It is fairly straightforward to seek out out what the highest cryptocurrency is at any given time: basically, it is Bitcoin. Nonetheless, the market strikes so rapidly that it is so much more durable 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 a whole lot, if not 1000’s, or different cryptocurrencies. Many are various — 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 probably the most beneficial cryptocurrencies of all, in addition to “memecoins” resembling Shiba Inu coin.
Whether or not you are pondering 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 huge banks, funds, and thousands and thousands of people embody crypto of their funding portfolios.
Newest cryptocurrency information (up to date Might 17)
What’s the high cryptocurrency by worth?
So, which is the highest cryptocurrency proper now? One strategy is to take a look at market capitalization — basically the entire greenback worth of an organization’s shares of inventory. And in that regard, it is onerous to see past Bitcoin and Ethereum, which have sizable leads over their respective competitors.
You can too take a look at the worth of a person cryptocurrency share, or coin, which is beneficial for realizing how nicely (or in any other case) a crypto is performing, but it surely would not at all times inform the total story. So we’re sticking with market cap for this information to the highest cryptocurrency performers proper now.
That mentioned, lots of the different crypto tasks listed under are tremendous attention-grabbing and definitely price wanting additional into. And with new cryptocurrencies resembling SafeMoon and Chia bobbing up seemingly day-after-day, we’ll be updating this high cryptocurrency checklist usually.
Editors’ Be aware: This roundup doesn’t represent funding recommendation and you have to be conscious that purchasing cryptocurrency, like all funding, entails danger. In reality, cryptocurrency is in some methods extra of a danger than different investments, because of the large rises and falls within the worth of even the highest cryptocurrencies. We might suggest by no means spending greater than you may afford to lose.
With that caveat in thoughts, listed below are all the highest cryptocurrencies (by market cap as of Might 17) and the tales behind them.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin market cap: $822 billion
Bitcoin worth: $43,912
The Bitcoin story: Bitcoin has been round since 2008 and is the blue chip cryptocurrency. It has, by far, the biggest market cap, the very best coin worth, and the biggest community of customers.
Bitcoin was created by an unknown individual 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 use 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: not likely helpful for each day transactions, however you wish to have some for its saved worth. It’s additionally like gold in that it has a restricted provide, which is likely one of the issues that makes Bitcoin so enticing to traders: 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 below $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 final week, principally because of varied Elon Musk tweets. One other one, which implied Tesla had offered its Bitcoin holding (he later clarified it hadn’t), triggered an extra drop late on Sunday to a three-month low of $42,400. It is at present buying and selling at $43,913 as of three.16 p.m. E.T Monday (Might 17).
The right way to purchase Bitcoin: Bitcoin may be bought on crypto exchanges resembling Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken; at Bitcoin ATMs; on PayPal; and on Robinhood. Don’t be postpone by the excessive value of a coin: you may make investments as little as $25 in Bitcoin on Coinbase.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum market cap: $363 billion
Ether worth: $3,200
The Ethereum story: If there’s one other contender for the highest cryptocurrency title, it is Ethereum. But it surely doesn’t compete with Bitcoin. It’s necessary 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 known as Ether, and it may be utilized in purposes run on the Ethereum platform.
Ethereum is the chief in what’s referred to as these “good 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, which means it will possibly run applications, or apps, in a decentralized approach, i.e., on thousands and thousands of computer systems directly. This opens up many potential use circumstances, from know-how and finance to gaming and collectibles, making Ethereum a sexy funding.
Ethereum efficiency historical past: Previously 12 months, Ethereum’s value has shot up from round $200 to nicely over $3,000. In reality, it just lately handed $4,000 for the primary time in early Might and reached an all-time excessive of greater than $4,350 just lately earlier than dipping again to round $3,200.
The right way to purchase Ethereum: You should buy ETH on the key crypto exchanges, Robinhood, and PayPal.
