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Cryptocurrencies are an exciting, emerging technology with the potential to not only change the world of finance but other related industries as well.
But like any new technology, it's important to know the risks and rewards before jumping in headfirst. From an onlooker's perspective, it is easy to think that the entire industry is only made up of NFTs, non-fungible tokens, and meme coins like Dogecoin as they have been quite popular of late. However, the digital coin market is bigger than ever, with top coins amazing hundreds of billions in market capitalization, if not a trillion.
This article will give you an overview of everything you need to know about the topmost cryptocurrencies: what they are, why people use them, how they work and why they, most likely, will dominate 2022.
These are the biggest cryptocurrencies with the most promising future at this moment.
Let's get started!
Introduced in 2009, Bitcoin is still the most well-known cryptocurrency on this list. It was developed by an anonymous person or group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. With a total market cap that is currently hovering around the $1 trillion mark, Bitcoin has grown over the years and is now as big as top tech companies like Tesla.
As the pioneer cryptocurrency, Bitcoin's adoption is spread out all over the world, and it has even been recognized by some countries such as El Salvador as legal tender.
Developed in 2013 by a Canadian-Russian developer named Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum continues to hold its position as the second-biggest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Ethereum has gained worldwide popularity thanks to its smart contract features that allow for endless possibilities when it comes to creating decentralized applications.
From the ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) to the many DeFi (Decentralised Finance) applications that are now all the rage in the crypto space, Ethereum has established its reputation as the foundational building block for the entire crypto and blockchain community. With a growing demand for Ethereum's real-world utility, the platform's age has started to show of late with the emergence of scalability issues. The good news is that Ethereum's developers have been working on shifting the network from its Proof of Work protocol to a Proof of Stake protocol as a scaling solution.
With a market capitalization of about $100 billion, Binance Coin is by far one of the biggest gainers of 2021. About a year ago, the coin was priced under $50 with a market capitalization under $7 billion.
Now, Binance Coin is a top 3 cryptocurrency and is the utility coin for the Binance Smart Chain (BSC) ecosystem. Just like Ethereum's dApp (decentralized application) ecosystem, BSC is an upcoming dApp development platform that offers scalability and higher transactional throughput and a decent alternative to Ethereum's ecosystem.
Since its release in 2014, Tether has established itself as the most popular stablecoin albeit with the controversy that surrounds it. With a market capitalization of over $70 billion, Tether USDT is the topmost USD-backed stablecoin.
Simply put, Tether is the crypto equivalent of a dollar and claims to have 1:1 backing of USD reserves in the back for every USDT that is in circulation. However, the coin has been marred in controversy with the latest being the U.S Treasury Department calling for actions to address the risk that stablecoins such as Tether pose to the economy.
Solana has seen its market capitalization grow on the backdrop of its blockchain ecosystem, offering a scalable, flexible, and efficient alternative to Ethereum's bloated system. As NFT sales took off for the better part of 2021, Ethereum's skyrocketing gas fees have deterred many participants. Solana blockchain has since offered a decent alternative, and multiple NFT projects have started to launch on Solana instead of Ethereum. This has seen Solana's price soar by more than 10,000% since last year.
The cryptocurrency industry is ever-changing with an increasing number of new projects to look out for. Innovation is the name of the game and only time can tell which cryptocurrencies will be leading the fray soon.
For now, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Con, Tether, and Solana are at the forefront of the revolution.