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Ever since its launch in May 2013, CoinMarketCap has been one of the go-to price tracking websites for the crypto industry. Today, it allows traders and investors to keep track of over 16,200 cryptocurrencies, but also 450 exchanges.
It also has numerous useful categories, allowing its users to sort the crypto market in a way that shows the biggest coins by price, their price movement in the last 24 hours, as well as the last week. You can view the coins that have the biggest market cap, the biggest volume, or according to which blockchain they belong to. As of recently, it even lets you see categories involving the three biggest trends — DeFi, NFT, and the metaverse.
Today, however, we are interested in the best coins to watch, and that typically includes the ones with the biggest market cap, as they contain the biggest amounts of money, which means that they have the most attention. As a result, any changes in their value are bound to mean a great opportunity. With that said, here are the top 7 cryptos to watch on CoinMarketCap.
Bitcoin is a coin that really doesn’t need any introduction. It was launched back in 2009, and on January 3rd, 2022, it will be celebrating its 13th birthday. This is the cryptocurrency that started the crypto industry, and as such, it is the biggest and purest digital currency out there. It is also the biggest brand, to the point where Bitcoin and crypto are nearly synonymous in the minds of the people.
Bitcoin was created by an unknown individual or group that we only know under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto created it in order to bring the power over money back to regular people, as he believed that the monetary authorities have too much power over our finances and that this power is being abused for decades, if not centuries.
So, he created a cryptocurrency — decentralized, digital money that cannot be controlled by any individual, but rather an entire community. Over the years, Bitcoin grew into a giant that went from being worthless to having a value of nearly $70,000 as of mid-November 2021. However, while it is the most important cryptocurrency ever built, the coin will likely never be able to fulfill its original purpose of being a decentralized currency.
Its technology is too limited for it to act as a method of payment. But, it can, and likely will become a store of value, thus replacing gold which has held that role throughout history. This indicates that its price will grow to massive heights in the future, which makes it worth owning.
To learn more about this token visit our Investing in Bitcoin guide.
In the next spot, we have Ethereum. Now, if Bitcoin is the most important coin that was ever created, then Ethereum definitely deserves the title of the second most important one, and so far, it also holds a place to match that importance. Ethereum was launched in 2015, and when it emerged, it changed the crypto industry forever.
Before Ethereum came, blockchain technology, developed to support digital currencies, was only used as a digital ledger. Ethereum pointed out that it is capable of so much more than that, such as recording code and developing all kinds of products that could someday revolutionize the entire internet. As such, Ethereum became the first development platform for crypto/blockchain industries. It has given us smart contracts, decentralized applications (dApps), decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the ability to create the metaverse, as well as token models such as ERC-20, which allowed for easy creation of new coins, instead of having to develop them from scratch, or copy some other project’s code.
Much like Bitcoin, Ethereum’s technology is seen as too primitive to satisfy the demand these days. But, unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum is willing to change and improve, and so its team has spent years developing Ethereum 2.0.
To learn more about this token visit our Investing in Ethereum guide.
3. Binance Coin
In the third spot, we have Binance Coin. This is a cryptocurrency developed by Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by trading volume. Binance launched in 2017, right before the prices skyrocketed, offering good service and plenty of altcoins, which allowed it to grab attention and instant popularity.
Over the years, the exchange made plenty of great moves, such as launching fiat-to-crypto subsidiaries all over the world, targeting the markets with the greatest potential and the lowest number of other crypto companies. Meanwhile, it introduced its coin BNB, as the heart of its ecosystem. Over time, this ecosystem grew, and so did BNB’s use cases.
Originally, it simply offered a discount on trading fees within the exchange. Then, after the launch of Binance Launchpad, it became the only coin that can be used for safe investments into projects that Binance supported. It also became the native crypto of its second blockchain, Binance Smart Chain, which acts as a development platform and the main competitor to Ethereum. With each new development, BNB’s use cases went up, increasing demand, and in turn, its price. Eventually, it became the third-largest cryptocurrency, which is a position that it holds even now.
To learn more about this token visit our Investing in Binance guide.
