The field of cryptocurrencies is always expanding. While Bitcoin is widely seen as a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrencies, analysts adopt many approaches for evaluating tokens other than BTC. It’s common, for instance, for analysts to attribute a great deal of importance to ranking coins relative to one another in terms of market capitalization. This article lists the top 10 cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization.
Market cap: US$1,141,304,031,951
Bitcoin’s invention in 2009 changed money forever and opened the door to all sorts of variations on and improvements of its technology. It’s tough to understate the importance of Bitcoin and the underlying concept of the blockchain that accompanied it, but 12 years later, Bitcoin’s first-mover advantage has compounded to put its market capitalization above US$1 trillion. As the premier “blue chip” cryptocurrency, BTC is not only tried and true but is still setting new milestones: Tesla Inc.’s decision to put Bitcoin on its balance sheet and El Salvador’s move to make it a legal tender are two landmark 2021 actions illustrating how mainstream BTC has become.
Market cap: US$492,832,505,619
Although Bitcoin has been the lead crypto from the get-go, Ethereum emerged as a force to be reckoned with in 2015 and is perhaps the only other token with any business being regarded as blue-chip crypto. Ethereum’s market share in the nascent and fast-growing field of decentralized finance, or Defi, has the digital currency slowly chipping away at Bitcoin’s share of the overall crypto market. At the beginning of 2021, Bitcoin accounted for 70.7% of the market, with Ethereum accounting for just 10.8%. Today, the gap has dramatically narrowed,
Market cap: US$80,178,289,386
While Coinbase Global Inc. (COIN) gets the bulk of the media’s attention when it comes to cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance is the largest global exchange by volume. Binance was initially based on the token issued through the Ethereum blockchain but has since transitioned to being issued on its Binance blockchain. As with several other top cryptocurrencies, there’s a maximum supply of BNB, which is capped at US$200 million.
Market cap: US$71,226,428,166
Although not quite in Ethereum or Bitcoin’s league, Cardano is an obligatory nominee for the best crypto to buy. It’s the third-largest market cap next to Bitcoin and Ethereum. It’s younger than both Bitcoin and Ethereum, with the first ADA the local currency on the Cardano blockchain appearing in September 2017. Cardano’s appeal is multifaceted: It was founded by one of Ethereum’s co-founders, Charles Hoskinson, giving it instant credibility, and unlike ETH, it also has a hard cap on the number of coins that can exist, at US$45 billion. Another advantage over many other cryptos: Cardano uses a proof-of-stake protocol to incentivize users to create new blocks, a process that some experts estimate is 20,000 times more energy-efficient than Bitcoin’s proof-of-work algorithm.
Market cap: US$69,775,095,502
Tether, previously known as Realcoin, was launched in 2014 and is one of the first cryptocurrencies to be pegged to the US dollar. Tether is a blockchain-based cryptocurrency whose crypto coins are backed by an equal sum of conventional fiat currencies kept in a specified bank account, such as the dollar, euro, or Japanese yen. The Tether is a stablecoin, a form of cryptocurrency that aims to hold cryptocurrency prices stable, as opposed to the large fluctuations seen in the prices of other common cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Market cap: US$60,724,326,733
Solana quickly burst onto the scene in 2021, rising from obscurity SOL had a 0.01% market share to start the year to become one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap by September. Like Ethereum, Solana has become a leader in Defi, where users can create decentralized applications, or Dapps for short, that cut out traditional financial gatekeepers like exchanges, brokers, clearinghouses, and banks themselves.
Market cap: US$52,382,668,890
Ripple which was released in 2021 is one of the oldest blockchain projects in the world. It is not like the other coins as its goal is to make cross-border payments easier. Ripple is a cryptocurrency and a digital payment network for financial transactions that was first released in 2012. Ripple Labs created XRP as a payment token to be used on its decentralized payment system. XRP is used with a network of validation nodes rather than a blockchain, as the company started with a blockchain-based system.
Market cap: US$43,941,691,845
Polkadot is a one-of-a-kind proof-of-stake cryptocurrency that aims to provide blockchain interoperability. Its protocol links permissioned and permissionless blockchains, as well as oracles, allowing systems to interact under one roof. Polkadot was created by Gavin Wood, Thiel Fellow Robert Habermeier, and Peter Czaban. Gavin Wood is a co-founder of the Ethereum Project and was previously the Chief Technology Officer. Via the Polkadot relay chain, Polkadot enables an internet where independent blockchain can share information and transactions in a trustless manner. Polkadot aims to make creating and connecting decentralized apps, utilities, and organizations easier.
Market cap: US$33,957,755,869
Starting as a meme cryptocurrency, Dogecoin has come a long way. The year 2021 has been a year of revelation for the coin. The huge increase of 15,000% makes it one of the hot cryptocurrencies to buy before it explodes. Doge has given a huge encouragement to all altcoins who were trying to prove their existence in the market. With a huge push by Tesla and SpaceX boss Elon Musk Dogecoin has become a pioneer of a new race of digital assets.
Market cap: US$32,563,058,715
USD Coin (known by its ticker USDC) is a stablecoin that is pegged to the U.S. dollar on a 1:1 basis. Every unit of this cryptocurrency in circulation is backed up by $1 that is held in reserve, in a mix of cash and short-term U.S. Treasury bonds. The stablecoin was originally launched on a limited basis in September 2018.