It is fairly straightforward to seek out out what the highest cryptocurrency is at any given time: primarily, it is Bitcoin. Nonetheless, the market strikes so shortly that it is loads tougher to maintain up with what’s taking place.
That is as a result of whereas everyone knows about Bitcoin and the way wealthy we’d be at the moment if we’d invested in it 10 years in the past, there are lots of, if not hundreds, or different cryptocurrencies. Many are different — supposedly improved — variations of Bitcoin, however others, like Ethereum, Cardano and Chainlink, are rather more than only a foreign money. After which there’s Dogecoin, which began off as a joke however is now one of the vital useful cryptocurrencies of all, in addition to “memecoins” reminiscent of Shiba Inu coin.
Whether or not you are considering of investing or are simply intrigued by this new monetary world, it is nicely price discovering out what the highest cryptocurrency performers are. And in contrast to 10 years in the past, we now know that it’s a legit asset, as massive banks, funds, and thousands and thousands of people embrace crypto of their funding portfolios.
Newest cryptocurrency information (up to date Might 16)
- The crypto market is recovering after a turbulent few of days sparked by Elon Musk’s tweet that Tesla would not settle for Bitcoin as fee as a consequence of issues over its environmental influence.
- Bitcoin has dropped from $59,000 to $49,000 as of this writing, down about 15% for the week.
- The Binance trade is reportedly beneath investigation by U.S. companies. In response to Bloomberg, the U.S. DoJ and IRS are probing it in relation to a number of offenses.
- An Elon Musk tweet stating that he was “Working with Doge devs to enhance system transaction effectivity. Doubtlessly promising” despatched Dogecoin hovering. It’s now at $0.53, up about 10% within the final week having beforehand suffered an enormous drop final Saturday (Might 8).
What’s the high cryptocurrency by worth?
So, which is the highest cryptocurrency proper now? One method is to have a look at market capitalization — primarily the overall greenback worth of an organization’s shares of inventory. And in that regard, it is arduous to see past Bitcoin and Ethereum, which have sizable leads over their respective competitors.
You may also take a look at the worth of a person cryptocurrency share, or coin, which is helpful for figuring out how nicely (or in any other case) a crypto is performing, nevertheless it does not all the time inform the complete story. So we’re sticking with market cap for this information to the highest cryptocurrency performers proper now.
That mentioned, most of the different crypto initiatives listed beneath are tremendous fascinating and definitely price wanting additional into. And with new cryptocurrencies reminiscent of SafeMoon and Chia arising seemingly every single day, we’ll be updating this high cryptocurrency listing often.
Editors’ Notice: This roundup doesn’t represent funding recommendation and you ought to be conscious that purchasing cryptocurrency, like every funding, entails threat. The truth is, cryptocurrency is in some methods extra of a threat than different investments, because of the large rises and falls within the worth of even the highest cryptocurrencies. We might advocate by no means spending greater than you’ll be able to afford to lose.
With that caveat in thoughts, listed here are all the highest cryptocurrencies (by market cap as of Might 16) and the tales behind them.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin market cap: $923 billion
Bitcoin worth: $49,300
The Bitcoin story: Bitcoin has been round since 2008 and is the blue chip cryptocurrency. It has, by far, the most important market cap, the very best coin worth, and the most important community of customers.
Bitcoin was created by an unknown particular person or group who goes by the identify of Satoshi Nakamoto. It was purported to be the money of the longer term, and though you should utilize it at the moment to buy many items and companies, you wouldn’t use it to purchase a cup of espresso as a result of the price of the transaction can be too excessive.
Consider Bitcoin as an alternative just like the gold of the longer term: probably not helpful for day by day transactions, however you need to have some for its saved worth. It’s additionally like gold in that it has a restricted provide, which is without doubt one of the issues that makes Bitcoin so enticing to buyers: a complete of 21 million Bitcoins will ever be launched, which makes Bitcoin inflation-proof.
Bitcoin efficiency historical past: Like all cryptos, Bitcoin began out price just about nothing. In 2017 it took off from beneath $1,000 to over $20,000, however inside a 12 months was down round $4,000. In late 2020 it started skyrocketing once more, this time from round $10,000 to a excessive of greater than $60,000, earlier than dropping steeply this week. It is at the moment within the $49,000 vary.
