From Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies that can make getting started in the crypto world overwhelming. To help you find out, here are the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on their market cap, or the total value of all coins currently in circulation.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin (BTC) is the original cryptocurrency. Like most cryptocurrencies, BTC runs on a blockchain, or a ledger of transactions distributed across a network of thousands of computers. Because additions to distributed ledgers must be verified by solving a cryptographic puzzle, a process called proof of work, bitcoin remains safe and secure against fraudsters.
The price of bitcoin has skyrocketed as it has become a household name. In May 2016, you could buy a bitcoin for about $500. Per On May 1, 2022, the price of a single Bitcoin was over $38,000. This corresponds to a growth of more than 7,500%.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, Ethereum is a favorite among software developers because of its potential applications, such as so-called smart contracts that automatically execute when conditions are met, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ethereum has also experienced tremendous growth. From April 2016 to early May 2022, the price rose from around $11 to over $2,700, an increase of nearly 25,000%.
Unlike some other forms of cryptocurrencies, Tether is a stablecoin, meaning it is backed by fiat currencies such as the US dollar and the euro and hypothetically has a value equivalent to one of these. In theory, this means that the value of Tether is supposed to be more constant than that of other cryptocurrencies, and it is preferred by investors who are wary of the extreme volatility of other coins.
3. Binance (BNB)
Binance Coin is a form of cryptocurrency that you can use to trade and pay fees on Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges (exchanges) in the world.
Since its launch in 2017, Binance Coin has grown beyond simply facilitating trading on the Binance exchange. Now it can be used for trading, payment processing or even travel booking. It can also be traded or exchanged for other forms of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.
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The price of BNB in 2017 was only $0.10. By early May 2022, the price had risen to around $383, a gain of around 350,000%.
4. Solana (SOL)
Designed to help power decentralized financial applications (DeFi), decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts, Solana operates on a unique hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history mechanism that helps it process transactions quickly and safely. SOL, Solana’s native token, powers the platform.
When SOL launched in 2020, the price was $0.77. Per On May 1, 2022, the price was around $87, a gain of over 11,000%.
5. XRP (XRP)
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 various types of currencies, including fiat currencies and other major cryptos.
At the start of 2017, the price of XRP was $0.006. Per On May 1, 2022, the price has reached $0.59, representing an increase of more than 9,800%.
6. Cardano (ADA)
A little later in the crypto scene, Cardano is notable for its early adoption of proof-of-stake validation. This method speeds up transaction time and reduces 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 powered by ADA, its native currency.
Cardano’s ADA token has seen relatively modest growth compared to other major cryptocurrencies. In 2017, the cost of ADA was $0.02. Per On May 1, 2022, the price was $0.77. That’s an increase of 3,750%.