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20 Different Cryptocurrencies You Should Know | SoFi

When bitcoin launched in 2009, it didn’t have much (if any) competition in the new realm of digital currency. however, by 2011, new types of cryptocurrencies began to emerge as competitors adopted the blockchain technology that bitcoin was built on to launch their own platforms and currencies. suddenly, the race to create more crypto was on.

The rest, as they say, is history. the race to cryptocurrencies is an explosion of financial services that does not affect a single country, but has captured the entire world. To say that cryptocurrency is popular today is an understatement.

Reading: Different types of bitcoin

One of the reasons cryptocurrencies have taken over the hearts, minds, and wallets of so many people is the innovative nature of its blockchain technology. it is impressive that blockchain and the concept of decentralization can be applied not only to finance, but to so many other industries, needs and uses in our society.

then there is the sheer speed of blockchain technology; Overseas money transfers, for example, which used to take 3-5 days via wire transfers, can happen almost instantly, or as little as a few minutes, on a slow day, with blockchain. the list of reasons for the popularity of cryptocurrencies seems endless. crypto exemplifies numerous traits that appeal to both the human imagination and our daily needs.

In this article, we examine cryptocurrencies in detail, discussing their various types, and highlighting 20 coins that are popular today. Of course, all things crypto change as fast as the speed of the blockchain. therefore, this list may already be out of date after publication; but don’t worry, we’ll keep you informed.

how many cryptocurrencies are there?

There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies in the world today, and while each is designed to provide some new feature or function, most are based on similar principles to bitcoin:

• Cryptocurrencies are not issued, regulated or supported by a central authority such as a bank or the government. they are decentralized, not centralized.

• Cryptocurrencies are created using a distributed ledger (blockchain) and peer review (p2p).

• bitcoin and other currencies are encrypted (secured) with specialized computer code called cryptography.

• As assets, cryptocurrencies are usually stored in digital wallets, commonly a blockchain wallet, which allows users to manage and exchange their coins.

As of March 2022, there were over 18,000 different types of cryptocurrencies, for a total market capitalization (market capitalization) for all cryptocurrencies of $2 trillion.

Furthermore, as of March 2022, approximately 8% of the US population participated in cryptocurrency trading. And as a continent, Asia had more than four times as many cryptocurrency users as any other continent.

why are there so many different cryptocurrencies?

Bitcoin may have been conceived as an alternative medium of exchange (like money), but the use of cryptocurrencies as currency is not legal everywhere in the world, and in some countries, cryptocurrencies are restricted or banned altogether. therefore, many of the 18,000 types of cryptocurrencies are not used as money or currency.

developers can build almost anything using the powerful technology of blockchain. Some cryptocurrencies are used as investment vehicles, stores of value that can be bought, sold, or traded on cryptocurrency exchanges.

many other crypto platforms have purposes that go far beyond acting as an exchange of value. blockchain, in fact, can offer solutions to long-standing problems in many sectors of the economy other than finance, including agriculture, cybersecurity, fine arts, gaming, health care, insurance, law, medicine , real estate and supply chain management.

Another reason why there are so many types of cryptocurrencies could be the fear of missing out on the fomo factor. Buoyed by the rapid growth of cryptocurrencies in recent years, in an effort to reap any potential profit, entrepreneurs are continually releasing large numbers of new coins onto the cryptocurrency market.

what are the different types of cryptocurrencies?

Although some people use the terms crypto, coins, and tokens interchangeably, they are not the same thing. To gain a basic understanding of cryptocurrencies, it is important to understand how these terms differ from each other.

Cryptocurrencies generally fall into one of two categories:

currencies: can include bitcoin and altcoins (all cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin)

tokens: programmable assets that live within the blockchain of a given platform

The term altcoin refers to all cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin. Some main types of altcoins include mining-based cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, security tokens, and utility tokens.

what are cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are strings of computer code that can represent an asset, a concept or a project, whether tangible, virtual or digital, intended for various uses and with different valuations. Originally, these coins were intended to function as a type of currency.

Cryptocurrencies are not like fiat currencies, for example, the dollar, the euro or the yen. fiat money is tangible; it is governed by central authorities and functions as a store of value: you can exchange any fiat for goods and services. But cryptocurrencies, including the various types of currencies we discuss here, can serve many purposes beyond currency. cryptocurrency as “currency” is a usage that only scratches the surface of blockchains’ capabilities. Because they are based on blockchain technology, some cryptocurrencies can offer solutions to long-standing problems in almost every sector of our economy.

what are tokens?

Tokens are typically created and distributed through an initial coin offering (ICO), much like an initial public offering (IPO) of stock. They can be represented as:

• tokens of value (such as bitcoins)

• security tokens (which are similar to shares)

• utility tokens (designated for specific uses)

Like US dollars, tokens represent value, but they are not exactly valuable in themselves, in the same way that the value of a paper dollar may not be $1. but the tokens can be used in transactions for other things.