Learn how to purchase Bitcoin: Bitcoin could be bought on crypto exchanges reminiscent of Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken; at Bitcoin ATMs; on PayPal; and on Robinhood. Don’t be postpone by the excessive value of a coin: you’ll be able to make investments as little as $25 in Bitcoin on Coinbase.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum market cap: $442 billion
Ether worth: $3,821
The Ethereum story: If there’s one other contender for the highest cryptocurrency title, it is Ethereum. Nevertheless it doesn’t compete with Bitcoin. It’s essential to notice that many so-called cryptocurrencies aren’t straight-up currencies like Bitcoin. Some, like Ethereum, are as an alternative distinctive applied sciences that even have a coin element. In Ethereum’s case, its foreign money is known as Ether, and it may be utilized in purposes run on the Ethereum platform.
Ethereum is the chief in what’s generally known as these “sensible contract” platforms. Whereas Bitcoin was created for one use case — as a foreign money — Ethereum was based by Vitalik Buterin in 2015 with greater and broader ambitions. The blockchain it runs on is programmable, that means it may run packages, or apps, in a decentralized manner, i.e., on thousands and thousands of computer systems without delay. This opens up many attainable use circumstances, from expertise and finance to gaming and collectibles, making Ethereum a beautiful funding.
Ethereum efficiency historical past: Previously 12 months, Ethereum’s value has shot up from round $200 to nicely over $3,000. The truth is, it not too long ago handed $4,000 for the primary time in early Might and reached an all-time excessive of greater than $4,350 not too long ago earlier than dipping.
Learn how to purchase Ethereum: You should purchase ETH on the foremost crypto exchanges, Robinhood, and PayPal.
3. BinanceCoin (BNB)
BinanceCoin market cap: $92.2 billion
BinanceCoin worth: $600
The BinanceCoin story: BinanceCoin was launched in 2017 by the Binance cryptocurrency trade, the world’s largest crytpo trade by quantity. Throughout its preliminary coin providing (ICO), it bought 100 million cash to the general public at $0.15 per coin. BinanceCoin can be utilized to pay transaction charges on the Binance trade, to commerce for different cryptocurrencies, and to pay for some items and companies. Each quarter, Binance makes use of 20% of its income to purchase again and destroy BinanceCoins. This may proceed till Binance buys again and destroys 50% of the overall provide, making its coin scarcer and due to this fact extra useful.
BinanceCoin efficiency historical past: Since launching in 2017, BinanceCoin has made a protracted, sluggish climb to about $60 a coin, earlier than capturing upwards in February 2021. As of at the moment (Sunday, Might 16) it was buying and selling within the $600 vary.
Learn how to purchase BinanceCoin: The very best place to purchase, promote, commerce, and maintain BinanceCoin is… Binance!
4. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano market cap: $77 billion
Cardano worth: $2.41
The Cardano story: Cardano, based in 2017, is one other Ethereum-like contender for the highest cryptocurrency crown: a blockchain platform that helps purposes, techniques, and real-life enterprise use circumstances. It’s a promising expertise however, like all of the others, has a whole lot of catching as much as do with Ethereum when it comes to its community measurement.
What makes Cardano distinctive is that it’s the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first pushed method. The event group consists of a giant world collective of skilled engineers and researchers, and the platform was constructed by way of peer-reviewed analysis.
Cardano efficiency historical past: Cardano was cruising alongside at about $0.10 from its founding in 2017 till early 2021, when it jumped to nicely over a greenback and was not too long ago buying and selling at nicely over $2. Cardano has weathered the current crypto market issues higher than most, as a consequence of being one of many extra environmentally pleasant cryptocurrency choices.
Learn how to purchase Cardano: Cardano could be bought on Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and plenty of different crypto exchanges.
5. Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin market cap: $68.7 billion
Dogecoin worth: $0.53
The Dogecoin story: Dogecoin payments itself as “the enjoyable and pleasant web foreign money.” Launched in 2013 by software program builders Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer as a satire of Bitcoin and the exploding reputation of crypto, it’s principally a Bitcoin clone with a cute canine meme for a mascot.
Dogecoin has no actual use (although some folks use it to present small recommendations on social media), nevertheless it’s developed a rising fanbase that’s boosted the worth of a Dogecoin from lower than a penny a couple of months in the past to about $0.50 at the moment, making it one of many high cryptocurrency performers by market cap if nothing else. Dogecoin additionally began what’s now generally known as the “memecoin” house. Should you’re on the lookout for the subsequent massive memecoin, it might be SafeMoon, which launched in March 2021 and already has over one million customers. SafeMoon encourages buyers to purchase and maintain by imposing a ten% charge on anybody who sells their tokens.
