YOTOPO SOLWONOT KOPYTOI Top 10 cryptocurrencies of 2024

  • Bitcoin, the pioneer cryptocurrency, was introduced in January 2009.
  • The market features thousands of cryptocurrencies.
  • Many cryptocurrencies have relatively small market capitalizations.
  • Amid regulatory developments, major cryptocurrencies have recently experienced positive momentum.
  • Optimistic crypto enthusiasts anticipate new all-time highs, and regulatory clarity may attract more institutional investors to the cryptocurrency space.

Despite the proliferation of numerous cryptocurrencies, the dominance of bitcoin and ethereum persists. Together, their market capitalizations represent over two-thirds of the entire crypto market.

Here are the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, excluding stablecoins.

  1. Bitcoin (BTC)
  • Market cap: $897.1 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 150% Bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency launched in January 2009, remains the most popular and valuable in the world after approximately 14 years. Its decentralized, blockchain-based transaction verification and public ledger system, created by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, revolutionized digital security perceptions. While appreciated for decentralization and transparency, criticisms include the energy-intensive proof-of-work mechanism and scalability challenges. Despite thousands of alternatives, Bitcoin and Ethereum dominate the crypto landscape, constituting over two-thirds of the market.
  1. Ethereum (ETH)
  • Market cap: $320.9 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 90% Introduced in July 2015, Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, pioneered smart contracts on its blockchain. Ethereum transitioned to a less energy-intensive proof-of-stake system in 2023, making it environmentally friendlier than Bitcoin. Ethereum focuses on blockchain functionality and hosts over 1,400 applications.
  1. Binance Coin (BNB)
  • Market cap: $47.3 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 9% Binance Coin (BNB), originally an Ethereum utility token, shifted to Binance’s blockchain. Initially designed for discounted trading fees on the Binance exchange, BNB now serves various purposes. Despite a decline in U.S. market share due to legal issues, it remains versatile for transactions and applications.
  1. Solana (SOL)
  • Market cap: $42.3 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 497% Launched in March 2020, Solana, like Ethereum, supports dApps and smart contracts. Its unique proof-of-stake and proof-of-history system enhances speed and affordability, but the network has faced credibility challenges due to outages. Solana experienced significant gains in 2023 following a boost from the XRP court ruling.
  1. XRP (XRP)
  • Market cap: $32.4 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 60% Developed by Ripple, XRP aims to be a faster and more transparent alternative to the SWIFT system for global money transfers. A legal ruling in 2023 suggested XRP might not be classified as a security in certain cases, positively impacting its standing.
  1. Cardano (ADA)
  • Market cap: $20.6 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 75% Launched in September 2017, Cardano, founded by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, focuses on efficiency in proof-of-stake consensus. ADA, Cardano’s native cryptocurrency, facilitates transactions and supports network verification through staking.
  1. Avalanche (AVAX)
  • Market cap: $14.0 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 145% Launched in September 2020, Avalanche distinguishes itself by being compatible with Ethereum. It emphasizes speed and security in smart contract platforms for decentralized applications (dApps).
  1. Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Market cap: $12.1 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 8% Initially a parody, Dogecoin gained legitimacy with its simplicity and high-profile supporters like Elon Musk. Despite its origins, Dogecoin has become a notable investment, with its price influenced by Musk’s comments.
  1. Polkadot (DOT)
  • Market cap: $10.4 billion
  • Year-over-year return: 58% Launched in 2020 by Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, Polkadot connects previously unconnected blockchains. Its unique parachains allow customization while sharing the security measures of the main Polkadot chain.
  1. TRON (TRX)
    • Market cap: $9.5 billion
    • Year-over-year return: 91%
    Launched in August 2017, TRON aims to decentralize the internet through blockchain technology and dApps. Despite facing legal challenges in 2023, TRON remains a significant project with a focus on decentralized entertainment.

*Market caps and pricing sourced from coinmarketcap.com, current as of 9:07 a.m. UTC on Jan. 12, 2024.

What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies, decentralized and secured via large computer networks, operate independently based on their programming code. Unlike fiat currencies, they rely solely on blockchain technology for verification and transparency. Cryptocurrencies offer an alternative means of transactions, act as a potential hedge against inflation, and provide a store of value during macroeconomic instability, often bypassing traditional financial systems. Bitcoin and other leading cryptocurrencies enable global financial transactions without intermediaries.

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