A token differs from a currency in the way that it is built into the blockchain of an existing currency, such as bitcoin or ethereum.

crypto currencies vs. tokens

When talking about cryptocurrencies, you will see the terms coin and token. some people use them interchangeably, but that’s a mistake. they are not interchangeable and it is important to know the difference between a coin and a token.

Although coins and tokens are considered forms of cryptocurrencies, they provide different functions. Coins are built on their own blockchain and were originally conceived as a form of currency. In general, any blockchain-based cryptocurrency other than bitcoin is called an altcoin (more on this below).

A digital currency is created on its own blockchain and acts like a fiat currency (traditional money). Coins can be used to store value and as a medium of exchange between two parties doing business with each other. examples of currencies include bitcoin and litecoin.

But tokens, which are created on an existing blockchain (which is not your own), can function in many more ways than just acting as currency. Instead of representing an exchange of value, tokens are seen as programmable assets on which you can create and run unique smart contracts. these contracts can establish ownership of assets outside of the blockchain network.

tokens can represent units of value, including real-world items like electricity, money, points, coins, digital assets, and more, and can be sent and received. ether (eth), which is used to transact on the ethereum network, is a token. in another example, the basic attention token (bat), also based on ethereum, is used in digital advertising.

Tokens can be used as part of a software application, such as granting access to an application, verifying identity, or tracking products moving through a supply chain. they can also represent digital art, as with non-fungible tokens (nfts). There have even been experiments using NFTs to represent physical assets, such as real-life art and real estate.

what are alternative currencies?

The term altcoin started out as a shorthand for an alternative to bitcoin, and most altcoins were launched to improve upon bitcoin in some way. some examples of altcoins are namecoin, litecoin, peercoin, ethereum and usd coin.

Like bitcoin, some cryptocurrencies have a limited coin supply, which helps create demand and bolster their perceived value. for example, there is a fixed number of bitcoins that can be created: 21 million, as decided by the creators of bitcoin.

Although most altcoins are based on the same basic framework as bitcoin and share some of its features, each altcoin offers slightly different features. some altcoins use a different process to produce and validate transaction blocks. some may offer new features, such as smart contracts, or an advantage, such as lower price volatility.

The 20 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, as of June 25, 2022

Below is a list of the 20 largest cryptocurrencies arranged by market capitalization (market cap), highest first, according to coinmarketcap dated June 25, 2022. bitcoin (btc) is the undisputed leader in the cryptocurrency sector, with a market capitalization of $407,387,696.36, followed by ethereum (eth), at $149,402,716,985.

bigger is not necessarily better, but…

It’s hard to know which are the best cryptocurrencies, especially when there are so many virtual currencies with prices that vary wildly. but quantitative metrics like market capitalization and others can help us put a comparative value on this myriad of cryptocurrencies. bitcoin, ethereum, and some of the bigger altcoins out there are top-tier choices due to their scalability, privacy, and the scope of functionality they support.

market capitalization to value cryptos?

Taken from traditional finance (tradfi), market capitalization is an essential metric because it helps investors and analysts form a rough estimate of a crypto’s stability. A coin with a much larger market cap than its peers has the potential to be a more stable investment than one with a much smaller market cap. digital currencies with smaller market caps are more susceptible to the vagaries of the market; they have the potential to experience dramatic gains or losses.

To calculate the market capitalization of a cryptocurrency, multiply its current price by the total number of coins in circulation.

Cryptocurrency prices change continuously, every moment of every day. the global crypto market is open for trading 24/7. as such, data such as this is out of date by the time it is published. coinmarketcap publishes daily price changes of cryptocurrencies in real time.

Finally, please note that in the list below, the blockchain platform name may be different from your digital currency.

1. bitcoins (btc)

btc: cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $410,202,265,385

• 📈 current price of btc

bitcoin is the clear leader in the cryptocurrency sector. it is also the first cryptocurrency. bitcoin launched in 2009; created by a person (or possibly a group) who goes by the pseudonym satoshi nakamoto. As of June 2022, there are just over 19 million bitcoin tokens in circulation, against a hard cap of 21 million. Nearly a thousand new bitcoins are mined every day, bringing bitcoin ever closer to its maximum finite number.

Bitcoin was designed to be independent of any government or central bank. instead, it is based on blockchain technology, a decentralized public ledger that contains a digital record of every bitcoin transaction. bitcoin established the basic system of cryptography and consensus, i.e. peer-to-peer (p2p) verification, which is the basis of most forms of cryptography today.

as a reminder, a p2p network structure in blockchain technology is generally decentralized and designed to operate in the best interest of all parties involved, rather than primarily benefiting a centralized entity. A peer-to-peer blockchain network connects different computers (or nodes) so they can work in unison. Ideally, p2p platforms are public, open, and censorship-resistant networks that allow the sharing of important data and other functionality.

Bitcoin miners use powerful computers to verify transaction blocks and generate more bitcoins. bitcoin mining uses a complex and time-consuming process called proof of work (pow). transactions are permanently recorded on the blockchain, helping to validate and protect each bitcoin and the network as a whole. Recently, the large amount of energy required to create bitcoin has raised concerns about environmental pollution.