Dogecoin efficiency historical past: In early 2021, Dogecoin crossed the $0.05 threshold for the primary time, then went to the moon in April, not too long ago buying and selling at an all-time excessive of $0.70. It dropped to beneath $0.45 following Elon Musk’s look on Saturday Night time Stay, then rallied barely, then plunged once more, then jumped again. It has been fairly the trip. It at the moment stands at round $0.53, however who is aware of the place will probably be tomorrow…
Learn how to purchase Dogecoin: You should purchase Dogecoin on Robinhood and most of the main crypto trade like Binance and Kraken, nevertheless it’s not out there on Coinbase.
6. Tether (USDT)
Tether market cap: $58.3 billion
Tether worth: $1
The Tether story: Tether is exclusive among the many choices in our high cryptocurrency listing: it is the chief within the class of cryptocurrency generally known as “steady cash.” Why steady? As a result of they’re pegged to a conventional foreign money, on this case the US greenback.
For buyers, these tokens provide the joint advantages of open blockchain expertise and conventional foreign money. Tether was launched in 2015 and operates on the Ethereum platform. USD Coin is one other steady coin, and plenty of crypto people assume it’s a safer guess than Tether, citing a better transparency.
Tether efficiency historical past: One Tether token = one USD. At all times has, all the time will.
Learn how to purchase Tether: Purchase, promote, and use Tether tokens at Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and different main crypto exchanges.
7. XRP/Ripple (XRP)
XRP/Ripple market cap: $54.8 billion
XRP worth: $1.56
The XRP/Ripple story: XRP’s declare to fame is that it is the quickest digital asset, enabling close to real-time world funds anyplace on the earth. As such, some fee suppliers use XRP to increase their attain, decrease overseas trade prices, and settle funds extra shortly.
XRP was launched in 2012 by a trio of builders, who then created a personal firm referred to as OpenCoin, now referred to as Ripple Labs, and gifted it 80 billion XRP. That is what makes XRP distinctive — it’s, primarily, a for-profit platform, not like virtually each different crypto venture on the earth.
Purchaser beware: in late 2020, the US Securities and Change Fee filed swimsuit in opposition to Ripple and its two cofounders, claiming they raised over $1.3 billion by way of an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities providing (aka XRP). The lawsuit remains to be unsettled.
XRP efficiency historical past: Except for a blip of a spike in December 2017-January 2018, XRP didn’t crack the $0.60 threshold till 2020. As of Might 16, 2021, it was buying and selling at $1.56.
Learn how to purchase XRP: The best method to buy XRP is on one of many massive crypto exchanges reminiscent of Coinbase, Binance, or Kraken.
8. Polkadot (DOT)
Polkadot market cap: $42.9 billion
Polkadot worth: $45.5
The Polkadot story: Numerous the highest cryptocurrency initiatives have lofty objectives, however Polkadot’s is without doubt one of the loftiest: to “allow a very decentralized net the place customers are in management.” Launched in 2020, Polkadot is the flagship venture of the Swiss Web3 basis. If Net 1.0 was commerce, and Net 2.0 was social, consider Web3 as decentralization. Polkadot’s expertise stitches collectively totally different blockchains, enabling them to trade data and transactions and function collectively seamlessly.
Polkadot efficiency historical past: This crypto was buying and selling at a couple of nickel till late 2020, when it took off (cease us in the event you’ve heard this one earlier than) and was not too long ago buying and selling at $45.
Learn how to purchase Polkadot: Purchase Polkadot on main crypto exchanges reminiscent of Coinbase, Binance and Kraken.
9. Web Laptop (ICP)
Web Laptop market cap: $31.2 billion
Web Laptop worth: $254
The Web Laptop story: Web Laptop solely formally launched on Might 10, 2021, nevertheless it instantly jumped into the High 10 listing of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap. And that is no shock, as a result of Web Laptop, or ICP, is an enormous deal. In response to CoinMarketCap, it is “the world’s first blockchain that runs at net velocity with unbounded capability” and in addition “the third main blockchain innovation, alongside Bitcoin and Ethereum.”
Daring claims, certainly, however ICP — which was created by tech startup Dfinity — is an bold venture that seeks nothing lower than the reinvention of the web. Round 469 million ICP tokens had been issued on its launch, of which roughly 26% are anticipated to be in circulation.
