For the better part of the last decade, cryptocurrencies have dominated news headlines. From rags-to-riches stories of people who became millionaires overnight from relatively small investments to security breaches that emptied millions of dollars from investors’ wallets, the financial market is here to stay. With so many cryptocurrencies being released, however, it can be daunting to determine which one to invest in. Here are five popular options for crypto investors.
The one that started it all is Bitcoin, which is traded on exchanges as BTC. According to Money Morning, Bitcoin was first recorded back in 2009 when it was launched by its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, whose identity still remains a secret. In 2013, the price of one BTC was no more than $200. Almost a decade later, Bitcoin hit its all-time-high price of $66,000 in late 2021. Although this is an already high price to pay for any sort of financial asset, industry experts are predicting the price of BTC to continue to surge up to $500,000 by 2030. Of course, these predictions are far from reality and should be taken with a grain of salt.
Another heavyweight in the cryptocurrency market is Ether, which is the official cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain platform. The Ethereum blockchain serves as a decentralized digital ledger that records all ETH-related transactions to maintain security and fidelity of data records. And while its market cap of $491.1 billion doesn’t quite match with that of Bitcoin’s, Ether remains one of the most actively traded cryptocurrencies with a 24-hour volume of roughly $57.3 million.
Litecoin is a cryptocurrency forked from Bitcoin, which is why the two assets bear technical similarities. That said, LTC uses a different proof-of-work algorithm, referred to as scrypt, to mine new LTC. The supply of LTC is finite and capped at 84 million LTC. While LTC’s price has continuously rallied alongside its older sibling, BTC, its future price will depend on a myriad of variables, including the rate of adoption by corporate and government players as well as newcryptocurrency investing trends and habits.
What started off as a joke has become one of the most actively traded coins in the crypto space. DOGE has been called numerous names, including meme coin and joke currency, but the coin’s price has continued to rally in part due to its large and passionate community who regularly share and discuss DOGE. Currently trading for less than a quarter, DOGE has a market cap of $22.8 billion with a 24-hour trading volume of $4.8 million.
SHIB is another meme coin that was created as an alternative to DOGE. Built on the Ethereum blockchain platform, SHIB captured news headlines when it rallied by as much as 2,400+ percent in a span of three days, generating astronomic returns to SHIB holders who came in early. SHIB has a current market cap of $19.4 billion and a 24-hour trading volume of $776,000. Due to its volatility, investors and day traders alike should exercise more caution when buying SHIB than other more established and stable cryptocurrencies.
The long-term promise of cryptocurrency lies in the continued improvements made to blockchain technology. There is more work that needs to be done before BTC and other cryptocurrencies can supplant traditional fiat currencies for day-to-day transactions, such as better security and faster transaction validation.