Cryptocurrencies have been all the rage since Bitcoin first appeared on the scene in 2008, but what other cryptos are out there and are they worth investing in?
Getting in on the ground floor of an up-and-coming cryptocurrency is a modern investor’s dream, and the first step is to learn about the ones that are doing well in 2021.
You can obviously do this work yourself, which this post will help you achieve, or you can speak to offshore banking & finance lawyers who are experts in cryptocurrency and investment funds.
In this post, we’re going to share the 10 most important cryptocurrencies in 2021 to give you some insight into what your options are.
What Are the 10 Best Cryptocurrencies in 2021?
Cryptocurrency is essentially digital money that doesn’t require a centralised system to manage it. Instead, cryptocurrency works off a blockchain system that is a digital ledger of transactions distributed across an entire network of computer systems.
As this digital currency continues to gain traction on Wall Street, the number of new coins coming out is always growing, with 5,000 of them currently on the market. With that many options, you’re going to need some advice on the best ones to invest in.
1. Ethereum (ETH)
We didn’t want to start out of the gate with Bitcoin because it’s had enough time in the limelight. Instead, we’re going to recommend Ethereum, a decentralised suite of financial products that anyone in the world can have free access to.
Launched in 2015, Ether is the second-largest cryptocurrency but only has one fifth the market share of Bitcoin. However, Ethereum’s plan for 2021 is to change its consensus algorithm from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake, which will allow it to use less energy and improve transaction speed.
So far, the plan seems to be working, as Ethereum recently climbed to a high of $284 billion as of April 2021.
2. Polkadot (DOT)
Polkadot is a unique cryptocurrency that aims to connect permissioned and permissionless blockchains so that these systems can work under one umbrella. It achieves this through ‘parachains’ that allows parallel blockchains for specific uses.
This cryptocurrency was created by Gavin Wood, one of the core founders of Ethereum, who had his own vision for the currency. Currently, Polkadot has a market capitalisation of $41.5 billion.
3. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin has been around since 2011 and was one of the first cryptocurrencies to follow Bitcoin. This digital currency is similar to Bitcoin in many ways except it has a faster block generation rate, giving it quicker transaction confirmation speed.
Litecoin is widely accepted by developers and merchants and, as of April 2021, it has a market cap of $18.3 billion. This makes it the sixth-largest cryptocurrency on the market.
4. Tether (USDT)
Tether launched in 2014 as one of the original ‘stablecoins’, a group of cryptocurrencies that aimed to pin their value to physical currency to reduce market volatility. These coins tend to attract users who are put off by the volatility of other digital currencies.
Also, because Tether is directly tied to the US dollar price, it can be converted into dollars in a timelier fashion compared with other cryptos. As of April this year, Tether was the largest stablecoin by market capitalisation at $46.6 billion.
5. Monero (XMR)
If you’re into your privacy, Monero might be the cryptocurrency for you as it is designed to make transactions untraceable. Instead of using public blockchains like Ethereum and Bitcoin, Monero uses cryptography to hide transaction identities and values.
However, with privacy comes crime, which makes it a popular choice for cybercriminals and the dark web, soiling its reputation somewhat. Currently (April 2021) Monero has a market cap of $5.9 billion, making it the least valuable coin we’ve mentioned on this list thus far.
6. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar is a cryptocurrency with an open blockchain network that allows for large transactions between financial institutions. Instead of these transactions taking several days and costing a lot of money, they are performed instantaneously and cost next to nothing.
Founded by Jed McCaleb, Stellar allows for cross-border transactions between any currency, and is still an open blockchain, meaning anyone can use it. As of April this year, Stellar has a market cap of $14.4 billion.
7. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano was created by another Ethereum founding member, and is the result of extensive research by engineers, mathematicians and cryptography experts. This research and subsequent experimentation aim to make Cardano capable of much more than Ethereum.
In theory, the currency will be able to establish decentralised financial products, as well as provide solutions for chain inoperability, legal contract tracing, and voter fraud. In April 2021, the market cap for Cardano sits at $47.3 billion, making it the fifth-largest cryptocurrency.
8. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple is a cryptocurrency solely focused on solving issues with International Payment Transfers. Founded in 2012, this digital currency aims to make international transactions as fast and cheap as possible.
Ripple Labs own 50 billion XRP coins out of the 100 billion created, giving them a market share over their own currency. Despite its first growth spurt taking place in 2017, Ripple has become the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of 80.4 billion as of April 2021.
9. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency that can be used to pay fees and trade on the Binance cryptocurrency exchange. The Binance Exchange is the biggest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, and users of BNB coins receive a discount in transaction fees on the exchange.
BNB is easily traded for other cryptos such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and others mentioned in this post, and has its own blockchain called the Binance Chain. As of April 2021, Binance Coins are third in line to the throne, with a market cap of $85.1 billion.
10. Bitcoin (BTC)
Because we like to tease, we’ve saved the best cryptocurrency for last. Bitcoin is the world’s first, most famous and most valuable cryptocurrency, and has been since its first emergence in 2008.
The blockchain that underpins Bitcoin allows users to send and receive funds without the intervention of a third-party.
Anyone who’s been following the currency since its inception knows how volatile the coin has been, and 2021 isn’t any different. After a spike in institutional interest and investment from Elon Musk of $1.5 billion into Bitcoin, the digital currency has surpassed $1 trillion market cap.
Are These the Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest in This Year?
In this post, we’ve done our best to list the 10 most important cryptocurrencies of 2021. That said, with over 5,000 on the market, there are always new ones looking to take their place.
At the time of writing this there are rising stars coming through the ranks. But, with the recent boom in Bitcoin’s value to $1 tillion, there aren’t many worthy challengers on the horizon for that top spot.