Web Laptop efficiency historical past: ICP loved a stellar launch on the open market, leaping from $0 to $488 in a day. It then fell again sharply and is at the moment buying and selling at round $250.
Learn how to purchase Web Laptop: ICP is already out there on Coinbase and is anticipated to come back to Binance and different crypto exchanges quickly.
10. Bitcoin Money (BCH)
Bitcoin Money market cap: $23.6 billion
Bitcoin Money worth: $1,250
The Bitcoin Money story: Do not be confused by the identify, as a result of Bitcoin Money is a very totally different cryptocurrency to Bitcoin. That mentioned, it does owe its existence to the market chief, in that it was created by a gaggle of builders intent on bringing down the price of Bitcoin transactions. An additional cut up then resulted within the creation of Bitcoin SV.
Bitcoin Money efficiency historical past: Bitcoin Money has a whole lot of catching as much as do to Bitcoin when it comes to the dimensions of its community. After reaching a excessive of practically $4,000 again in 2018, it then dropped significantly and settled to round $300-400 for the subsequent couple of years. A giant soar in current weeks has seen it climb again to greater than $1,500, though it is at the moment at round $1,250.
Learn how to purchase Bitcoin Money: You should purchase Bitcoin Money on main crypto exchanges reminiscent of Coinbase, Binance and Kraken.
11. Uniswap (UNI)
Uniswap market cap: $21.7 billion
Uniswap worth: $38
The Uniswap story: Most cryptocurrency buying and selling takes place on centralized exchanges reminiscent of Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken. Uniswap, launched in 2018, is a decentralized crytpo trade that runs on the Ethereum platform — transaction charges have to be paid for in ETH.
The Uniswap app can swap all several types of tokens however doesn’t hook up with the standard monetary community, that means you’ll be able to’t convert to USD or Euro or different fiat currencies. (Although you’ll be able to convert to some stablecoins — see Tether above.) Uniswap additionally has its personal “governance token”: in the event you personal this token, you have got a proper to vote on the path of the venture’s improvement. Uniswap not too long ago handed Coinbase in buying and selling quantity, and plenty of crypto followers assume it might be the way forward for all exchanges.
Uniswap efficiency historical past: Launched in 2018, Uniswap hit a excessive of $42 in late April 2021. It is at the moment buying and selling at round $38.
Learn how to purchase Uniswap: Purchase Uniswap on main crypto exchanges reminiscent of Coinbase, Binance and Kraken.
12. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin market cap: $21.4 billion
Litecoin worth: $318
The Litecoin story: Litecoin, created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, is without doubt one of the earliest Bitcoin clones, aka “altcoins,” and is a well-established crypto. It was developed with a deal with velocity, effectivity, and wider preliminary coin distribution than Bitcoin. For instance, Litecoin transactions are confirmed each two and a half minutes, which is 4 occasions extra regularly than Bitcoin transactions. One other distinction: Litecoin has a provide cap of 84 million cash, precisely 4 occasions Bitcoin’s — that is what makes many buyers consider Litecoin because the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.
Litecoin efficiency historical past: Litecoin spiked briefly over $300 in late 2017 earlier than dipping as little as $25 in 2019. In late 2020, it started one other ascent and not too long ago handed the $400 mark for the primary time, though it is since dropped again to about $315.
Learn how to purchase Litecoin: Litecoin could be bought on any main crypto trade, in addition to on Robinhood and PayPal.
13. Chainlink (LINK)
Chainlink market cap: $18.8 billion
Chainlink worth: $43
The Chainlink story: Like Ethereum, Chainlink is much less a single cryptocurrency however somewhat a expertise that helps underpin your entire crypto construction. Primarily — and that is essentially a really stripped-back rationalization — it is a community that allows blockchains to work together with one another and with non-blockchain applied sciences. You’ll be able to learn extra about the way it works right here. Chainlink additionally has its personal foreign money, referred to as LINK tokens, of which 1 billion had been issued. A complete of 35% of those had been issued to Node Operators, one other 35% had been bought to the general public and the corporate retains the remaining 30%.
Chainlink efficiency historical past: LINK grew steadily from being price lower than a greenback initially to round $12 on the finish of 2020. It is soared in 2021 and is price round $43 as of Might 16.
Learn how to purchase Chainlink: Purchase Chainlink on main crypto exchanges reminiscent of Coinbase and Binance.
Jonathan Lesser didn’t purchase any Bitcoin 10 years in the past. He not too long ago purchased some Dogecoin for the children.