Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency. Ethereum, DOGE, Tether, and XRP follow Bitcoin in this list of 10 best & popular cryptocurrencies. As of February 2024, the coinmarketcap.com lists 8843 cryptocurrencies. That’s a pretty overwhelming number to choose the best cryptocurrencies. But we will consider Market Capitalization here. In other words, the current total value of all the circulating coins. In 2024, the total Bitcoin circulation is around 19.6 million, and its total value, i.e., market capitalization, is $845.57B.
Bitcoin is the trendsetter. It brought the wave of peer-to-peer decentralized networks. Let’s see what other cryptocurrencies are on this list and why.
Among today’s thousands of digital coins, only Bitcoin (BTC) is the original cryptocurrency. Rest are called Alt Coins. In 2009, an anonymous creator by the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ published a paper titled, ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’, the rest is history.
Bitcoin uses blockchain. It is an electronic ledger system distributed across a network of computers. These computers in the network verify complex cryptographic calculations and store them on the decentralized ledger system. This process is called mining. Whoever can solve these complex computations, will receive Bitcoin (BTC) as a reward and they can sell, hold, buy, or trade them with the network.
Bitcoin’s decentralization and transparency greatly appeal to users to invest in it while critics are concerned about its energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism and scaling problems. Nonetheless, Bitcoin users are growing exponentially and that’s what makes it the most popular cryptocurrency.
Vitalik Buterin launched the Ethereum blockchain in 2015. Ethereum is the first blockchain that introduced Smart Contracts, a digital contract that automatically executes when certain conditions are fulfilled.
The native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain is Ether. It is the second most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. It is also called an altcoin. The Ethereum blockchain network is powered by Ether which helps in performing the transactions. In 2023, Ethereum transitioned from a proof-of-work mechanism to a proof-of-stake mechanism to build a less energy-intensive blockchain ecosystem. As of February 2024, the market capitalization of Ethereum is $280 billion.
We know Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and Ethereum is altcoin. Likewise, Tether is called a stablecoin. But why? Because it is backed by a reserve of fiat currencies like the US dollar. It means that the value of 1 Tether is always going to be $1.
Tether is the largest stablecoin in the market. Because it is not volatile, many investors use Tether USDT to conveniently transfer dollar equivalent values with fewer transaction fees.
Binance is the fourth largest cryptocurrency in terms of market capitalization. As of 2024, BNB’s market capitalization is $45 billion. Binance (BNB) is issued by one of the largest cryptocurrency exchange platforms of the same name, Binance. It is used to trade and pay transaction fees on the Binance platform.
Solana blockchain platform launched in 2020. It’s robust and faster and supports decentralized finance (DeFi), decentralized apps (DApps), and smart contracts. Its native token, SOL, powers transactions on its hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history network. Despite outages, Solana gained credibility due to its triple-digit growth in 2023. Solana is often called the “Ethereum killer,” because of its faster transactions and lower fees.
SOL’s price surge from $0.77 at launch to $105.42 by January 2024 reflects rapid growth and market demand. With a market capitalization of $41 billion in February 2024, Solana ranks fifth among the top cryptocurrencies.
David Schwartz, Jed McCaleb, and Arthur Britto launched the XRP Ledger in 2012 along with the XRP token. XRP, formerly known as Ripple is a cryptocurrency built for business. Millions of people around the world use XRP Ledger (the blockchain) and XRP crypto because of faster cross-border transactions, low transaction fees, and scalability.
As of January 2024, the market capitalization of XRP is $27 billion. In 2017, the price of XRP was only $0.006.
US Dollar Coin (USDC)
It is a stablecoin like USDT. This means this cryptocurrency maintains a 1:1 ratio with a central fiat currency reserve. It is the second largest stablecoin after USDT and the seventh largest cryptocurrency from the market capitalization point-of-view.
USDC is available 24/7 and can be transferred within seconds. It is a store of physical USD value with the speed and security of blockchain technology. It is a stable, transparent, and widely used digital coin in major crypto exchanges and is natively available on 15+ blockchains.
Cardano is a decentralized blockchain that uses the proof-of-stake mechanism. It was launched in September 2017 to be a more efficient system than Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other proof-of-work blockchains. Cardano is focused on functionality and aims to grow a platform to develop dApp and verifiable smart contracts.
ADA is the primary cryptocurrency on the Cardano network to facilitate transactions and run dApps. Cardano users can use ADA to stake them in the network and help verify the network’s transactions to earn additional tokens.
In 2020, Ava Labs launched the Avalanche blockchain platform. The primary goal of Avalanche is to improve scalability, interoperability, and usability. AVAX is the native cryptocurrency of this platform and a rival of Ethereum because it supports smart contracts. As of February 2024, the market capitalization of Avalanche is $12.5 billion.
Avalanche is a fast, versatile, secure, affordable, and accessible open-source project. A few key uses of AVAX are payment for transaction processing fees, securing the Avalanche network, staking, and more.
Dogecoin (DOGE) is an open-source, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. It’s an accidental cryptocurrency and utilizes blockchain technology. This altcoin came to the market in December 2013.
This coin has a logo with the image of a Shiba Inu dog, hence it is considered a meme coin. The humorous origin and Internet culture have offered Dogecoin a distinctive place among the crypto community.
Right now, Dogecoin is a serious player in the cryptocurrency market with tenth position and a market capitalization of $11+ billion.
How Cryptocurrencies Work?
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies based on blockchain. Blockchain is distributed ledger technology where information is stored in the form of a chain that is visible to the public and can never be altered. This decentralization means, no centralized authority can regulate the prices of cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is the world’s first cryptocurrency created by an anonymous creator with the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
How To Invest in Cryptocurrency?
You can invest in cryptocurrency by using the top crypto exchange platforms like Coinbase, Binance, crypto.com, KuCoin, etc.
What are the 3 biggest cryptocurrencies?
Based on market capitalization Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether are the 3 biggest cryptocurrencies in the world, right now.