From Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, which can be overwhelming if 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, or the total value of all coins in circulation.
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 from 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. As of May 1, 2022, the price of one Bitcoin is over $38,000. This represents a growth of more than 7,500%.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, Ethereum is a favorite among program developers because of its potential applications, such as so-called smart contracts that are automatically executed when conditions are met and the non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ethereum has also seen significant growth. From April 2016 to early May 2022, its price rose from $11 to over $2,700, an increase of nearly 25,000%.
Unlike other forms of cryptocurrencies, Tether is a stablecoin, meaning it is backed by fiat currencies like the US dollar and euro and will hypothetically have a value equal to one of those denominations. In theory, this means that the value of Tether should be more constant than other cryptocurrencies, and it is favored 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 (exchange) in the world.
Since its launch in 2017, Binance Coin has grown beyond facilitating trading on the Binance exchange. Now, it can be used for commerce, payment processing, or even travel. 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. At the beginning of May 2022, its price rose to almost $383, a gain of almost 350,000%.
4. Solana (SOL)
Developed to support decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized applications (DApps) and smart contracts, Solana operates a unique hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history mechanism. which helps it process transactions Quickly and securely. SOL, Solana’s native token, powers the platform.
When launched in 2020, the price of SOL is $0.77. As of May 1, 2022, its price is around $87, a gain of over 11,000%.
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 beginning of 2017, the price of XRP was $0.006. Until May 1, 2022, its price reached $0.59, which corresponds to an increase of more than 9,800%.
6. Cardano (ADA)
A bit of a latecomer on the crypto scene, Cardano is known for being an early adopter of proof-of-stake validation. This approach speeds up transaction time and reduces energy consumption and environmental impact by removing competition and solving the problematic aspect of transaction verification that platforms like Bitcoin have. Cardano also works like Ethereum to create 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 price of ADA is $0.02. As of May 1, 2022, its price is $0.77. This is an increase of 3,750%.