Next, we have Tether (USDT). Tether is an interesting one as it is the industry’s biggest and most popular stablecoin. As such, it is a cryptocurrency that is immune to volatility that makes other coins’ prices go up and down. That’s because Tether’s value doesn’t depend on the market sentiment. Instead, it is pegged to the USD, since every USDT coin is backed by $1.
As a stablecoin, Tether became a major hit in 2018, when the crypto winter took over, following the biggest bull run that the crypto world has seen up to that point. The prices were crashing, and people were seeking safe havens. While many simply withdrew from the crypto industry, others decided to buy Tether, which made the stablecoins emerge to the light of day.
Since then, Tether has inspired the creation of countless other stablecoins, although none of them managed to overthrow it. The biggest stablecoin after USDT is USDC, which still has a market cap that is $34 billion dollars smaller than Tether’s own, making it no threat to USDT’s position as the 4th largest crypto. At least, for the time being. One thing that Tether has going against it is multiple controversies, accusations of being involved in market manipulation schemes, as well as the fact that it did not allow auditors to inspect its bank accounts and confirm that it has enough money to back its entire circulating supply.
In the fifth spot, we have Solana (SOL). Now, Solana is a project that emerged relatively recently, in the first half of 2020. It was created due to the fact that Ethereum’s network became insufficient to handle the demand of the DeFi sector, which was blowing up around that time.
Solana learned from Ethereum’s mistakes, and it made sure to develop a lot more advanced technology that could process more transactions, make them cheaper, and still remain decentralized — all that simply by using a different approach to its consensus algorithm, which is a combination of Proof-of-Stake and its own invention, Proof-of-History.
Since its launch, Solana became a go-to platform for all those who got tired of Ethereum’s slow and overly expensive network, and its native coin, SOL, has a similar role as ETH does in Ethereum’s own ecosystem. As such, SOL is in direct competition with ETH, similarly to BNB, only it has plenty of technological advantages, and as such, it does have the potential to someday overtake Ethereum due to the pure convenience of its systems.
To learn more about this token visit our Investing in Solana guide.
Nearing the end of the list, we have Cardano, created by Charles Hoskinson, who previously worked on several other projects, including Ethereum. Cardano’s team made an impressive long-term plan for the project’s development, and so far, it has been sticking to it perfectly. More importantly, Cardano has been sticking to its plans without succumbing to greed like many other projects. It kept going slowly but steadily through trends and price rallies, crashes and hype, and all the while, it made sure that its upgrades kept coming out as scheduled, and properly developed.
It only launched its smart contracts a few months ago, but its attitude and responsibility inspired trust in the project, driving a large portion of the development community to its network. This has done wonders for its native token, ADA, which now sits as the sixth-largest coin by market cap.
Meanwhile, Cardano only went through two of its five phases of development. This means that there is a lot more scheduled to happen for this project, which, similarly to Solana, continues to grow and become more and more of a challenger to Ethereum and its reign as the crypto industry’s largest development platform.
To learn more about this token visit our Investing in Cardano guide.
7. USD Coin
Last, but not least, we have USD Coin (USDC). Like Tether before it, this cryptocurrency is a stablecoin, meaning that it doesn’t respond to crypto price trends and volatility, but instead, it continues to have a stable price at all times, also at $1.
However, unlike Tether, USD Coin made sure to be as transparent as possible and so far, it has avoided controversies that Tether did not. When it comes to stablecoins, their biggest concern is whether or not they are trusted, and which exchanges have them listed, and during its lifetime, USDC managed to get see as many listings as Tether itself.
It was introduced to numerous blockchains, as well, with the goal of reaching many more in the future. Eventually, it might even rise to be a real threat to Tether’s dominance in the stablecoin sector.
The crypto industry consists of over 16,200 active cryptocurrencies now, but only a handful of them were strong enough to make the top of the list, and become the highest-ranking coins that deserve to be under close watch at all times. The coins on this list are definitely worthy of their positions, and while they might be replaced over time by other projects, for now, they are the largest and most important cryptos in the industry.