The Top Ten Cryptocurrencies
Admitted! Bitcoin is the first and by far the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. However, considering the broad range of cryptocurrencies available, limiting your options to Bitcoin alone is unwise. There are over 7,000 digital assets on the cryptocurrency market, and while they may not all be billion-dollar coins, there is merit in familiarizing yourself with these digital currencies.
Knowledge is power, and as new crypto investors, this knowledge could mean the difference between making profits and regrettable losses. To add to your knowledge acquisition, we will be looking at the top 10 most prominent cryptocurrencies making waves in the crypto space today.
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies have gained massive attention, with as many as 3.2% of Canadians invested in these assets. However, many people (including investors) are still oblivious to what these digital instruments are and how they work.
A cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency built upon blockchain cryptography which acts as a secure mechanism to prevent duplication. Cryptocurrencies are typically developed and coded with in-built issuance mechanisms. These mechanisms allow the creation of cryptocurrencies via the mining process. Cryptos adopt different validation procedures to achieve network consensus and prevent bad actors from overtaking the network. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized; they can be exchanged online for goods and services without an intermediary, such as banks or other centralized financial institutions.
What Are The Top Ten Cryptocurrencies?
It is 2021, and more than ever, the buzz around cryptocurrencies is at an all-time high. The list below is a comprehensive guide to some of the top 10 cryptocurrencies in 2021.
Often dubbed the “king of all cryptocurrencies,” Bitcoin is number 1 on our top 10 list and remains the most popular digital asset in existence. It has a market cap much higher than any financial instrument on the crypto market, standing comfortably at 40% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. Bitcoin operates on a blockchain or a distributed ledger that runs across a network of thousands of computers to ensure optimum security and keep fraudsters at bay.
Bitcoin’s primary function is to serve as a medium of value exchange over the internet, but it goes beyond just internet utility. Bitcoin provides an alternative payment system that lies outside of the control of centralized authorities or governments.
Ethereum is both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform for building decentralized applications (Dapps) and smart contracts. This multi-functionality feature has allowed Ethereum to become the go-to platform many blockchain developers use to create crypto ecosystems.
Ethereum functions through a global network of computers working together as one supercomputer. This pooling of computational power allows the Ethereum network to construct and operate self-executing smart contracts that adhere to the digital contract terms. Some experts even argue that the continuous evolution of Ethereum will allow it to become the protocol for constructing the future internet.
Ripple is a unique digital asset for facilitating transactions directly and instantly across national borders. It goes against the grain when compared to other cryptocurrencies, which appear impractical for centralized financial authorities. Ripple has formed partnerships with more than 300 financial institutions globally, including the Bank of America.
Many of these banks Ripple has partnered with do not use the XRP crypto directly. However, they may utilize the RippleNet technology to help speed up cross-border transactions. The details of these partnerships are not publicly revealed.
Cardano is an “Ouroboros proof-of-stake” cryptocurrency. Like Ethereum, Cardano functions as a platform for decentralized apps and smart contracts. The use of the proof-of-stake validation reduces energy consumption and allows for faster transaction processing times. Cardano aims to tackle the issues of sustainability, interoperability, and scalability that plague many crypto ecosystems.
Stellar focuses on enhancing the efficiency of cross-border payments. The Stellar network allows low-cost transfers and cross-border transactions between different currency types. The network requires users to hold Lumens to be able to transact on it. Stellar Lumens has a market capitalization of $6 billion.
USD Coin (USDC)
USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin whose underlying asset is the U.S dollar. The Centre consortium governs this stablecoin and sets its technical policy and financial standards. The USDC is issued by regulated financial institutions and is a fully backed reserved asset redeemable on a 1:1 basis for U.S. dollars.
Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network designed to bridge the gap between smart contracts and off-chain data. It can track and feed data directly into a smart contract. This use case makes it a unique blockchain oracle solution with the potential to improve the real-world implementation of blockchain technologies.
Polygon is a scalability-focused protocol based on the Ethereum blockchain. The Polygon network allows blockchain developers to connect multiple compatible blockchain networks. By deploying its sidechain solutions for blockchain interoperability, Polygon seeks to address the limitations of Ethereum scaling, including the absence of community governance, throughput, slow and expensive transactions.
Polkadot is a crypto network that expedites the cross-blockchain transfer of any data or asset type. This interoperability capacity works irrespective of the difference in blockchain features or status. Polkadot seeks to become the “internet of blockchains” – a single network where all diverse blockchains can communicate and exchange data freely.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that serves an improved version of Bitcoin with better scalability protocols. BCH allows users to send money anywhere with low fees. Throughout its development, Bitcoin Cash has increased the number of transactions it can process, allowing it to compete with more prominent companies, such as PayPal and Visa.
Best Cryptocurrencies to Buy 2021
This year, several cryptocurrencies have risen to prominence and are commanding global attention. For instance, since Elon Musk voiced his support of Dogecoin, it significantly increased its price value. He has even suggested working with the developers to build utility and create actual value for the crypto. While all this remains speculation, it is best to be cautious.
Picking the best crypto to invest in comes down to the amount of money you are willing to risk, your research, and the long-term viability of the coin of interest. After making your choice based on the criteria mentioned earlier, you then head over to the Catalyx exchange market, which remains one of the safest and most reliable crypto exchanges with over 40 altcoins to choose from.
Top 10 Cryptos: Final Thoughts
As you may know, the crypto space is rife with risks and uncertainties, and as such, the opinions expressed in this post are not financial advice. The trading of digital currencies can be financially rewarding, but the price behavior of these assets is unpredictable. Several factors — government regulation, crypto bans, the impact of crypto influencers, and more — can throw the market off balance. The best bet is to always perform adequate research before making any crypto investment.
This blog is for informational purposes only.
This does not imply or suggest investment in cryptocurrencies.
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