In 2021, BlueWeave Consulting shared with us that the global cryptocurrency market was worth a staggering $1.3 billion. They also predicted the market would grow year on year at 12.2% until 2028!
In the vast crypto market, we’ve all heard of one or two of the main players, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, for example. But, what other types of crypto are out there these days?
There are actually thousands of crypto types in circulation now. In this guide, we’ll reveal nine cryptocurrencies you should know about. We’ll start with the more obvious ones and then work our way through to some not-so-well-known, yet relevant, cryptos. Read on to get the lowdown!
What Is Cryptocurrency?
For those who don’t understand what crypto is so well, here’s a simple explanation of what it is and how it tends to work. Bear in mind, that developers create different cryptos to work using varying principles. So here we’ll run through a generalized understanding of what cryptocurrency is.
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency. A decentralized network of computers holds all the records and transactions for the currency in encrypted form using blockchain technology. This is opposed to a centralized authority controlling the currency, like with Fiat currencies such as the pound and the dollar.
What Is Blockchain Technology?
Blockchain technology involves ledgers that are immutable and shared among users. The technology allows computers within the shared business network to record transactions and track assets.
Most of the info is encrypted onto the blockchain. The benefit of blockchain technology is that it’s very difficult or impossible for people to tamper with the information on a blockchain. With such assurances, the need for traditional recording-keeping methods may become much less or obsolete in the future.
How Is Crypto Created?
Miners in a crypto network create cryptocurrencies. Mining is when somebody uses a computer to solve complex maths problems created by the crypto network. The more problems a miner solves, the more crypto they will create and earn to keep or trade with.
The other main way to get cryptocurrencies is to buy them on an exchange. In some cases, people buy their currencies direct from a seller without the need for an exchange.
Now let’s explore 9 types of crypto you should know about.
Since its creation in 2009, Bitcoin is by far one of the most popular digital currencies on the market today. Bitcoin started the cryptocurrency phenomenon, paving the way for other cryptocurrency types to appear after its success.
It’s even got to the point now where you are likely to find a bitcoin ATM near you. For example, Bytefederal has over 1,000 Bitcoin ATMs spread throughout America!
Nowadays people use Bitcoin to pay for all sorts of things. One advantage of doing so is less fees than other payment types because of its peer-to-peer nature. And all you need is a connection to the internet to make Bitcoin payments from anywhere!
Bitcoin is also seen as a digital currency to invest in. Some of the more famous people who have been known to invest in Bitcoin include Floyd Mayweather, Paris Hilton, Kanye West, and 50 Cent, to name a few. Elon Musk is thought to have a sizeable chunk of Bitcoin wealth too.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum is one of the most prominent types of cryptocurrency on the market today. In essence, it is a software platform that’s decentralized and offers financial products, available for anyone in the world to access.
The crypto associated with ETH is Ether. Ether appeared in 2015 as a way for developers to use the Ethereum platform in various ways. Nowadays, investors use Ether as an easy way to buy other cryptocurrency types. In terms of cryptocurrency market share, Ether takes second place to Bitcoin.
An advantage people see in Ether is that it can potentially help citizens in nations that are lacking infrastructure and personal identification frameworks. For instance, where poorer people might not be able to get bank accounts so readily, the Ethereum platform and Ether might be able to help them.
3. Tether (USDT)
Tether is part of a larger grouping of cryptos called stablecoins. It was the first to be created and remains popular. The idea with stablecoins is that developers peg the value of the crypto coin to a Fiat currency, or other known to be stable reference points.
Where Bitcoin and other cryptos can be volatile, Tether’s aim is to be less so due to its pegging. With this smoothing out of volatility, stablecoins like Tether hope to attract more users who might be cautious to go with more traditional crypto coins.
The creators launched it in 2014 and refer to it as a “blockchain-enabled platform.” They aim to make it easier for people to work with Fiat currencies in the digital realm.
So Tether is pegged to the US Dollar, hence the name “USDT.” Tether is a great choice for users who want to change other cryptos back to USD with little fuss.
4. USD Coin (USDC)
Another stablecoin that pegs itself to the Dollar is USD Coin (USDC). However, this stablecoin holds the same amount of dollars in reserve as the amount of USD Coin in circulation, making it an extra safe option for some users.
It is a regulated stablecoin in the US that the creators launched in 2018. It’s also a cryptocurrency growing in popularity in the United States with a high trading volume and market cap. The stablecoin is based on Ethereum like many others due to the advantages the platform offers.
5. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin has a specific use: to pay for fees on the Binance Exchange. Yet, since so many people use the exchange, the crypto coin has a pretty big market cap! Binance, the company, also tempts users to use these digital tokens by providing them with discounts on trades within their trading platform.
Changpeng Zhao is the creator of Binance’s decentralized exchange along with the cryptocurrency Binance Coin. Huge amounts of trade happen on the platform every day from around the world.
