There are a multitude of different cryptocurrencies, ranging from Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, which might be confusing when you're just getting started in the world of crypto. To help you gain your bearings, these are the top eight cryptocurrencies based on their market capitalization, or the total value of all coins currently in circulation.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
-Market cap: Over $550 billion
Bitcoin (BTC) is the initial cryptocurrency, created in 2009 by someone using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. 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 private 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 grown in popularity, its value has risen. In May 2016, the price of Bitcoin was about $500. Since then, Bitcoin has had many ups and downs, but it has also demonstrated great resistance. Bitcoin dropped 65% of its market value last year, and as of May 3, 2023, it is trading in the $28,000-$29,000 area.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
-Market cap: Over $ 220 billion
Ethereum, which is both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, is a favorite among programmers because of the possible applications it offers, such as smart contracts that run automatically when certain conditions are satisfied and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ethereum has also seen explosive development. From April 2016 to the beginning of March 2022, its price increased by more than 27,000%, rising from around $11 to over $3,000. However, due to the broader market slump, Ethereum fell to an annual low of $1,091 on November 9, 2022, before rebounding rapidly to over $1,800 on May 3, 2023.
3. Tether (USDT)
-Market cap: Over $80 billion
Tether, unlike some other types of cryptocurrency, is a stablecoin, which means it is backed by fiat currencies such as US dollars and the Euro and theoretically maintains a value equal to one of those denominations. In theory, this implies Tether's value should be more consistent than other cryptocurrencies, and it's preferred by investors who are scared of other coins' excessive volatility.
4. XRP (XRP)
-Market cap: Over $23 billion
XRP, which was founded by some of the same people as Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing firm, may be used on that network to allow swaps of many currency kinds, including fiat currencies and other major cryptocurrencies.
5. Avalanche (AVAX)
-Market Cap: Over $5.5 Billion
AVAX is an Avalanche blockchain native coin that offers smart contract capabilities. It is renowned as one of the quickest and most trustworthy smart contract platforms in the DeFi market, and it operates on the Proof of Stake (PoS) method. It, like Ethereum, offers smart contracts to operate decentralized apps on its network and employs the Solidity programming language, which is also used by Ethereum.
There are only 720 million AVAX tokens available from Avalanche. Half of which were made and disseminated prior to its 2020 debut. The remaining tokens will be created during the minting process as staking incentives. Furthermore, unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, Avalanche's fees are not paid to validators; rather, all fees are burnt, increasing AVAX scarcity.
At the time of its introduction in September 2020, AVAX was priced approximately $4.00. On November 23, 2021, the token peaked at $134.87. AVAX is now valued at almost $16.7 as of May 3, 2023.
6. Cardano (ADA)
-Market cap: Over $13.4 billion
Cardano, which arrived on the crypto market later, is remarkable for its early acceptance of proof-of-stake validation. By eliminating the competitive, problem-solving part of transaction verification found in systems such as Bitcoin, this solution reduces transaction time, energy use, and environmental effect. Cardano, like Ethereum, uses ADA, its native token, to allow smart contracts and decentralized apps.
Cardano's ADA currency has grown slowly in comparison to other major crypto currencies. In 2017, the price of ADA was $0.02. Its price was $0.38 on May 3, 2023. This is an almost 1500% rise.
7. Solana (SOL)
-Market cap: Over $8 billion
Solana, which was created to support decentralized financial (DeFi) applications, decentralized apps (DApps), and smart contracts, is based on a unique hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history method that allows it to execute transactions rapidly and safely. The platform is powered by SOL, Solana's native cryptocurrency.
SOL's pricing when it appeared in 2020 was $0.77. Its price was roughly $101 on March 1, 2022, a gain of over 13,000%.It was trading about $21 as of May 3, 2023.
8. Polkadot (DOT)
-Market Cap: Over $8.9 billion
Polkadot (DOT), established in 2016, is a one-of-a-kind blockchain interoperability protocol meant to connect multiple chains. It also allows parachains, or alternative blockchains, to exchange data and perform transactions without jeopardizing their security. Developers may use the Polkadot security to develop their own blockchains.
Polkadot was established by Gavin Wood, the co-founder of Ethereum. The fascinating aspect about DOT is that there is no hard limit to its overall supply. Rather, a fresh token is continually being created.
Polkadot's price peaked in May 2020 at $6.30, then fell to a low of roughly $4 in December 2022 after reaching an all-time high of $55.11 in May 2021. It was valued at $0.97 as of May 3, 2023.