Bitcoin gets all the headlines when people talk about cryptocurrencies, but there are literally thousands of other options when it comes to these digital currencies. In fact, cryptos that aren’t Bitcoin are usually considered an “also ran” – what are called “altcoins,” or alternatives to Bitcoin.
While Bitcoin may have been the first major cryptocurrency to hit the market – it debuted in 2009 – many others have become highly popular, even if not quite as large as the original.
Here are the largest cryptocurrencies by the total dollar value of the coins in existence, that is, the market capitalization, or market cap. (Data is from CoinMarketCap.com, as of Jan. 25, 2023.)
Market cap: $457 billion
As the harbinger of the cryptocurrency era, Bitcoin is still the coin people generally reference when they talk about digital currency. Its mysterious creator — allegedly Satoshi Nakamoto — debuted the currency in 2009 and it’s been on a roller-coaster ride since then. However, it wasn’t until 2017 that the cryptocurrency broke into popular consciousness.
Market cap: $199 billion
Ethereum — the name for the cryptocurrency platform — is the second name you’re most likely to recognize in the crypto space. The system allows you to use ether (the currency) to perform a number of functions, but the smart contract aspect of Ethereum helps make it a popular currency.
Market cap: $67 billion
Tether’s price is anchored at $1 per coin. That’s because it is what’s called a stablecoin. Stablecoins are tied to the value of a specific asset, in Tether’s case, the U.S. Dollar. Tether often acts as a medium when traders move from one cryptocurrency to another. Rather than move back to dollars, they use Tether. However, some people are concerned that Tether isn’t safely backed by dollars held in reserve but instead uses a short-term form of unsecured debt.
Market cap: $49 billion
BNB is the cryptocurrency issued by Binance, among the largest crypto exchanges in the world. While originally created as a token to pay for discounted trades, Binance Coin can now be used for payments as well as purchasing various goods and services.
Market cap: $44 billion
Like Tether, USD Coin is a stablecoin pegged to the dollar, meaning that its value should not fluctuate. The currency’s founders say that it’s backed by fully reserved assets or those with “equivalent fair value” and those assets are held in accounts with regulated U.S. institutions.
Market cap: $22 billion
Formerly known as Ripple and created in 2012, XRP offers a way to pay in many different real-world currencies. Ripple can be useful in cross-border transactions and uses a trust-less mechanism to facilitate payments.
Market cap: $15 billion
Binance USD is a dollar-backed stablecoin from top crypto exchange Binance in partnership with Paxos. Binance USD was launched in 2019 and is regulated by the New York Department of Financial Services. BUSD runs on top of the Ethereum blockchain.
Market cap: $13 billion
Cardano is the cryptocurrency platform behind ada, the name of the currency. Created by the co-founder of Ethereum, Cardano also uses smart contracts, enabling identity management.
Market cap: $12 billion
Originally created as a joke after the run-up in Bitcoin, Dogecoin takes its name from an internet meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog. Unlike many digital currencies limiting the number of coins in existence, Dogecoin has unlimited issuance. It can be used for payments or sending money.
Market cap: $9 billion
Launched in March 2020, Solana is a newer cryptocurrency and it touts its speed at completing transactions and the overall robustness of its “web-scale” platform. The issuance of the currency, called SOL, is capped at 480 million coins.
Market cap: $9 billion
Polygon is a cryptocurrency that focuses on being accessible to those creating digital apps and scales up the Ethereum cryptocurrency. It was previously known as Matic and was formed in 2017, though switched its name to Polygon in 2021.
Market cap: $7 billion
Launched in May 2020, Polkadot is a digital currency that connects the technology of blockchain from many different cryptocurrencies. A co-founder of Ethereum is one of Polkadot’s inventors, and some industry watchers believe Polkadot is looking to dethrone Ethereum.