Binance coin wasn’t always on the Binance Exchange, mind. The crypto was first known as an ERC-20 token and ran on Ethereum’s blockchain. However, the crypto soon enough became native to Binance’s platform.
You might also be interested to know that Binance created a stablecoin called Binance USD (BUSD). It’s pegged to the dollar and since the New York State Department of Financial Services approved the coin, it comes under US regulations.
6. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is a fascinating cryptocurrency project that was set up in part by Charles Hoskinson, one of the founding members of Ethereum. The reason why he helped to create Cardano was that he disagreed with the direction Ethereum was going.
Cardano puts a heavy impetus on research and experimentation. The researchers behind the project have written dozens of papers relating to blockchain technology, and this research is the driving force behind Cardano (ADA).
The actual cryptocurrency coin that the project put out is ADA. It is the currency native to Cardano’s platform. The creator took the name from a 19th-century mathematician named Ada Lovelace. She was thought to be one of the world’s first computer programmers!
Cardano also carries the nickname “Ethereum killer,” since some people think its blockchain is a better version of Ethereum’s. It works in a similar way to Ethereum in that it wants to establish DeFi products for various benefits. These benefits could include dealing with voter fraud, legal contract chasing, and chain interoperability to name a few.
Cardano seems to still be in its growing phases. It’s a crypto that many are keeping their eyes on.
7. Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin sort of started as a joke, as a “meme coin” so to speak. Yet, in 2021, the price of DOGE skyrocketed more than anyone could have imagined. Shiba Inu is the famous and funny avatar that the coin uses for its comical image and the reason why the price went up in 2021 is due to Elon Musk giving the crypto public backing at the time.
Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, two software engineers, created Dogecoin. Even though these creators made the coin as a joke, it’s now got a market cap in the multiple billions of dollars range!
Elon Musk said something along the lines of Dogecoin being better to buy things with than Bitcoin, and he has a solid point. The main reason for this thinking is that he believes Dogecoin is designed in a way that “encourages people to spend, rather than sort of hoard as a store of value.”
8. Solana (SOL)
The creators of Solana launched their digital tokens in 2020 but they founded the platform back in 2017. Solana is another crypto that sometimes people refer to as an “Ethereum killer” because it can perform transactions much faster than Ethereum’s platform. Another benefit of Solana is that it charges lower fees than Ethereum for transactions.
What Ethereum and Solana both do is use smart contracts, which are crucial if you want to run high-tech apps such as DeFi and NFTs. Yet, while Ethereum uses a proof of work (PoW) blockchain, Solana uses a more energy-efficient proof of stake (PoS) blockchain.
SOL, the cryptocurrency of Solana has grown tremendously since they introduced it. The digital currency now has a substantial market cap and falls in the top ten of the most valuable cryptos on the market.
9. Polkadot (DOT)
Polkadot is unique in that it’s a point of stake (PoS) blockchain that delivers interoperability for other blockchain networks. In basic terms, it just allows the networks to work together better by connecting permissionless and permissioned oracles and blockchains.
DOT is the cryptocurrency of Polkadot. Gavin Wood, its creator, was also a member of the team that made Ethereum. It has a decent size market cap with growth potential.
One of the key appeals of the Polkadot platform is that you can create your own blockchains, without the need to develop your own security measures. While Ethereum lets you create blockchains, you have to develop security measures as well. Polkadot calls their system shared security.
Other Types of Cryptocurrency to Consider
We’ve now mentioned 9 cryptos you should know about. There are so many other cryptos out there right now, though, so we will touch on some others of interest. You can also refer to any cryptocurrencies as altcoins if they are not Bitcoin.
Here are some altcoins to consider:
- Tron (TRX)
- Shiba Inu (SHIB)
- Avalanche (AVAX)
- Monero (XMR)
- Uniswap (UNI)
TRX is an altcoin that connects to Tron’s ecosystem. TRX represents a basic unit of accounts for Tron’s blockchain. one advantage of Tron’s blockchain is that it works quicker than Ethereum’s.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) is another meme coin like DOGE. Although it might sound like it’s a bit of a joke, the coin saw its market cap explode from 2020 to 2021.
Avalanche (AVAX) is a hot coin that many have been talking about in recent times. It is the Avalanche Platform’s native token and it powers transactions within Avalanche’s ecosystem.
Monero (XMR) has been around since 2014. The creators made it with strong privacy considerations, and the concept is all open-source.
Anyone can take a look at the blockchain to see all the transactions made with Monero. However, certain details are private. For instance, recipient and sender identities and addresses do not show on the blockchain.
Uniswap is a crytpo exchange. The crypto UNI powers the Uniswap exchange, much like other currencies power other exchanges. UNI coins are very safe to buy and they use the same security as Ethereum, as the developers built them on Ethereum.
Types of Crypto To Keep An Eye On
You now have learned about nine types of crypto that are worth looking into. We then touched upon some other interesting cryptos with an interesting one at the moment being AVAX. Plus, remember that you can now get Bitcoin at ATMs all over the US!
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