There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, ranging from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, which might be confusing when you’re just getting started in crypto. To help you get started, these are the top ten cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalization or the total value of all coins currently in circulation.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Market cap: $880 billion
Bitcoin (BTC) is the initial cryptocurrency created in 2009 by someone using Satoshi Nakamoto’s pseudonym. BTC, like most cryptocurrencies, is based on a blockchain, which is a ledger that records transactions over a network of thousands of computers.
Bitcoin is maintained secure and safe from fraudsters because updates to distributed ledgers must be confirmed by solving a cryptographic problem, a process known as proof of work.
As Bitcoin has become a household brand, its price has risen. In May 2016, a Bitcoin could be purchased for around $500. A single Bitcoin was worth more than $46,300 on April 1, 2022. That’s a more than 9,000% increase.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Market cap: $415 billion
Ethereum is a favourite of programmers because of its potential applications, such as smart contracts that run automatically when conditions are satisfied and non-fungible tokens. Ethereum is both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform (NFTs).
Ethereum has also exploded in popularity. Its price increased by more than 31,000 percent from April 2016 to the beginning of April 2022, from around $11 to over $3,450.
3. Tether (USDT)
Market cap: Over $79 billion
Unlike some other types of cryptocurrency, Tether is a stable coin. It is backed by fiat currencies such as U.S. dollars and the Euro and theoretically maintains a value equal to one of those denominations. In theory, this means Tether’s value should be more consistent than other cryptocurrencies, and it’s preferred by investors who are wary of other coins’ extreme volatility.
4. Binance Coin (BNB)
Market cap: Over $68 billion
The Binance Coin is a type of cryptocurrency that can trade and pay fees on Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance Coin has grown beyond simply facilitating trades on Binance’s exchange platform since its inception in 2017.
It is now possible to use it for trading, payment processing, and even booking travel arrangements. It can also be traded or exchanged for other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum or Bitcoin. In 2017, the price of BNB was only $0.10. Its price had risen to around $445 by the beginning of April 2022, a gain of approximately 445,000 percent.
5. U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC)
Market cap: Over $53 billion
USD Coin (USDC), like Tether, is a stable coin, which means it is backed by U.S. dollars and aims for a 1 USD to 1 USDC ratio. Ethereum powers USDC, and you can use USD Coin to make international payments.
6. Solana (SOL)
Market cap: $44.5 billion
Solana, which was created to power decentralised finance (DeFi) applications, decentralised apps (DApps), and smart contracts, is based on a unique hybrid proof-of-stake and the proof-of-history mechanism that allows it to process transactions quickly and securely. SOL, Solana’s native token, powers the platform.
SOL’s price when it first launched in 2020 was $0.77. By April 1, 2022, its value had risen to around $136, a gain of more than 17,500%.
7. XRP (XRP)
Market cap: $40 billion
XRP, founded by some of the same individuals as Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing company, can be used on that network to facilitate exchanges of various currency types, including fiat currencies and other major cryptocurrencies.
The price of XRP at the start of 2017 was $0.006. Its price reached $0.83 in April 2022, representing a 13,700 percent gain.