When people talk about cryptocurrencies, the two names that are most likely to dominate the conversation are Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). These two names remain power players in the arena of crypto for their history of bullish share prices, market capitalizations above USD 300 billion, and wealth of developer talent.
But are Bitcoin and Ethereum the only cryptos really worth investing in? In truth, the answer is no. The crypto market has evolved by leaps and bounds since it first took off in 2009. Would-be investors are no longer limited to choosing between a few popular coins. It’s now an option to scour the widening world of crypto and find a particular coin that resonates with their interests.
What cryptocurrencies other than BTC and ETH are currently worth exploring? Here’s a briefer on six noteworthy coins that might fit your investor profile.
This crypto, named for the Esperanto word for “coin,” may have a humble market cap compared to crypto giants Bitcoin and Ethereum. But investors may be interested to know that it currently houses the largest developer pool after these two and that it is also fully fungible.
XMR’s privacy features, like its fully anonymized ring signature and Ring Confidential Transactions (RingCT) systems, make it a great fit for investors who want to be low-key in their trading activities. If you want to explore crypto but also want extra control over your privacy, it’s worth investing in XMR coins and keeping them in a dedicated Monero wallet.
For the kind of crypto investor who is interested in the proof-of-stake model, Cardano is a viable option. Other coins use a proof-of-work model for mining, where miners compete to solve the complex mathematical equations that yield coins. But Cardano operates under the cheaper and more energy-efficient proof-of-stake approach, in which miners only amass mining power according to the amount of coins they stake.
Cardano was created by a former founder of Ethereum, which attests to its technological pedigree. ADA could very well be on its way to growing bigger, which makes it one of the coins to watch.
Tether differs from other cryptos in that it is a “stablecoin,” or a coin whose value is backed by fiat currency or a currency issued by a government. This includes the US dollar and the euro. As such, it’s a good investment for those who want to pursue crypto but are either discouraged by the learning curve of other coins or wary of the volatility that comes with them.
If you’re looking to purchase cryptocurrency from the position of a beginning trader, USDT is one of your better options. You’ll have the security of a fiat-backed coin, but you’ll also get a taste of crypto trading.
Solana is considered one of the dark horses of the crypto market, being much younger than most of the coins mentioned on “Top 2021 Cryptocurrencies” lists. The case for Solana is interesting because the coin only had a 0.01% share of the market at the beginning of the year. It’s drawn interest in the crypto sphere for a system that’s comparable to Ethereum, but with faster speed and cheaper transaction fees.
Solana’s potential lies in its usability for decentralized finance (DeFi) apps and smart contracts, which cut out the expensive charges of middlemen. If this idea intrigues you, then it would likely be a good idea to check out SOL.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin is another solid player in today’s crypto arena. It is currently the biggest global exchange by volume. It rose in prominence as a utility coin, promising users who were part of the exchange lower fees if they used the token. And like other cryptos patterned after the Ethereum blockchain, BNB has appeal as an instrument of decentralized finance.
It’s also worth noting that, unlike counterparts that peaked in the bull market of 2017 only to drop in value, BNB maintained a consistent climb upwards and stayed relatively stable. If you want a fairly stable crypto investment that you can use for DeFi transactions in the future, Binance Coin is a good bet. Check out the Binance review article for more information about this exchange.
Polkadot is another coin that relies on the proof-of-stake model. The intriguing value proposition of DOT is that it allows for the creation of what’s called “parachains.” These are parallel blockchains that involve their own native coins for specific use cases.
A coin like ETH also allows users to make their own blockchains, but the onus is on the latter to develop their own security measures for these new chains. In contrast, Polkadot operates on a concept of shared security, where even the parachains are protected by the same excellent security measures as the parent system. Investors who want to be adventurous in their crypto mining experiences can explore a coin like DOT.
Each coin mentioned on this list has its pros and its cons. It’s best to read up on each one, as well as to compare its progress to other coins on the crypto charts. Once you’ve looked into those things, choose a crypto that best reflects what you want as an investor. That will ensure that your journey with cryptocurrency is a truly viable one.
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