as payment for fees associated with trading. Binance Coin has grown beyond just enabling trades on Binance’s exchange platform since its introduction in 2017. These days, it can be utilized for travel booking, payment processing, and trading. Additionally, it can be exchanged or sold for other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin.
In 2017, BNB was only worth $0.10. Its price increased to over $231 by late October 2023, a gain of 230,543%. One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Binance, is the issuer of BNB.
5. Dogecoin (DOGE)
$10.10B USD is the market cap.
Famously launched as a joke in 2013, Dogecoin quickly gained popularity as a cryptocurrency because of its committed community and inventive memes. Dogecoins can be manufactured indefinitely, unlike many other cryptocurrencies, which makes the currency vulnerable to depreciation as supply grows.
In 2017, the price of Dogecoin was $0.0002.Dogecoin got its name from an internet meme of a Shiba Inu dog and was first made as a joke following the spike in Bitcoin. Dogecoin is a digital currency that can be issued indefinitely, unlike many others that have a cap on the total amount of coins. It can be used to send and receive money.
6. U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC)
$ 25.05B USD is the market cap.
Similar to Tether, USD Coin (USDC) strives for a 1 USD to 1 USDC ratio and is a stablecoin backed by US dollars. Ethereum powers USDC, and USD Coin allows you to conduct international transactions.
Similar to Tether, USD Coin’s value is fixed to the US dollar, therefore it shouldn’t change. According to the currency’s creators, it is backed by completely reserved assets, also known as assets with “equivalent fair value,” which are kept in accounts with banks that are subject to regulation in the United States.
7. Cardano (ADA)
Market cap: $9.95B USD.
Cardano (ADA), which entered the cryptocurrency space somewhat later, is renowned for being the first to adopt proof-of-stake validation. This approach eliminates the competitive, problem-solving element of transaction verification in systems like as Bitcoin, thereby speeding up transaction times and reducing energy consumption and environmental effect. Similar to Ethereum, Cardano uses its native coin, ADA, to power decentralized apps and smart contracts.
Comparing Cardano’s ADA token to other prominent cryptocurrency coins, its rise has been somewhat slow. The cost of ADA was $0.02 in 2017. Its price was $0.29 on October 24, 2023. This represents a 1,344% rise.
The cryptocurrency technology that powers ada, the currency’s name, is called Cardano. Cardano, a cryptocurrency developed by Ethereum’s co-founder, also makes use of smart contracts to provide identity management.