2. ethereal (eth)

eth—cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $150,833,549,828

• 📈 current price of eth

Like bitcoin, ethereum is a blockchain network. But Ethereum was designed as a programmable blockchain, which means that it was not created to support a currency, but rather to allow users of the network to create, publish, monetize and deploy decentralized applications (dapps). ether (eth), the native currency of ethereum, was developed as a form of payment on the ethereum platform. It might be useful to think of eth as a type of fuel that powers the ethereum blockchain. ethereum has helped launch many initial coin offerings because many icos are built on the ethereum blockchain. ethereum has also been the blockchain behind the rise of non-fungible tokens (nfts).

As the two most well-known blockchains and cryptocurrencies, many people often directly compare ethereum and bitcoin with each other. In reality, bitcoin and ethereum are designed to accomplish different goals and in many ways can be considered complementary forces. bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital cash network, facilitating transactions without the need for a central authority. This novel network architecture has paved the way for the complex blockchain ecosystem that we have today. Ethereum, often referred to as the world computer, iterates on bitcoin technology while introducing smart contracts. smart contracts allow you to create dapps that span a wide range of crowdfunding platforms, financial instruments, digital games and collectibles, and decentralized marketplaces.

As of June 2022, ether was the number two virtual currency, behind bitcoin. Also like btc, eth is generated using a pow system. but unlike bitcoin, there is no limit to the amount of eth that can be created.

3. tie (usdt)

usdt: crypto type: stablecoin

market capitalization (06/25/22): $66,837,248,865

tether was the first cryptocurrency marketed as a stablecoin, a variety of cryptocurrencies known as fiat-collateralized stablecoins. The value of the tether is pegged to a fiat currency, in this case, the US. uu. dollar. tether is the world’s largest stablecoin; in 2022, most cryptocurrencies are traded using tether.

Like other stablecoins, Tether is designed to offer stability, transparency, and lower transaction fees to users. Tether was not meant to be a speculative investment like some cryptocurrencies; Originally, investors who wanted to avoid the extreme volatility of the crypto market used USDT. tether is pegged to the usa uu. dollar (which is why the ticker is usdt), and supposedly holds a 1:1 value with the dollar, although this claim has come under some scrutiny.

many believe that tether is the lifeblood of the crypto ecosystem. they worry that if the connection implodes, the entire system will collapse.

In May 2022, that’s exactly what happened: Tether briefly lost its peg to the dollar and all cryptocurrencies crashed. In part, this was the result of another stablecoin, Terrausd (USD) falling below 30 cents. the wave of panic in the broader crypto market was palpable. Due to this drop, many crypto investors tried to redeem their tethers, others tried to exit the asset class altogether, and many lost their investments.

4. usd currency (usdc)

usdc crypto type: stablecoin

market capitalization (06/25/22): $55,887,416,457

the usd coin (usdc) is a digital stablecoin pegged to the us. uu. dollar. It operates on the Ethereum, Stellar, Algorand, and Solana blockchains. USDC was initially created by the Center Consortium, which includes its two main founding members, Circle and Coinbase. Each USDC token is backed by $1 held in reserve and regularly audited by Grant Thornton, a major accounting corporation. USDC was launched in September 2018 and during March 2021 it was announced that Visa would make it easier to use USDC for settlement on its payment network.

usdc is a stablecoin that runs on the ethereum blockchain and several others. is linked to the usa uu. dollar. Like the stablecoin anchor (USDT) described above, one USDC is worth one U.S. dollar: guaranteed 1:1 ratio makes it a stable form of exchange.

Several stablecoins have proliferated as the crypto ecosystem has developed, with many now an essential part of the market. How a stablecoin maintains its stability, known as its peg, depends on its infrastructure. stablecoins can be issued by a centralized institution or collateralized on a decentralized basis. they can even use one of numerous algorithmic mechanisms to maintain a stable price.

See also: 2 Billion Worth of Unpeeled Casascius Physical Bitcoins: There&039s Less Than 20,000 Coins Left Active – Featured Bitcoin News

the goal of having a stablecoin like usdc is to make transactions faster and cheaper. While there are questions as to whether the Tether stablecoin is fully backed by the US. uu. In dollar reserves, some investors believe USDC is more transparent: Its reserves are monitored by the US arm of Grant Thornton, LLC, a global accounting firm. On March 29, 2021, Visa announced the use of USDC to settle transactions on its payment network. As of June 2022, there were USD55.09 billion in circulation.

5. binance coin (bnb)

bnb: crypto type: currency

market capitalization (06/25/22): $39,135,965,106

• 📈 bnb current price

binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Binance Coin (BNB) was created as a utility token for use as a medium of exchange on Binance. It was initially built on the Ethereum blockchain, but now lives on Binance’s own blockchain platform. Originally, BnB allowed merchants to get discounts on trading fees on Binance, but now it can also be used for payments, booking travel, entertainment, online services, and financial services.

