From Bitcoin and Ethereum to XRP and Polkadot, there are thousands of cryptocurrencies to choose from. How do you know which is the best crypto to choose to buy or invest in, especially if it is your first time?
Most people have heard of Bitcoin, of course, but there are plenty of other crypto options to choose from. Cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are called ‘altcoins’ (alternatives to Bitcoin).
In this blog, we list 10 of the top and most popular cryptos:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Solana (SOL)
- XRP (XRP)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Tronix (TRX)
Bitcoin was the very first cryptocurrency and the biggest by market cap. It was created in 2009 by someone (or more than one someone) who went under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Like most, cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin runs on a Blockchain – a decentralised ledger which logs transactions distributed across a network of computers.
Any additions to the ledger must be verified by solving a cryptographic puzzle (this is called ‘Proof of Work’). In this way, Bitcoin is kept secure from people who may want to change or hack it. When people talk about crypto in general, they normally are referring to Bitcoin.
The second most well-known and popular name people recognise in digital currency is Ethereum. This is a Blockchain platform that allows users to use Ether (its native token / currency) to perform several functions that are used for different financial objectives.
Ethereum was founded by Russian-Canadian programmer Vitalik Buterin and was launched in 2015. Ethereum is the most-used Blockchain in the world. It is the chain on which the most popular non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are bought and sold.
Read our blog: The difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum
Solana was launched in March 2020 by founder Anatoly Yakovenko, making it a relatively new cryptocurrency. It was created mainly to power smart contracts, decentralised apps (DApps) and decentralised finance. Solana’s native token, SOL, powers the platform.
The platform uses a kind of mechanism called Proof of Stake (PoS) and a concept Solana calls Proof of History (PoH). This means that it can process transactions very fast – up to 50,000 transactions per second. Another strength is that it commands minimal transaction fees.
The XRP Ledger was officially launched in June 2012, as a more sustainable alternative to Bitcoin. XRP (initially known as Ripple) is its native coin. The token XRP can be used on the network to facilitate cross-border transactions.
Ripple also has a diverse exchange network where transactions can be processed not only in XRP but also in other cryptocurrencies and even fiat currencies
Cardano was founded in 2015 by one of Ethereum’s co-founders, Charles Hoskinson. It is noteworthy for its early adoption of Proof-of-Stake validation. This speeds up transaction time and reduces energy usage and the impact on the environment.
Like Ethereum, Cardano enables smart contracts and decentralised applications. It is powered by its native coin called ADA. Cardano aims to become the world’s biggest financial operating network creating applicable Defi solutions.
Like many cryptocurrencies, Polkadot serves as both a token and a decentralised protocol. Founded in 2016 by Gavin Wood, who also was a co-founder of Ethereum, the protocol was officially launched on May 26, 2020. Its native coin is DOT.
Polkadot’s code is made is such a way as to allow unrelated blockchains to communicate with each other. In this way, data can flow between two cryptos without needing an intermediary. It can process as many as 1,000 transactions per second as compared to Bitcoin’s seven per second.
Chainlink is a software platform, also know as an Oracle network, which connects blockchains with external data. In this way, smart contracts can interact with real world events. The native cryptocurrency of Chainlink is Link.
Link is used as a means of payment and as a work token as well.
Launched in November 2018, Uniswap is the biggest decentralised exchange operating on the Ethereum Blockchain. Its token/coin is called UNI.
Uniswap has proven to be very popular in a short space of time.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Officially launched in August 2017, Bitcoin Cash is an alternative to the oldest and most traded cryptocurrency – Bitcoin. In 2017, BCH developers changed the BTC code, releasing their own version, which split Bitcoin into two blockchains – Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash, and two coins – BTC and BCH. This is called a Blockchain ‘hard fork’.
As an offshoot of the Bitcoin Blockchain, it was designed to cheaper and faster to use as an electronic cash system.
Tron is a Blockchain-based platform with two main functions. First, it serves as a global online content sharing platform, and secondly, it allows developers to create their own autonomous applications that operate without the need for intermediaries. Tronix (TRX), is the native cryptocurrency of Tron.
It was established in March 2014 by Chinese entrepreneur Justin Sun. Since 2017, it has been managed by the TRON Foundation, a Singapore- based NGO.
Where can I get these cryptocurrencies from?
All the cryptocurrencies above are available for purchasing and treading on the Wenlite cryptocurrency exchange.