Since the rise of Bitcoin in the public consciousness in the early 2010s, multiple thousands of coins are now available on today’s cryptocurrency markets. Millions of people now trade daily on crypto exchanges, making digital asset trading as commonplace as traditional stock trading.
If you’re new to the world of crypto and want to start investing in cryptocurrencies, knowing where to start can be challenging. Here are the best cryptocurrencies to invest in today and why you should consider each.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Despite 13 years of history as a usable cryptocurrency and hundreds of high-performing competitors, Bitcoin remains the top cryptocurrency to invest in today. As of February 28, 2022, Yahoo Finance estimates Bitcoin’s value at just under $40,000 and its market cap at approximately $744 billion.
Bitcoin was created in 2008 by one or multiple unknown individuals known under the persona of a Japanese software developer called Satoshi Nakamoto, written in C++ and released as open-source software under an MIT license.
His first name is used to name the subdivisions of BTC used to trade small amounts of Bitcoin (one satoshi is worth 0.00000001 BTC, or one hundred-millionth of a Bitcoin).
Like most cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is based on blockchain technology, although it is notable for being the first of its kind with practical utility. The blockchain technology used to power Bitcoin is a Type 1 decentralized application (dApp), meaning that it is unique to Bitcoin and exclusively used for Bitcoin.
The prevalence of Bitcoin is undeniable. Today, it remains the largest cryptocurrency in the world, the most talked about in books, newspaper columns, radio shows, on television, and the Internet, and the only one to have been adopted as an official currency by a real-world country (El Salvador, in October 2021).
Despite its short-term volatility, Bitcoin was also the first cryptocurrency to become a blue-chip investment in its asset class. Bitcoin’s total supply limit was capped at 21 million since its inception, and as of January 1, 2022, 19 million Bitcoin have been mined. Consequently, many expert stock advisors and investment specialists are confident it will continue to grow and rise in value.
Bitcoin remains one of the safest cryptocurrencies to buy today due to its long-term performance and the high level of confidence in its ability to store value. For instance, prominent investment trader Tom Gardner at The Motley Fool announced in 2021 that his firm is investing $5 million into Bitcoin, expecting a 10x return over the next 15 years.
2. Ether (ETH)
Ether is a cryptocurrency based on the Ethereum network, developed in 2013 by Vitalik Buterin and launched in 2015. Although the cryptocurrency is based on the Ethereum network called Ether (ETH), both names are commonly used interchangeably.
As of February 28, 2022, Yahoo Finance estimates the value of ETH at approximately $2,750, with a market cap of $328.5 billion.
The Ethereum network aims to be more than just a cryptocurrency blockchain. It is a decentralized platform powering a range of technologies, from smart contracts to dApps.
Ethereum is also widely credited for being the first viable alternative to Bitcoin (popularly called an altcoin) and one of the few with the stated objective of offering a complete suite of decentralized financial services (DeFi).
Besides the cryptocurrency itself, Ethereum is also used to create, trade, valuation, and sell unique digital collectibles: Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Most NFTs made today are on the Ethereum blockchain and traded on platforms that support ETH.
One of the primary advantages of Ether is the technology it uses. Although it is a good store of value with high predicted long-term growth, ETH allows investors to do more than use it as a form of currency.
Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum supports advanced smart contracts, allowing ETH holders to use automated financial products, trade NFTs, use decentralized exchanges and data services, and many other potential applications.
3. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin was developed and launched in October 2011, making it one of the oldest altcoins available on the cryptocurrency market. Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin from a technical perspective, meaning that both cryptocurrencies share the same technical origins and function very similarly. Both BTC and LTC were programmed in C++, and both are open-source software released under the MIT license.
Litecoin’s primary differences with Bitcoin are its value, market cap, and total supply limits. As of February 28, 2022, Yahoo Finance estimates the value of LTC at just $108 per token, with a market cap of $7.5 billion. LTC supply limits are capped at 84 million, and the current circulating supply is just under 70 million.
Despite Litecoin’s relatively low value, it offers many attractive features for people looking to invest in cryptocurrencies. The first and most apparent advantage is accessibility; a lower value per token makes it easier to buy in for less.
Another advantage is transaction speed, estimated at 2.5 minutes per transaction. In contrast, Bitcoin requires 9 to 10 minutes on average, often rising beyond 15-20 minutes during high-traffic periods.
Besides faster transaction speeds and ease of access, Litecoin is notable for being one of the most liquid cryptocurrencies on today’s market (with an average 24-hour trading volume of over 836 million). The high liquidity makes Litecoin an excellent medium of exchange for fiat currencies and other cryptocurrencies.
4. Dogecoin (DOGE)
Despite its origins as a meme currency, borrowing its symbols and imagery from the Doge meme, Dogecoin may be one of the best and most exciting cryptocurrencies to invest in today, with many surprising advantages.
As of February 28, 2022, Dogecoin is one of the lowest-valued cryptocurrencies on the market, at approximately $0.13 per token. However, its relatively high market cap ($17 billion) and 24-hour trading volume (about 677 million) suggest a high degree of popularity.
Although Dogecoin was launched in 2013, making it a relatively early player in the crypto sphere, its value has long remained insignificant, averaging less than $0.01 per token for most of its lifetime.
But in 2021, Dogecoin’s value practically exploded overnight when Tesla CEO Elon Musk (and later famous rapper Snoop Dogg) posted tweets suggesting they hold or trade Dogecoin. The sudden rise in popularity allowed Dogecoin to reach its highest-ever value on May 17, 2021, at $0.6890.
Though that value has since decreased, Dogecoin has permanently established itself as a prominent player in the crypto market, almost entirely on recognizable imagery and meme status.
Dogecoin is one of the most accessible cryptocurrencies today mainly due to its low value per token, high trading volume, and highly-active and beginner-friendly community. One of the largest Dogecoin trading communities is the Reddit group r/dogecoin, with over 2.3 million subscribers, making it a great place to start if you’re new to investing in crypto.
5. Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance Coin was first launched in 2017 as a built-in cryptocurrency for Binance.us, a crypto exchange platform. Although the original purpose of BNB was to facilitate trading and paying fees on Finance, it has since become a fully-fledged cryptocurrency of its own.
At launch, the value of each BNB token was approximately $0.10. Now, as of February 28, 2022, Yahoo Finance estimates the value of a Binance Coin at about $381, with a market cap of nearly $63 billion and a significant 24-hour trading volume of almost 1.8 billion.
Binance Coin offers many advantages over other cryptocurrencies, especially if you’re looking for a coin with high long-term investment potential. Its host platform, Binance.us, is one of the world’s leading crypto exchange platforms, allowing you to use BNB for trading or exchanging into other cryptocurrencies at preferential rates.
BNB is unique for operating on the proof-of-authority system, a blockchain algorithm derived from proof-of-stake but with an increased focus on security and identity verification. Binance Coin also supports smart contracts, with the potential of creating a complete DeFi service system, similar to Ethereum.
If you’re interested in how Ethereum works but want to invest in a cryptocurrency with more accessibility and a unique algorithm, Binance Coin may be the coin for you.
Finance is us, Your Source of Informed Investment Insights
If you’re interested in cryptocurrency and want to start making your first trades, you will need the assistance of a skilled finance and investment advisor, such as those at Finance is us.
We will help you navigate the fast-moving world of crypto, guide you through your first purchases, help you make the best decisions on what cryptocurrencies to invest in and how to make the most out of them. Contact us today for more information.
Disclaimer: All content on this site is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular entity or individual, nor is the information a substitute for professional financial advice and services.