As one of the top five cryptocurrencies by market capitalization in 2022, bnb has developed a wide range of use cases and real-world applications. but, as with other digital assets, this crypto platform has also faced regulatory hurdles here and abroad.

bnb was created with a maximum of 200 million tokens, about half of which were made available to investors during its ico. Every quarter, to fuel demand, Binance buys back and then “burns” (permanently destroys or removes from circulation) some of the coins it owns. a project burns its tokens to reduce the total supply. the motivation is usually to increase the value of the remaining tokens, since assets tend to rise in price every time the circulating supply falls, and become scarcer.

6. xrp (xrp)

xrp: crypto type: currency

market capitalization (06/25/22): $17,768,795,974

xrp is the native currency of the ripple ledger network. it is designed to be a medium of exchange and transfer of value, and is intended to be used as a low-cost bridge between fiat currencies for a wide range of global transactions.

xrp enables a system that can outperform many established cryptocurrencies and fiat transmission technologies. this has led to a world-class payment system that minimizes intermediation processes and improves the overall benefit for its users.

xrp was developed by ripple labs, inc. and although some people use the terms xrp and ripple interchangeably, they are different. Ripple is a global money transfer network used by financial services companies. xrp is the crypto that was designed to work on the ripple network. You can buy XRP as an investment, as a currency to exchange for other cryptocurrencies, or as a way to finance Ripple transactions.

unlike bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies, xrp cannot be mined; instead there is a limited amount of coins, 100 billion xrp, that already exist. Furthermore, XRP does not rely on a complex digital verification process through the blockchain like Bitcoin and others do. The ripple network employs a unique system to validate transactions in which participating nodes conduct a poll to verify transactions. this makes xrp transactions faster and cheaper than bitcoin.

7. binanceusd (busd)

busd: crypto type: stablecoin

market capitalization (06/25/22): $17,365,183,938

binance usd (busd) is the stablecoin developed and used by the binance exchange platform. busd is pegged at a 1:1 ratio to the us. uu. dollar and was initially implemented in the bnb chain. busd is also interoperable with other blockchains like ethereum, and can be used for various defi applications and inter-blockchain value transfers. busd is one of the largest US dollar-pegged stablecoins in the world, with a market cap of approximately $18 billion (as of June 25, 2022).

binance usd (busd) is a 1:1 usd backed stablecoin issued by binance (in partnership with paxos). busd is approved and regulated by the new york state department of financial services (nydfs). Launched in September 2019, busd aims to merge dollar stability with blockchain technology. it is a digital fiat currency, issued as an erc-20 token and compatible with bep-2.

Based on their price stability, stablecoins play an important role in transactions, payments and settlement, and in decentralized finance (defi). here are some things you can do with busd:

• transfer busd anywhere in minutes at low cost on the blockchain

• trade on different centralized and decentralized exchanges (dexs)

• deposit it to get an interest rate

• pay; use it as payment for goods and services

• use it as collateral and loan asset

• use as cross collateral in futures trading

• store it on an exchange or in a wallet

8. cardan (ada)

ada: cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $16,833,937,441

• 📈 ada current price

cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform with smart contract functionality. In particular, Cardano is noted for its focus on academic research, high transaction per second (tps) throughput, and an energy-efficient consensus mechanism called ouroboros. ada, the native currency of the cardano network, is used to facilitate transactions and execute smart contracts.

cardano bills itself as a third generation blockchain platform, to become a next level player. cardano is based on proof of stake (pos), which means that the complicated pow calculations and high electricity consumption required to mine currencies like bitcoin are not necessary. This potentially makes the Cardano network more efficient and sustainable than other crypto networks.

the cardano cryptocurrency is named ada, after ada lovelace, a 19th century mathematician.

Cardano’s main applications are in identity management and traceability. The first application can be used to streamline the collection of data from multiple sources. the latter can be used to audit a product’s manufacturing route and potentially prevent product fraud and counterfeiting.

cardano is being built in five phases to achieve its goal of developing the network into a decentralized application platform (dapp) with a multi-asset ledger and verifiable smart contracts. each phase, or era, in the cardano roadmap is anchored in its research-based framework and peer-reviewed insights, which have helped establish its academic reputation.

9. solana (sun)

sol—cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $14,504,821,341

• 📈 current price of the sun

solana is a blockchain platform that generates the cryptocurrency, sol. Solana has advanced decentralized finance (defi) and specifically with its smart contract technology, programs that run on the platform according to pre-set conditions. smart contracts are similar to paper contracts, but without intermediaries. Solana was also behind the Degenerate Ape Academy, an NFT launched in August 2021. One of the essential innovations Solana brings to the table is its Proof-of-History (POH) consensus. this mechanism allows greater scalability of the protocol, which in turn increases usability.

sol is designed to make it easy to create dapps. it aims to improve scalability by introducing a proof-of-history (poh) consensus combined with the underlying proof-of-stake (pos) consensus of the blockchain.

Due to the innovative hybrid consensus model, Solana enjoys interest from both small and institutional traders. An important focus for the Solana Foundation is to make decentralized finance accessible on a larger scale.

