Starting from Bitcoin and Ether to Dogecoin and Tether, there are several thousand different cryptocurrencies and it can be overwhelming when you first start in the cryptocurrency world. To help orient you, these are the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on their market capitalization or the total value of all coins now in circulation.
What are cryptocurrencies?
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset that can be circulated without centralized management by a bank or government. To this day, there are 23,080 cryptocurrency projects, representing the entire $1 trillion cryptocurrency market.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin (BTC) was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 and is the original cryptocurrency. Like most cryptocurrencies, BTC operates on a blockchain, which is a ledger of recorded transactions distributed across a network of thousands of computers. Because additions to the distributed ledger must be verified by solving a cryptographic puzzle, a process known as proof of work, Bitcoin is safe from fraud.
Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed as it has become a household name. In May 2016, you could buy a bitcoin for about $500. As of March 28, 2023, the price of a bitcoin is about $26,886. That’s an increase of 5,277%.
- Ether (ETH)
Ether is both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, and it 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 non-forgeable tokens (NFTs).
Ether has also experienced tremendous growth. From April 2016 to the end of March 2023, its price increased by 15,659% from around $11 to $1,734.
- Tether (USDT)
In contrast to some other forms of cryptocurrency, Tether (USDT) is a stablecoin, which means it is backed by fiat currencies like the U.S. dollar and the euro and is assumed to maintain a value equivalent to one of these denominations. In theory, this means that Tether’s value should be more stable than other cryptocurrencies, and it is favored by investors who are wary of the extreme volatility of other coins.
- Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin (BNB) is a cryptocurrency that you can use to trade and pay fees on Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Since its launch in 2017, Binance Coin has expanded to more than just facilitating transactions on the Binance exchange platform. It can now be used for trading, payment processing, and booking travel arrangements. It can also be traded or exchanged for other forms of cryptocurrency, such as Ether or Bitcoin.
The price of BNB was only $0.10 in 2017. By the end of March 2023, its price had risen to around $310, an increase of 30,991,917%.
- United States Dollar Coin (USDC)
Like Tether, the US Dollar Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin, which means it is backed by US dollars and targets a ratio of $1 to $1 coins. USDC is powered by Ether and you can use USDC to complete global transactions.
- XRP (XRP)
Founded by some of the same founders as Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing company, XRP can be used on that network to facilitate the exchange of different types of currencies, including fiat currencies and other major cryptocurrencies.
In early 2017, XRP was priced at $0.006. As of March 28, 2023, its price reached $0.50, which corresponds to an increase of 8,165%.
- Cardano (ADA)
A late entrant into the cryptocurrency space, Cardano (ADA) has gained attention for its early embrace of proof-of-stake verification. This approach speeds up transaction times and reduces energy use and environmental impact by eliminating the competing, problem-solving aspects of transaction validation in platforms like Bitcoin. Cardano also enables smart contracts and decentralized applications like Ethereum, powered by its native coin ADA.
The growth of Cardano’s ADA token is relatively modest compared to other major cryptocurrencies. in 2017, ADA was priced at $0.02. As of March 28, 2023, its price is $0.35. This is an increase of 1,663%.
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin became known as a joke in 2013 but quickly grew into a prominent cryptocurrency thanks to a dedicated community and creative memes. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, there is no limit to the number of Dogecoins that can be created, which makes the currency vulnerable to depreciation as supply increases.
The price of Dogecoin in 2017 was $0.0002. By March 2023, its price was $0.07, an increase of 36055%.
- Polygon (MATIC)
Founded in 2017 and formerly known as Matic Network, Polygon is a relatively popular cryptocurrency. It has been jokingly called the “blockchain internet of Ethereum.” Perhaps that’s why MATIC supports over 7,000 decentralized applications (dApps).
Polygon has also experienced tremendous growth since its initial launch. the initial price of MATIC when it was first launched was $0.00263. Today MATIC is trading at $1.05, an increase of 39,969%.
- Binance USD (BUSD)
Binance USD (BUSD) is a stablecoin created by Paxos and Binance to create a cryptocurrency backed by the US dollar. To maintain this value, Paxos holds several dollars equal to the total supply of BUSD. Like other stablecoins, BUSD gives traders and cryptocurrency users the ability to trade with other cryptocurrency assets while minimizing the risk of volatility.
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