What’s the Best Cryptocurrency to Invest in Now? 7 Contenders

The best crypocurrencies to invest in now.

Over the last 10 years, only one year, 2014, has seen the overall market capitalization of cryptocurrency decline. Past isn’t always prologue, and it’s true that the pandemic era has seen some irresponsible speculation in the crypto sphere, plus fraud in digital assets hit an all-time high in 2021. Billions of dollars were lost to scams and “rug pulls” like the Squid Game token, where scammers shut off the ability to sell the token and walked off with their own profits. That said, crypto is rapidly becoming more mainstream, and while regulation may be a risk facing the area, it’s also one of the biggest bull cases as digital assets are legitimized by firm rules from world governments. Here’s a look at seven of the best cryptocurrencies to buy in January 2022.

Bitcoin (BTC)

A must-own for any crypto investor, Bitcoin is far and away the largest cryptocurrency by market cap and as time-tested a store of value as there is in the asset class. The coin, which turned 13 years old on Jan. 3, has a total market cap of nearly $900 billion. It accounts for nearly 40% of the total value of the cryptocurrency market and is the only digital asset with a U.S. exchange-traded fund following its movements. As the longest-living cryptocurrency and one that companies like Tesla Inc. (ticker: TSLA) and MicroStrategy Inc. (MSTR) have on their balance sheets, BTC is the most mature coin in its class and a required investment for the crypto-curious.

Ethereum (ETH)

Although a distant second to Bitcoin by market cap, Ethereum, which accounts for about 20% of the overall market, is arguably close to surpassing Bitcoin in relevance. That’s because it has actual function aside from being a store of value, with its Ethereum network easily claiming the superlative as the most heavily used blockchain in the world. Smart contracts, nonfungible tokens and even other cryptocurrencies trade on top of Ethereum, making its native currency, Ether (ETH), one of the best cryptocurrencies to buy. ETH is also destined to become far more energy-efficient than Bitcoin when it transfers from the proof-of-work to proof-of-stake protocol, eliminating the far more energy-intensive need to validate transactions on the blockchain through elaborate computational efforts.

Solana (SOL)

While Ethereum will soon address some of the energy issues plaguing Bitcoin, Solana has addressed one of the biggest issues with Ethereum: transaction fees. These “gas fees” make modest Ethereum transactions financially unfeasible, but Solana’s fees are a tiny fraction of ETH fees. Like Ethereum, Solana was built to be a top-notch platform for decentralized finance, or DeFi, which cuts out financial middlemen and traditional financial gatekeepers and institutions like banks, brokers and centralized exchanges. Launched in 2020, Solana has a small but growing share of the market, with the coin’s value soaring from $1.51 at the beginning of 2021 to more than $160.

Cardano (ADA)

Founded in 2017 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, Cardano is one of the largest blockchains to successfully run the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake protocol. Cardano aims to foster a developer-friendly ecosystem for decentralized applications, or dApps. Unlike Ethereum, Cardano has a hard cap on the number of coins that can ever exist, topping out at 45 billion. Thankfully for investors, 33.5 billion, or about 74%, of that supply is already in circulation, meaning the amount of dilution remaining is both known and relatively limited. One of the best cryptocurrencies to buy now, Cardano has surged from 22 cents to about $1.30 over the last year.

Dogecoin (DOGE)

Yes, Dogecoin is infamous for being a meme-inspired cryptocurrency that began as a joke. But first of all, being a meme token is far from an indictment in the world of crypto, where both Dogecoin and Shiba Inu enjoy top-15 billing in terms of market cap. The reason Dogecoin is one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in now, however, is a serious one: Elon Musk is a true believer, not just the ironic fan he was presumed to be amid Dogecoin’s 2021 epic rally, and the Tesla CEO said as much on a podcast with Lex Fridman in early January. Given the power that Musk’s word wields in the crypto sphere, it’s a wonder there hasn’t yet been a price reaction. If mainstream media picks up Musk’s fascination with the currency again soon — or if the unpredictable billionaire makes his adoration for Dogecoin more public once more — then Dogecoin could be in for some short-term gains.

Yearn.finance (YFI)

The hottest coin you’ve never heard of, Yearn.finance is a $1.4 billion token with some serious volatility: Over the last year, prices have fluctuated between $18,566 and $93,435. Now trading for about $38,000, Yearn.finance is about the 80th-largest coin by market capitalization. It also has a noble goal: to expand the DeFi arena to less-technical investors and users by enabling optimized returns on yield farming. Decentralized finance as a whole is virtually guaranteed to grow over time, but the field is still technically challenging, so tools like Yearn.finance that promise to onboard users more easily have a promising future. In the short term, YFI performed quite well in late December and early January, jumping more than 20% while most other cryptos fell.

Polygon (MATIC)

Polygon has gone parabolic over the last year, surging roughly 100-fold over that time. Now a top-15 token, MATIC, which has a $17 billion market cap, is still one of the best cryptocurrencies to buy as 2022 kicks off. Polygon has a similar aim to Yearn.finance but seeks to accomplish mass adoption in a different way, by making blockchains more scalable. The technology is specifically intended to scale Ethereum and allow for potentially infinite dApps to run on top of it. Roughly 72% of Polygon’s maximum supply of 10 billion tokens already exists.

Top cryptocurrencies to invest in now:

— Bitcoin (BTC)

— Ethereum (ETH)

— Solana (SOL)

— Cardano (ADA)

— Dogecoin (DOGE)

— Yearn.finance (YFI)

— Polygon (MATIC)

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What’s the Best Cryptocurrency to Invest in Now? 7 Contenders originally appeared on usnews.com

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