Solana is known to have incredibly short rendering times. sol’s hybrid protocol enables significantly reduced validation times for both transaction and smart contract execution. With ultra-fast processing times, solana has also attracted a lot of institutional interest.

The solana protocol is designed to serve both small-time users and enterprise customers alike. One of Solana’s main promises to customers is that they won’t be surprised by rising fees and taxes. the protocol is designed in such a way that it has low transaction costs while ensuring scalability and fast processing.

10. dogecoin (dogo)

doge: crypto type: altcoin, meme coin

market capitalization (06/25/22): $9,088,298,080

• 📈 current doge price

dogecoin (pronounced dohj-coin) is widely known as the first joke cryptocurrency; it was launched in 2013 as a way to make fun of bitcoin. however, the coin captured people’s attention and a good amount of investment. In April 2019, a tweet from Elon Musk indicated that he had a positive view of Dogecoin, further raising Dogecoin’s profile as a legitimate cryptocurrency.

dogecoin is an alternative currency similar to bitcoin and ethereum in that it runs on a blockchain network using a pow system. but the number of coins that can be mined is unlimited (compared to bitcoin’s limit of 21 million coins).

dogecoin has been used primarily as a tipping system on reddit and twitter to reward the creation or sharing of quality content. You can get Dogecoin tips by participating in a community that uses the digital currency, or you can get your Dogecoin from a Dogecoin faucet. A dogecoin faucet is a website that will give you a small amount of dogecoin for free as an introduction to the coin, so you can start interacting in the dogecoin communities.

dogecoin is also associated with some headlines in crypto; For example, investors paid the equivalent of around $30,000 in Dogecoin to help send Jamaica’s bobsled team to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Despite its place as one of the largest coins by market cap, doge trades at one of the lowest prices: $0.072 cents, as of June 25, 2022.

11. moles (dot)

dot: cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $8,032,704,478

• 📈 dot current price

gavin wood co-founded polkadot, he also co-founded ethereum, to take the capabilities of a blockchain network to another level. the cryptocurrency of the blockchain is called a dot. since its launch in 2020, the polkadot platform has become one of the largest crypto networks in a relatively short time.

polkadot is powered by two blockchains: the main relay network, where transactions are permanent, and a parallel network of user-created blockchains, called parachains. Parachains are independent polkadot-based blockchains that connect to and off of the main polkadot blockchain (relay chain).

Parachains process transactions through sharding: they break a blockchain into multiple pieces or chunks and store that separate data on multiple different computers. in this way, the computational load of each computer is reduced. the network can process a higher volume of transactions, than if fragmentation had not occurred, at extremely fast transaction times. parachains can be customized for countless uses, such as creating applications; they can support other currencies and can benefit from the security of the main blockchain.

what differentiates polkadot from other blockchains is its main mission to solve the problem of interoperability by building so-called bridges between blockchains. polkadot is not the only system trying to act as a translator to help blockchains communicate with each other.

12. dai (dai)

dai: cryptographic type: token (originally), now a coin

market capitalization (06/25/22): $6,812,982,370

dai (dai) is one of the two cryptocurrencies native to the maker protocol, an open source software application maintained by the maker distributed autonomous organization (makerdao).

dai is a decentralized stablecoin, which means that it is not managed by a central authority or organization, but by smart contracts. it is also linked to the usa uu. dollar: it is correlated to usd but not backed by real dollars, to try to keep its value relatively stable compared to other cryptocurrencies. makerdao’s governance and utility token is mkr, which is used to stabilize the price of dai crypto.

dai was created to facilitate the lending of cryptocurrencies, which is the main purpose of the maker protocol. But as an ERC20 token, Dai Crypto also offers a wide range of possible use cases on Ethereum, including the creation of smart contracts.

dai (dai) is a collateral-backed cryptocurrency, which attempts to hold roughly a one-to-one value with the us. uu. dollar through the use of smart contracts. In other words, Dai is a stablecoin. But while other stablecoins are run by centralized organizations looking to keep their prices stable, Dai crypto is based on smart contracts and backed by other forms of crypto, through the use of collateralized debt.

13. shiba-inu (shib)

shib crypto type: altcoin, meme coin

market capitalization (06/25/22): $6,475,986,264

• 📈 current shib price

The shiba inu (shib) cryptocurrency is what is known as a “meme coin” or a meme-based cryptocurrency. a meme coin is a cryptocurrency or cryptographic token based on a viral joke or cultural reference. projects built around meme coins rely heavily on social media hype to attract new users/investors. shiba inu (shib) was inspired by dogecoin (doge), the original meme coin created in 2014 that uses the image of a shiba inu dog, and which we discussed earlier.

shib claims to be an alternative to dogecoin or a “dogecoin killer”. Unlike Doge, which has its own blockchain, Shib runs on the Ethereum blockchain. however, one thing the doge and the shib have in common is that their supply is plentiful. shib started with an initial circulating supply of a quadrillion coins.