3. BinanceCoin (BNB)
BinanceCoin market cap: $75.6 billion
BinanceCoin worth: $500
The BinanceCoin story: BinanceCoin was launched in 2017 by the Binance cryptocurrency change, the world’s largest crytpo change by quantity. Throughout its preliminary coin providing (ICO), it offered 100 million cash to the general public at $0.15 per coin. BinanceCoin can be utilized to pay transaction charges on the Binance change, to commerce for different cryptocurrencies, and to pay for some items and companies. Each quarter, Binance makes use of 20% of its earnings to purchase again and destroy BinanceCoins. This may proceed till Binance buys again and destroys 50% of the entire provide, making its coin scarcer and due to this fact extra beneficial.
BinanceCoin efficiency historical past: Since launching in 2017, BinanceCoin has made a protracted, gradual climb to about $60 a coin, earlier than capturing upwards in February 2021. As of at the moment (Monday, Might 17) it was buying and selling within the $500 vary.
The right way to purchase BinanceCoin: The most effective place to purchase, promote, commerce, and maintain BinanceCoin is… Binance!
4. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano market cap: $61.8 billion
Cardano worth: $1.98
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 know-how however, like all of the others, has quite a lot of catching as much as do with Ethereum when it comes to its community dimension.
What makes Cardano distinctive is that it’s the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first pushed strategy. The event workforce consists of a giant international collective of knowledgeable engineers and researchers, and the platform was constructed by means 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 just lately buying and selling at round $2. Cardano has weathered the current crypto market issues higher than most, because of being one of many extra environmentally friendly cryptocurrency options.
The right way to purchase Cardano: Cardano may be bought on Coinbase, Binance, Kraken, and lots of different crypto exchanges.
5. Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin market cap: $61.2 billion
Dogecoin worth: $0.47
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 recognition of crypto, it’s principally a Bitcoin clone with a cute canine meme for a mascot.
Dogecoin has no actual use (although some individuals use it to provide small recommendations on social media), but it surely’s developed a rising fanbase that’s boosted the worth of a Dogecoin from lower than a penny just a few 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 referred to as the “memecoin” house. When you’re searching for the following huge memecoin, it could possibly be SafeMoon, which launched in March 2021 and already has over 1,000,000 customers. SafeMoon encourages traders 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, just lately buying and selling at an all-time excessive of $0.70. It dropped to below $0.45 following Elon Musk’s look on Saturday Evening Reside, then rallied barely, then plunged once more, then jumped again. It has been fairly the journey. It at present stands at round $0.47, however who is aware of the place will probably be tomorrow…
The right way to purchase Dogecoin: You should buy Dogecoin on Robinhood and lots of the main crypto change like Binance and Kraken, but it surely’s not out there on Coinbase.
6. Tether (USDT)
Tether market cap: $58.1 billion
Tether worth: $1
The Tether story: Tether is exclusive among the many choices in our high cryptocurrency checklist: it is the chief within the class of cryptocurrency referred to as “secure cash.” Why secure? As a result of they’re pegged to a standard foreign money, on this case the US greenback.
For traders, these tokens provide the joint advantages of open blockchain know-how and conventional foreign money. Tether was launched in 2015 and operates on the Ethereum platform. USD Coin is one other secure coin, and lots of crypto of us assume it’s a safer guess than Tether, citing a larger transparency.
Tether efficiency historical past: One Tether token = one USD. At all times has, at all times will.
The right way 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: $51.1 billion
XRP worth: $1.49
The XRP/Ripple story: XRP’s declare to fame is that it is the quickest digital asset, enabling close to real-time international funds anyplace on this planet. As such, some fee suppliers use XRP to broaden their attain, decrease international change prices, and settle funds extra rapidly.
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, basically, a for-profit platform, not like virtually each different crypto challenge on this planet.
Purchaser beware: in late 2020, the US Securities and Trade Fee filed swimsuit in opposition to Ripple and its two cofounders, claiming they raised over $1.3 billion by means of an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities providing (aka XRP). The lawsuit remains to be unsettled.
XRP efficiency historical past: Apart from a blip of a spike in December 2017-January 2018, XRP didn’t crack the $0.60 threshold till 2020. As of Might 17, 2021, it was buying and selling at $1.49.
The right way to purchase XRP: The best solution to buy XRP is on one of many huge crypto exchanges resembling Coinbase, Binance, or Kraken.
