When it comes to choosing which cryptocurrency to buy, it can be a bit overwhelming. Most mainstream platforms will offer hundreds of different tokens, and it is estimated that there are now over 12,000 types of cryptocurrencies in existence.
And while most people will have heard of Bitcoin, there’s a whole world of crypto opportunities to be explored. Indeed, many newer tokens are working to overcome problems more pertinent to the earlier tokens, or providing USPs that make the crypto space much more exciting.
If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of the cryptocurrency market, these top 15 cryptocurrencies, by market cap, are a perfect place to start.
All data is as of August 25, 2022, according to CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin is the most valuable and owned coin. As the original cryptocurrency, it has maintained a number one market share ever since its creation.
Its trading price as of August 25 was $21,500, with a huge market cap of $412,229,284,566.
Ethereum is Bitcoin’s main challenger, and consistently holds the second highest market share. The coin has been live since 2015, having been developed over the course of two years.
Ethereum is a decentralized open-source blockchain system, which also features its own cryptocurrency, known as Ether (often mistakenly called Ethereum). It also works as a platform for many other cryptocurrencies, including some on this list.
As of August 25, Ethereum was trading at $1,701 and had a 24-hour trading volume of $15,298,368,593, under half of that of Bitcoin.
Tether is known as a stable coin. It mirrors the price of the US dollar, which it is pegged against. As the dollar goes up, so does Tether. As the dollar goes down, Tether goes down.
Investors may choose to invest in USDT to benefit from the greater flexibility and accessibility of cryptocurrency, while being able to invest in a comparatively more stable coin.
Tether’s price remains $1, as a result of its 1:1 ratio with USD. Its 24-hour trading volume was the highest of any cryptocurrency, at $47,206,733,063.
4. USD Coin
USD Coin is similar to Tether, in that it is also pegged against the dollar. Every unit of USD Coin mirrors $1 held in reserve, either in cash or governmental Treasury bonds.
USD Coin was created to provide a more stable form of investment for cryptocurrency enthusiasts, while also allowing the growth of digital assets and transactions.
In line with the dollar, USD Coin’s price remains at $1, with a 24-hour market volume of $7,452,642,944, much lower than Tether.
Binance is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, with the largest volume of daily cryptocurrency trading across the globe. In addition to being an exchange, Binance has launched two of its own coins, one of which is BNB.
Launched in 2017, it allows investors to pay fees on the Binance platform in BNB.
BNB maintains a large market cap of $48,694,394,326, with a price of $301.78.
6. Binance USD
Binance USD is the second coin launched by the crypto exchange, Binance. As with some other coins, it is pegged to the dollar on a 1:1 ratio, making it a stable coin. It is backed by a reserve of dollars, in partnership with Paxos.
BUSD is issued on the Ethereum blockchain, and is the third largest stable coin by market capitalisation.
Like other coins pegged to the dollar, BUSD’s price remains $1. Its 24-hour market volume is larger than BNB, at $4,362,054,145. But, its market cap of $19,137,222,873 is much lower than BNB.
XRP is a coin issued by the currency exchange and RTGS system known as Ripple. The XRP ledger is open-source and permissionless. Ripple claims that it is environmentally sustainable, as a coin that is carbon-neutral and energy-efficient.
XRP’s costs are low, at just $0.0002 per transaction, which are typically completed and settled in 3 to 5 seconds.
XRP’s price as of August 25 is $0.3451, with a large circulating supply of 49.54 billion XRP, much higher than Bitcoin, for example.
Cardano is a coin which aims to democratize finance and redistribute financial power to create a fairer society. Any individuals who hold the cryptocurrency are eligible to vote on any proposed changes to the software, making it more accessible to the general population.
The coin is named after Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano, and its ADA token name is named after Ada Lovelace, the world’s first computer programmer.
Cardano’s price is $0.4647, with a slightly lower circulating supply of 33.16 billion ADA.
Solana claims to be the fastest blockchain in the world. It is a rapidly-growing blockchain and crypto coin, giving users the possibility to create a variety of DeFi and Web3 projects.
Solana’s first block was created in March 2020, so it’s a fairly recent coin. The blockchain works on a proof-of-stake mechanism, which works on a consensus mechanism for verifying new blocks.
Solana trades at $35.72, with a much lower circulation of 349,250,105 SOL, and a 24-hour volume of $889,108,772.
Dogecoin was originally a “meme coin”, set up as a joke by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer. However, due to popularity on Reddit and the support of Elon Musk, the coin quickly grew in popularity, making it a valuable asset and coin.
Due to the circumstances of its creation as a “meme coin”, there is no limited supply of Dogecoin, unlike many other cryptocurrencies.
Dogecoin trades at $0.06848, with a market cap of $9,071,293,402. This is down from Dogecoin’s original peak of over $85 billion, when it was the seventh most-valued coin globally.
The Polkadot blockchain aims to provide interoperability and interconnectivity between different types of blockchain, allowing the exchange of data and transactions without the need for a third-party. It aims to widen and quicken the adoption of Web3 processes and protocols.
Similar to Cardano and Solana, Polkadot uses a proof-of-stake mechanism, which is now popular amongst many recently created blockchains.
DOT has a price of $7.55, and a market cap of $8,375,287,990, as of August 25.
12. Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu is another “meme coin”, launched in August 2020 as a rival to Dogecoin, when it called itself the “Dogecoin killer”. Similar to Dogecoin, its sucess was driven by Reddit and the viral support of Elon Musk.
Whereas Dogecoin is issued on Srypt, Shiba Inu is issued on Ethereum.
Shiba INU has the largest circulating supply of any cryptocurrency, at 549,063 billion SHIB. It trades for the low price of $0.00001377.
Dai is a stable coin issued on the Ethereum blockchain. Dai is soft-pegged to the dollar, meaning that the coin tries to keep its value as close to USD as possible. This is done through a system of smart contracts, which hold a variety of collateralized cryptocurrencies.
The idea of Dai was to create a stable coin that still maintained some volatility and didn’t need to be pegged directly to the dollar.
DAI was trading at $0.9997 on August 25, loosely pegged to the dollar. It has a market cap of $6,972,575,383.
Polygon turns Ethereum into a multi-chain system of blockchains, similar to the interoperability provided by Polkadot, but with the more developed security and accessibility of Ethereum. Polygon uses the token name MATIC, its former name.
As of August 25, the value of Polygon is $0.81. It has a market cap of $6,868,862,362 and a significant circulating supply of 8.48 billion MATIC.
Avalanche is a one layer blockchain that acts as a DeFi platform, seeking to challenge the dominance of Ethereum. Like Ethereum, it runs smart contracts, but with a higher transaction output. It aims to challenge Ethereum through the use of the Proof-of-Stake system, which its investors believe can increase output without sacrificing scalability.
AVAX trades at $22.90, with a slightly lower market cap of $6,527,723,907.
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*Please note, this blog post is not offering any investment advice. Only sharing the top cryptocurrencies as of August 25, 2022 by market cap.