As with any investment vehicle, shiba inu crypto has advantages and disadvantages. also has value for a couple of reasons:

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• there is a limited supply of shib. the shib coin launched in 2020 with a fixed supply of 1 quadrillion, nearly 50% of which has already been burned or donated, keeping the market price low (a shib coin is worth a fraction of a penny). the limit on the number of coins has also given the price a place to go, if demand increases.

• shib comes with attractive rewards. shiba inu has a system that can provide investors with passive income through rewards for staking (locking cryptocurrency holdings for rewards or earning interest) or depositing funds into a liquidity pool. this reward system aims to give users the incentive to spend different currencies on the network.

14. tron (trx)

trx: crypto type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $6,004,598,717

tron (trx) is a blockchain-based decentralized operating system developed by the tron ​​foundation and launched in 2017. originally trx tokens were erc-20 based tokens implemented on ethereum, but a year later they were moved to their own network. . tron is a blockchain-based operating system that aims to ensure that this technology is suitable for everyday use.

tron ​​software supports smart contracts, various types of blockchain systems and dapps. uses a transaction model similar to bitcoin, namely utxo. transactions take place on a public ledger, where users can track transaction history. data hosted on the tron ​​network is free with no central authority.

tron aims to help content creators, who receive only a small part of the income for their work, in the form of trx tokens, and encourage them with more rewards. For example, Tron invites content consumers to reward content creators directly, without intermediaries like YouTube, Meta, or Apple. tron also implements decentralized gaming on the network, and players can encourage and reward creators with digital assets directly.

The platform was created to create a decentralized internet and serves as a tool for developers to create dapps, acting as an alternative to ethereum. anyone can create dapps on the tron ​​network, offer content, and in return receive digital assets as compensation for their efforts. the ability to create content and share it openly without hesitation about transaction fees is a tron ​​advantage.

15. avalanche (avax)

avax: cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $6,018,277,629

• 📈 avax current price

avalanche (avax) is a blockchain platform built for smart contracts, dapps, and subnets (custom blockchains). the network focuses on fast transactions, low fees, and efficient energy. avax, is the native token of avalanche.

With its three-blockchain architecture and pos consensus protocol, avalanche can deliver high throughput, which will help the network grow without sacrificing security or decentralization.

avalanche is part of a group of smart contract platforms that compete with ethereum, collectively referred to as “ethereum killers”. As we noted earlier, Ethereum is the second largest crypto by market cap and was the first blockchain to enable smart contract functionality. smart contracts are trustless programmatic agreements, that is, they do not require third-party authentication and can be executed automatically when certain conditions are met.

the ethereum network has hosted numerous complex applications for decentralized finance (defi), and non-fungible tokens (nfts) have also been created on ethereum. this has created congestion on the network as users compete to have their transactions included in the next block on the blockchain, resulting in higher gas fees. Due to this, cryptographic protocols have started to develop in layer 2 solutions like polygon. avalanche wants to address this need and instead have a layer 1 solution that can handle everything that is needed for this type of blockchain.

avalanche uses three different blockchains to achieve this, allowing the platform to function at a scale suitable for the internet in general. each of the three blockchains performs a specialized task in the avalanche ecosystem, whereas in most other blockchains, a single chain handles all the work.

16. unus sed leo (leo)

leo: cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $5,619,863,497

unus sed leo is a utility token used throughout the ifinex ecosystem, and ifinex is the parent company of bitfinex.

ifinex launched leo in May 2019 with a specific purpose. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, Leo was not meant to be around forever. unus sed leo was founded after the government seized some of its funds from crypto capital, a company that processed ifinex payments. Because it was unclear whether Ifinex would be able to recover these funds, it created Leo to help cover the financing shortfall.

leo helps bitfinex users save money on trading fees by offering a discount based on how much leo a client has in their account.

While some cryptocurrencies are only released on a single blockchain, Leo tokens were issued on two blockchains. while 64% of the original supply was on ethereum, the remaining 36% was built on eos (a platform designed to allow developers to easily create dapps).

The goal of the project is relatively simple: to make it as easy as possible for programmers to adopt blockchain technology and to ensure that the network is easier to use than rivals.

Throughout the token creation process, ifinex was transparent and announced that it would gradually buy the token back from investors until there were no more tokens circulating in the market. ifinex also implemented monitoring procedures so that the crypto community could see if the leo initiative was meeting its stated goals. this kind of integrity is a quality that makes unus sed leo a unique crypto.

17. wrapped bitcoin (wbtc)

wbtc—cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $5,692,540,738

A wrapped cryptocurrency is an erc-20 token that has the same value as the other asset it represents. the security can be pegged through 1-to-1 backing with the underlying asset or through a smart contract that trades a stable security.

wrapped bitcoin is an erc-20 token that represents one bitcoin and can be used in dapps. With wbtc, users can implement bitcoin into the ethereum ecosystem, while otherwise they would not be able to. decentralized applications (dapps) can process wrapped token transactions faster than unwrapped versions because there is no need to compute on different blockchains, which is difficult.

The only thing required to transact ethereum using wrapped tokens is a small gas (eth) fee.