The cryptocurrency market is a Wild West (although the U.S. government is set to take a more active role in overseeing the crypto space), so those speculating in these digital assets should not put in more money than they can afford to lose. Crypto assets faced downward pressure for much of 2022 and trading has remained volatile at the start of 2023. It’s also important to note that individual investors often trade against highly sophisticated players, making it a fraught experience for novices.
Editorial Disclaimer: All investors are advised to conduct their own independent research into investment strategies before making an investment decision. In addition, investors are advised that past investment product performance is no guarantee of future price appreciation.
Bitcoin and Ethereum fell in Wednesday afternoon trading in Asia, as Solana and Cardano led losses among the other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN), one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, reached a peak valuation of nearly $77 billion on Nov. 9, 2021. It lost 85% of its value as rising interest rates, regulatory threats, and the failures of several high-profile tokens and exchanges crushed the cryptocurrency market. Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) and Ether (CRYPTO: ETH), the world's two largest cryptocurrencies, have both lost nearly 70% of their value after reaching their own all-time highs at roughly the same time as Coinbase's stock.
Having rallied 30% in two weeks, Bitcoin is taking a pause. But a busy few days of macroeconomic news could usher in more volatility.
Why dive right into the deep and complicated end of the crypto market? These three popular and well-known cryptocurrencies are easy to use and understand.
Shiba Inu is already up more than 40% for the year, and some investors think there might be more to come.
Insolvent crypto lender Celsius is reportedly mulling the launch of a new digital token as part of a plan to compensate its creditors.
With discretionary spending under pressure, investors are shying away from this Canadian cannabis stock today.
If you want your portfolio to cut you a consistent check to use as passive income every quarter from here on out, you'll need to load up on high-quality dividend stocks that'll stand the test of time. Here are two superb companies that passive income investors should consider. As a generic-drug manufacturer, Viatris (NASDAQ: VTRS) is a company that could become a dividend investor's go-to stock.
Unlike FTX, which is a centralized exchange, Uniswap is a decentralized exchange. Instead, you keep your funds in a digital blockchain wallet that only you control. Uniswap faces plenty of competition, but it remains the biggest decentralized exchange in the world by trading volume.
The new year brings renewed motivation, a fresh set of resolutions and all the documents you'll need to file your returns for last year's taxes. Few people look forward to settling up with the IRS,…
Chiron Investigations Crypto Recovery Solutions exposes Revolutionary System for Recovering Stolen Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin broke the US$23,000 resistance line in Tuesday afternoon trading in Asia, with most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies by market capitalization also higher.
India and Egypt agreed Wednesday to boost trade between their countries during a visit by the Egyptian president that underscores Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to fortify ties with other emerging economies. Modi and President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi agreed on measures to increase two-way trade within five years to $12 billion. Modi and El-Sissi expressed concern over disruptions to food supplies and other critical resources due to the war in Ukraine.
The latest price moves in bitcoin (BTC) and crypto markets in context for Jan. 25, 2023. First Mover is CoinDesk’s daily newsletter that contextualizes the latest actions in the crypto markets.
Yahoo Finance's Jared Blikre breaks down fourth-quarter earnings for Tesla.
Yahoo Finance’s Seana Smith and Dave Briggs break down why Shopify stock is soaring, Boeing's quarterly loss, and why investors are cheering AT&T stock following the company’s latest earnings report.
If the sky-high forward dividend yield of 8.6% is making you consider a purchase of Medical Properties Trust (NYSE: MPW) stock, you aren't alone. The future of this hospital real estate business seems quite certain; it'll keep doing what has worked in the past, namely buying and then renting out healthcare spaces.
Yahoo Finance's Dave Briggs breaks down why Chevron stock is moving higher in extended trading hours.
Yahoo Finance’s Ines Ferre breaks down fourth-quarter earnings for IBM.
The Biden administration is poised to send a significant number of Abrams M1 tanks to Ukraine, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Get detailed training system that shows an absolute beginner (without any skill) how to make huge profits in a short time with crypto.
The #1 course for profit in the Crypto & NFT world - You will discover the secrets that 99% of people don’t know yet