2021 has been a tumultuous year for cryptocurrencies. However, the market for digital assets is still going strong. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 5 most valued cryptocurrencies in 2021. We begin with the most mainstream of them all.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
Market capitalization: $611,485,348,70
Widely regarded as the gold standard for cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin or BTC is the oldest and most widely-traded crypto on the market to-date.
Created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin was first introduced to the world in 2009. Since then, Bitcoin has gradually made its way into the mainstream. From its use on the deep web and Silk Road to becoming a full-on commodity, it’s clear to see that BTC is here to stay.
With a limited supply of 21 million coins and an active community, some have turned to Bitcoin as something of a safe haven investment as it is theoretically inflation-proof.
However, recent developments have triggered panic amongst investors and this in turn has led to a tumble in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
At the time of writing, BTC prices are hovering slightly above $30,000 with some anticipating a potential bear market in the days to come.
As of 2021, Bitcoin has a market cap of more than $600 billion – making it the most popular cryptocurrency in the world by far.
- Ethereum (ETH)
Market capitalization: $225,713,593,984
Coming in at second place for the most valued cryptocurrencies in 2021 is Ethereum. Developed back in 2013, Ethereum is the brainchild of a team of computer programmers that included Vitalik Buterin and Gavin James Wood.
Just like Bitcoin, Ethereum is also powered by a blockchain network. However, Ethereum provides users with a higher-level of utility compared to Bitcoin.
Described by some as being a “programmable blockchain”, the Ethereum blockchain allows users on the network to design and create a variety of decentralized applications i.e. DApp.
Its use as a base for smart contracts, faster processing times, and utility have led to come to regard ETH as superior to BTC.
Despite all this, Ethereum’s market capitalization is just ⅓ of Bitcoin’s – which means that it still has a long way to go.
- Tether (USDT)
Market capitalization: $62,501,394,270
The only stablecoin on this list, Tether bags the 3rd place for the most valued cryptocurrency in 2021. Stablecoins refer to cryptocurrencies that are backed by an equivalent amount of fiat currency i.e. the dollar, the euro, or Japanese yen.
These coins are intended to provide investors with the investment potential of a crypto asset with the stability of fiat currency. Tether or USDT is backed by the U.S Dollar and holds the distinction of being the first and most well-known stablecoin.
In 2019, Tether’s parent company was accused of misrepresenting the true amount of fiat currency backing and obscuring losses. The issue was later settled out of court.
- Binance Coin (BNB)
Market capitalization: $43,281,997,715
Launched in 2017, Binance Coin or BNB is a cryptocurrency issued by the world’s largest crypto exchange – Binance.
BNB was initially powered by the Ethereum blockchain but has since then migrated to its native Binance Chain. Only 200 million BNB tokens are allowed to be circulated with extra tokens being eliminated during the quarterly Binance Coin Burning.
Binance Coin is primarily used for trading and the paying of fees on the Binance crypto exchange. However, there are apps and sites that accept BNB tokens as a form of payment.
- Cardano (ADA)
Market capitalization: $38,077,465,196
Cardano is a decentralized, proof-of-stake (POS) blockchain platform that is designed to overcome the limitations of existing proof-of-work (POW) networks.
The token used on the Cardano network is known as ADA which has an estimated market cap of more than $38 million.
Developed by Charles Hoskinson, one of the co-founders of Ethereum, the Cardano platform was introduced to the world in 2015.
Building upon the concepts of Ethereum, Cardano is intended to be used as a platform for decentralized applications (DApp) with multi-asset ledger and verifiable smart contracts capability.
The market for cryptocurrencies will likely remain volatile in the years to come. You can read more here about how cryptocurrency earns value:
Whichever cryptocurrency you choose to invest in, always be sure to be extra careful.