Currently, there are several types of cryptocurrencies involved, including a handful of stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and Coinbase’s US Dollar Coin (USDC). the private cryptocurrency zcash also has a wrapped token. and other coins are coming out with wrapped versions, in an effort to remain relevant and usable during a period of rapid defi adoption.

Launched in January 2019, wbtc was designed to bring liquidity from bitcoin to ethereum. In the 18 months after its launch, users converted more than $800 million worth of bitcoin to WBTC.

18. polygon (matic)

matic: cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $4,804,705,995

• 📈 matic current price

In early 2021, an ethereum infrastructure project called matic was renamed polygon. polygon, which is designed for developers of ethereum projects, works on the infrastructure of the ethereum or blockchain network and develops products that make blockchain transactions faster and more secure.

Before its relaunch as polygon, the existing matic project had more than 80 applications performing approximately 7 million transactions for around 200,000 users. So what is it about this cryptocurrency project and its associated token, matic, that makes it stand out among other types of cryptocurrencies?

polygon and matic before have many goals, but one of their main goals is to make ethereum (eth) and the ethereum blockchain easier for developers to use. ethereum was created to create applications and host smart contracts, agreements that can be validated and executed without the approval or action of a third party, such as a judge or lawyer.

matic developers discovered that there were “scalability and user experience issues” that had restricted mass adoption of smart contracts and dapps. To solve this, matic decided to use sidechains to process applications and contracts on ethereum. A sidechain is a separate blockchain that is linked to its main blockchain via a two-way connection, allowing interchangeability.

The sidechain fix was effective as it was able to achieve the project goals without slowing down the entire network. Just as ethereum transactions require gas paid for in ether, the matic token would be the means of paying transaction fees on the matic network. the cryptocurrency sector took notice, and along with the newfound attention, polygon (matic) also enjoyed a new round of credibility and funding.

19. litecoin (ltc)

ltc crypto type: currency

market capitalization (06/25/22): $4,162,336,685

• 📈 current price of ltc

litecoin (ltc) is a cryptocurrency created in 2011 as one of the first altcoins (alternatives to bitcoin). Although it is based on the original Bitcoin source code and shares certain features with BTC, LTC was designed to improve BTC, especially in terms of transaction speed. Although Litecoin was initially a popular entry in the crypto category, it has risen and fallen in value over time, displaying volatility similar to many cryptocurrencies (or even certain stocks and bonds).

Like many forms of crypto, litecoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer cryptocurrency; It was created from a fork in the bitcoin blockchain, the transparent digital public ledger used by most cryptocurrencies. Litecoin was designed to enable near-instant, near-zero cost payments that can be exchanged between people or institutions around the world.

As with bitcoin, litecoin uses a pow consensus system to verify transactions on the blockchain, but due to certain modifications it is considered a lighter and faster version of bitcoin. The main difference between litecoin and bitcoin is that litecoin uses a mining algorithm called scrypt, to allow faster transaction times.

litecoin generates a new block to mine every 2.5 minutes, which is about four times faster than bitcoin’s 10 minutes. the supply of litecoin is also four times higher. while bitcoin is capped at 21 million coins, the overall supply of litecoin is capped at 84 million.

20. uniswap (uni)

uni: cryptographic type: token

market capitalization (06/25/22): $4,137,726,799

• 📈 current price of uni

uniswap is the largest decentralized crypto exchange (dex) running on the ethereum blockchain. its native governance token is the uni. uniswap is a protocol on the ethereum blockchain for exchanging all erc-20 tokens. Unlike centralized exchanges, which are set up to charge transaction fees, uniswap is designed more as a tool for the community to trade tokens with no platform or middleman fees.

unlike well-established, centralized crypto exchanges (cexs) like binance or coinbase, the uniswap protocol uses smart contracts to facilitate trading of erc-20 tokens, acting as an automated market maker (amm). The AMM model, which powers most decentralized exchanges, eliminates the traditional order book, which would contain all bid and ask (buy and sell) orders on an exchange. Instead of indicating the current market price of an asset, an AMM evokes pools of liquidity through smart contracts. groups then execute operations according to preset algorithms.

uniswap was one of the first dexs to create an automated liquidity protocol to facilitate transactions. Unlike well-established, centralized crypto exchanges (CEX) like Binance or Coinbase, the Uniswap protocol uses smart contracts to facilitate trading of ERC-20 tokens, acting as an AMM. uniswap was one of the first dexs to create an automated liquidity protocol to facilitate transactions.

the takeaway

on October 31, 2009, a person or group of people using the pseudonym satoshi nakamoto launched the bitcoin project, described a year earlier in the iconic whitepaper, bitcoin: a peer-to-peer electronic cash system . . thus the cryptocurrency was born.

Could the author of that article have known then that the public launch of bitcoin would put the world on a path to economic and social change that he could not have imagined? possibly not however today, there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies for investors to learn about.

This guide to 20 different types of cryptocurrencies provides a background on today’s largest cryptocurrencies, including how and why they differ from one another. We hope it will help you decide on the best way to invest in crypto, based on your own investment style and risk tolerance.

