There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, ranging from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, which can be confusing when you’re just starting out in the world of cryptocurrencies based on their market capitalization, or the sum of the value of all the coins that are currently in circulation.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Market cap: Over $350 billion
Bitcoin (BTC) is the first cryptocurrency, having been developed in 2009 by a person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. BTC operates on a blockchain, which is a ledger that records transactions and is shared across a network of thousands of computers, like the majority other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is maintained secure and protected from fraudsters because updates to the distributed ledgers have to be validated by cracking a cryptographic puzzle, a procedure known as proof of work.
As Bitcoin has gained popularity, its price has risen. You could purchase Bitcoin for roughly $500 in May 2016. Since then, Bitcoin has experienced numerous ups and downs, but it has exhibited exceptional resistance. Bitcoin lost 65% of its market value last year, and as of January 10, 2023, it is currently trading between $17,500 and $18,000.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Market cap: Over $ 170 billion
Because of its potential applications, including so-called “smart contracts” that automatically execute when certain conditions are met and non-fungible tokens, Ethereum—which is both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform—is a darling among programmers (NFTs).
Ethereum has also grown incredibly fast. Its price increased by more than 27,000% from roughly $11 to over $3,000 between April 2016 and the beginning of March 2022. Ethereum, however, fell to a yearly low of $1,091 on November 9, 2022, as a result of the general market meltdown, and it quickly recovered to values of about $1,400 by January 10, 2023.
3. Binance Coin (BNB)
Market cap: Over $45 billion
You can trade and pay fees on Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, using the Binance Coin cryptocurrency.
Binance Coin has grown since it was introduced in 2017, and it now does more than just enable transactions on Binance’s exchange platform. Now, it can be utilised for trading, processing payments, or even making trip plans. Additionally, it can be traded or converted into other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin.
In 2017, BNB cost only $0.10. Its price increased to nearly $413 by the start of March 2022, a gain of roughly 410,000%. BNB didn’t tremble much even after such a significant market drop and is currently trading close to $285 as of January 10, 2023.
4. Cardano (ADA)
Market cap: Over $11 billion
Cardano is noteworthy for adopting proof-of-stake validation early despite entering the crypto industry somewhat later. Through the elimination of the competitive, problem-solving element of transaction verification found in systems like Bitcoin, this solution reduces transaction time, energy consumption, and environmental effect. Similar to Ethereum, Cardano uses ADA, its native coin, to power smart contracts and decentralised applications.
In comparison to other significant crypto coins, the growth of the Cardano ADA token has been somewhat muted. The cost of ADA was $0.02 in 2017. Its cost was $0.32 as of January 10, 2023. This represents an almost 1500% increase in expedites.
5. Litecoin (LTC)
Market Cap: Over $6 billion
Charlie Lee, a former software developer for cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, invented the open-source blockchain project Litecoin (LTC), which was introduced in 2011. It was among the first digital currencies whose code was a copy of Bitcoin’s. Despite similarities to Bitcoin, it is designed to have a quicker confirmation time for transactions. It can be used as a method of direct payment to anyone anywhere in the world. The term “silver to Bitcoin’s gold” is widely used to describe LTC.
The overall round-off supply of Litecoin is 84 million coins. It reached an all-time high of $413.47 in May 2021 but then fell by more than 50%. The number of businesses accepting Litecoin is rising. It ranks as the eleventh-largest cryptocurrency with a token value of about $84.