8. Polkadot (DOT)
Polkadot market cap: $34.8 billion
Polkadot worth: $37
The Polkadot story: A number of the highest cryptocurrency tasks have lofty targets, however Polkadot’s is likely one of the loftiest: to “allow a very decentralized net the place customers are in management.” Launched in 2020, Polkadot is the flagship challenge of the Swiss Web3 basis. If Net 1.0 was commerce, and Net 2.0 was social, consider Web3 as decentralization. Polkadot’s know-how stitches collectively completely different blockchains, enabling them to change info and transactions and function collectively seamlessly.
Polkadot efficiency historical past: This crypto was buying and selling at a few nickel till late 2020, when it took off (cease us for those who’ve heard this one earlier than) and was just lately buying and selling at $37.
The right way to purchase Polkadot: Purchase Polkadot on main crypto exchanges resembling Coinbase, Binance and Kraken.
9. Web Laptop (ICP)
Web Laptop market cap: $23.2 billion
Web Laptop worth: $196
The Web Laptop story: Web Laptop solely formally launched on Might 10, 2021, but it surely instantly jumped into the High 10 checklist 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 line with CoinMarketCap, it is “the world’s first blockchain that runs at net pace 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 challenge that seeks nothing lower than the reinvention of the internet. 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 present buying and selling at round $200.
The right way 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: $18.9 billion
Bitcoin Money worth: $1,038
The Bitcoin Money story: Do not be confused by the identify, as a result of Bitcoin Cash is a very completely 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 quite a lot of catching as much as do to Bitcoin when it comes to the dimensions of its community. After reaching a excessive of almost $4,000 again in 2018, it then dropped significantly and settled to round $300-400 for the following couple of years. A giant soar in current weeks has seen it climb again to greater than $1,500, though it is at present at round $1,030.
The right way to purchase Bitcoin Money: You should buy Bitcoin Money on main crypto exchanges resembling Coinbase, Binance and Kraken.
11. Uniswap (UNI)
Uniswap market cap: $17.9 billion
Uniswap worth: $32.8
The Uniswap story: Most cryptocurrency buying and selling takes place on centralized exchanges resembling Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken. Uniswap, launched in 2018, is a decentralized crytpo change that runs on the Ethereum platform — transaction charges have to be paid for in ETH.
The Uniswap app can swap all various kinds of tokens however doesn’t connect with the normal monetary community, which means you may’t convert to USD or Euro or different fiat currencies. (Although you may convert to some stablecoins — see Tether above.) Uniswap additionally has its personal “governance token”: for those who personal this token, you’ve gotten a proper to vote on the course of the challenge’s improvement. Uniswap just lately handed Coinbase in buying and selling quantity, and lots of crypto followers assume it could possibly 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 present buying and selling at round $33.
The right way to purchase Uniswap: Purchase Uniswap on main crypto exchanges resembling Coinbase, Binance and Kraken.
12. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin market cap: $17.5 billion
Litecoin worth: $268
The Litecoin story: Litecoin, created in 2011 by Charlie Lee, is likely one of the earliest Bitcoin clones, aka “altcoins,” and is a well-established crypto. It was developed with a deal with pace, effectivity, and wider preliminary coin distribution than Bitcoin. For instance, Litecoin transactions are confirmed each two and a half minutes, which is 4 instances extra ceaselessly than Bitcoin transactions. One other distinction: Litecoin has a provide cap of 84 million cash, precisely 4 instances Bitcoin’s — that is what makes many traders 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 just lately handed the $400 mark for the primary time, though it is since dropped again to about $268.
The right way to purchase Litecoin: Litecoin may be bought on any main crypto change, in addition to on Robinhood and PayPal.
13. Chainlink (LINK)
Chainlink market cap: $15.1 billion
Chainlink worth: $36
The Chainlink story: Like Ethereum, Chainlink is much less a single cryptocurrency however fairly a know-how that helps underpin your entire crypto construction. Basically — and that is essentially a really stripped-back rationalization — it is a community that permits blockchains to work together with one another and with non-blockchain applied sciences. You may read more about how it works 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 offered 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 $36 as of Might 17.
The right way to purchase Chainlink: Purchase Chainlink on main crypto exchanges resembling Coinbase and Binance.
Jonathan Lesser didn’t purchase any Bitcoin 10 years in the past. He just lately purchased some Dogecoin for the youngsters.