To start investing in cryptocurrencies, you can open a brokerage account with Sofi Invest. As a SOFI member, you can manage your crypto investments on the SOFI app, knowing that SOFI takes security seriously. We use the latest technology available to help your crypto remain secure, including a Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) security layer.

discover how sofi invest can help you with your investment goals.

At sofi invest®, investors can trade cryptocurrencies with as little as $10. new sofi members who purchase at least $50 in cryptocurrency in the first seven days are eligible for a bonus of up to $100 in bitcoin. see full terms at sofi.com/crypto. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, dogecoin, litecoin, and cardano can be traded 24/7. In addition, Sofi takes security very seriously and uses a number of tools to keep investors’ cryptocurrencies safe.

frequently asked questions

Can you invest in all kinds of cryptocurrencies?

yes. it is possible to invest in all types of cryptocurrencies mentioned here and many more. however, not all cryptocurrency exchanges offer all the different cryptocurrencies out there. So if you’re looking for a specific coin, it’s best to see which exchanges carry it. It is also wise to check the fee schedules of the exchanges you are interested in, as these may be different between exchanges.

Are cryptocurrencies regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)?

not quite; But the SEC is working on it: In May 2022, SEC President Gary Gensler announced plans to expand the SEC’s crypto assets and cyber unit, which has existed as an arm of the SEC’s enforcement division. since 2017, by adding 20 new dedicated positions. At the same meeting, Gensler also said that the SEC plans to register and regulate cryptocurrency exchanges.

The expanded cyber and crypto asset unit will continue to leverage the agency’s expertise to ensure investors are protected in the crypto markets.

The SEC considers several cryptocurrencies to be securities, so it will continue to investigate securities law violations related to crypto asset offerings. In its investigations and rule making, the SEC will also focus on crypto-asset exchanges, crypto-asset loans, and staking products; decentralized finance platforms (defi); non-fungible tokens (nfts); and stablecoins.

when did crypto become popular?

In its 13-year history, there are a few milestones that, in hindsight, can be said to correlate with the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. these include, but are not limited to, the year 2011, when the first rivals of bitcoin supremacy (the altcoins) appeared on the scene. another marker could be around 2016, when ordinary people started to wake up to the power of blockchain technology and the ethereum currency, eth, became very popular. After the popularity of eth, there was a frenzy of initial coin offerings (icos), which finally peaked in early 2018, with 1,253 icos.

Another crucial period was in 2017, when bitcoin reached a price of $10,000 and continued to grow. this growth was due in part to a gradual increase in the number of places where bitcoins could be spent and traded.

It is not insignificant that the rise in popularity of cryptocurrencies in 2017 also coincided with the first commercial and investment banks showing interest in the digital asset sector.

Crypto: Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not backed or guaranteed by any government, are volatile, and carry a high degree of risk. Securities and consumer protection laws do not regulate cryptocurrencies to the same extent as traditional brokerage and investment products. research and knowledge are essential prerequisites before committing to any cryptocurrency. US regulators, including Finra, SEC, and CFPB, have issued public advisories about the risk of digital assets. Cryptocurrency purchases should not be made with funds drawn from financial products, including student loans, personal loans, mortgage refinancing, savings, retirement funds, or traditional investments. limitations apply to trading certain crypto assets and may not be available to residents of all states. investment risk: diversification can help reduce some of your investment risk. cannot guarantee profits or fully protect in a falling market. sofi invest® the information provided is not intended to provide financial or investment advice. Investment decisions should be based on each individual’s specific financial needs, objectives and risk profile. sofi cannot guarantee future financial performance. advisory services offered through sofi wealth, llc. sofi securities, llc, member finra/sipc. SOFI INVEST refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). individual client accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below. 1) Automated Investing: The Automated Investing Platform is owned by Sofi Wealth LLC, a SEC Registered Investment Advisor (“Sofi Wealth”). Brokerage services are provided to Sofi Wealth LLC by Sofi Securities LLC, a SEC-registered affiliated broker-dealer and member of FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities”). 2) Active Investing: The Active Investing Platform is owned by Sofi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities is handled by the Apex Clearing Corporation. 3) Cryptocurrency is offered by Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCen-registered Money Services Business. For additional disclosures related to the SOFI investment platforms described above, including the SOFI Digital Assets, LLC state license, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither representatives of SoFi Wealth Investment Advisors nor registered representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Investment Platform. The information related to the loan products contained in this document should not be construed as an offer or prequalification for any loan product offered by Sofi Bank, N.A., or Sofi Lender Corp. soin19040

1 sofi will charge a fee for each crypto transaction outside of automatic direct deposit purchases. For more information, visit sofi.com/invest/buy-cryptocurrency.

2 terms and conditions apply. Earn a bonus (as described below) when you open a new Sofi Digital Assets LLC account and purchase at least $50 of any cryptocurrency within 7 days. The offer only applies to new crypto accounts, is limited to one per person and expires on December 31, 2022. Once the conditions are met and the account is opened, you will receive your bonus within 7 days. sofi reserves the right to change or cancel the offer at any time without notice.

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