The popularity of cryptocurrencies has grown wildly over the past five years. It is getting to the point that 100 new cryptocurrencies are cropping up every single day. Are all of them worth it?
No. They aren’t.
And since many coins are basically shitcoins, you need to separate the weed from the chaff.
And by that, we mean finding the crypto-assets worthy of your attention.
So here we are, with our list of the 5 most popular cryptocurrencies that are worth your time, and money.
Bitcoin: The OG Cryptocurrency that still rules the blockchain scene
BTC was introduced to us as the first cryptocurrency. When it first came into the picture, people were mostly ignorant about blockchain, willing to give away 10,000 bitcoins to buy pizza.
However, now it stands as the most popular cryptocurrency on the planet, with the highest market cap and trading volume.
Bitcoin has grown so popular over the years that people have started to refer to cryptocurrency as Bitcoin. It uses blockchain technology to provide a secure P2P transaction over the internet. With a universal ledger, Bitcoin delivers advanced security.
After the 2020-20 crypto boom that turned many into millionaires (even billionaires), the bullish crypto crowd thinks of Bitcoin as digital gold – the best asset to fight inflation.
Despite these positive factors, Bitcoin is a highly volatile cryptocurrency. There was a 27% decline in Bitcoin’s value in 2022.
And, it has drawn the ire of many for slower transactions (3-7 minutes per transaction) and high transaction fees – which went to $62.788 in April 2021.
Bitcoin has been listed on multiple crypto trading platforms, such as Coinbase and eToro.
Ethereum: The Cryptocurrency introduced Dapps
Websites and the market trends rank Ethereum as the second most popular cryptocurrency. Other than Bitcoin, this is one cryptocurrency that has the interest of most top crypto investors.
However, its adoption rate compared to Bitcoin is still low because it is not a simple network developed for the transaction.
It is a platform for decentralized software development – allowing users to create everything from financial products to specialized games within the blockchain ecosystem.
Another factor that sets Ethereum apart are Smart Contracts.
A smart contract is a storehouse of simple programs that run after fulfilling some predetermined conditions. The addition of smart contracts has made blockchain appealing to several industries, including legal, real estate, and even educational institutions.
Ethereum also allows staking – letting crypto investors earn small but safe returns by holding their Ethereum coins.
The introduction of Ethereum came with some revolutionary ideas. However, the high transaction fees and low transaction speed negatively impacted the adoption rate of the ETH cryptocurrency. Cardano (ADA) emerged as a way to address these weaknesses in a big way.
Ada is a layer-two cryptocurrency that provides a hybrid financial experience to the customers. It is more scalable than crypto – maintaining high transaction speeds during congestion. It has allowed many to accept ADA as their entry into the DeFi space.
Another factor responsible for ADA’s popularity is its simple to use approach. Even without advanced engineering skills, you can create dapps on the platform. Cardano allows the staking of ADA coins on the Cardano platform and multiple cryptocurrency exchanges – such as eToro.
Cardano has drawn ire from critics despite so many positive points because of its lack of security and accountability. Critics cited the latter because of loss of rewards if the stake bool’s servers are unavailable.
Much like Cardano, Polkadot was also designed to address the shortfalls of the Ethereum blockchain. Its native cryptocurrency (DOT) makes cross-blockchain interaction possible. This cryptocurrency has had several bull runs since its launch and has a community behind it that’s ready to support it all the time.
The primary idea behind Polkadot was to enable communication between two blockchains – providing a new experience to users who wanted to check out the applicability of their tokens on more than one chain.
Like Ethereum, Polkadot focuses on the custom development of Dapps. However, unlike Ethereum, DOT focuses on staking and not mining.
That being said, cross-platform functionality is not without its drawbacks. The platform switching costs are high, and the cryptocurrency has many competitors.
Launched in May 2019, Chainlink is different from the other cryptocurrencies on this list. It is an application token that allows users to access the services of the Chainlink platform. The platform has gained huge traction during the past 3 years because of its ability to deliver real-world data from trusted sources and smart contracts of different blockchains.
Chainlink implements smart contracts so that it doesn’t have to depend on third party sources. It selects a source that can provide the right set of real-world data and creates an agreement. The source has to collect the real-world data and accumulate them in the smart contract as per the contract.
Chainlink then makes those smart contracts available to other blockchain networks. Because it is an application token designed to do one specific thing, there is not much innovation in the project.
The market is full of crypto assets that cover a variety of needs in this blockchain world. In this article, we have listed the most popular cryptocurrencies among them. However, be warned. Cryptocurrencies are volatile assets, with values changing with the whims of the community. And every now and then, you might see your investment vanishing into the ether.
Therefore, do proper research before investing. Because in the long run, you must know when to buy during bear periods and sell during bullish times.