The 10 Best-Performing Cryptocurrencies of 2022

The best cryptos in a choppy quarter.

In the first few months of 2022, there has been rampant volatility in the cryptocurrency market, most of which has been bearish. The total crypto market capitalization has fluctuated between more than $3 trillion in November 2021 and less than $2 trillion at times this year before ending the quarter at about $2.1 trillion. Bitcoin and other popular cryptos have taken a dip to start the year alongside the S&P 500, which is down 4.95% year to date. Many factors are at play to knock major cryptos off their streak. The crypto market is experiencing uncertainty from the war between Russia and Ukraine, questions about how governments all over the world plan to regulate crypto, and the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate increases to combat inflation. Even though most of them lost value in the first quarter, here are the top 10 performing cryptocurrencies in the first quarter with at least $10 billion in market value.

1. Terra (LUNA)

Terra is a public blockchain protocol that deploys stablecoinscryptocurrencies whose value is pegged to an underlying asset. It is most common that stablecoins are pegged to the U.S. dollar. The Terra blockchain uses stablecoins to enable price-stable global payment systems to support the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Terra is a type of cryptocurrency that has three main apps on the platform: Anchor, a savings service that offers competitive yields; Mirror, which allows investing; and Chai, a mobile payment app. Terra’s native token is LUNA, which is used to stabilize the price of the Terra protocol’s stablecoins. Terra’s network goal is to create a suite of stablecoins that offer the benefits of decentralized cryptocurrencies and the stability of fiat currencies.

Year-to-date return: +21.3%

Market cap: $78.9 billion

2. XRP (XRP)

XRP is a digital asset built for payment and is the native cryptocurrency of Ripple, which is a crypto payments system. XRP is known for its speed, scalability and low cost compared with other digital assets. This asset is the native crypto for the XRP ledger, a permissionless, decentralized blockchain technology that can settle transactions in three to five seconds. XRP is a scalable crypto that can handle 1,500 transactions per second. XRP’s fees are also very low, encouraging transactions. Ripple is focused on building out new technology that will increase the use case for XRP.

Year-to-date return: -0.9%

Market cap: $82 billion

3. Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is the No. 1 cryptocurrency by market cap. It’s the most popular and widely traded cryptocurrency on the market. People are growing increasingly comfortable using it to securely send digital money directly to one another. Bitcoin is being seen as a store of value or an asset that maintains its value over time as inflation keeps rising. Despite a sideways quarter, the value of Bitcoin has been increasing exponentially since it was created, much more than traditional asset classes, and for those who are able to take the risk, an allocation to Bitcoin can be one way to increase your wealth over time.

Year-to-date return: -1.4%

Market cap: $867 billion

4. Ether (ETH)

Home to the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain that has smart contract functionality, allowing applications to be built on the platform. Its native cryptocurrency is Ether. As opposed to Bitcoin, which was created to be used as a medium of exchange, Ethereum was created as a computing platform that offers security to open-source blockchains, widening its utility to a variety of applications. Ethereum currently uses the proof-of-work, or PoW, protocol, where miners validate transactions to keep the network’s integrity, but is expected to switch to the proof-of-stake, or PoS, protocol through the rollout of Ethereum 2.0, which will provide quicker transactions, scalability and energy efficiency. This switch is expected to happen in the first half of 2022.

Year-to-date return: -8.7%

Market cap: $411 billion

5. Cardano (ADA)

Founded in 2017 by a co-creator of Ethereum, Cardano is an open-source blockchain platform similar to Ethereum, but it operates with the proof-of-stake protocol. While Ethereum is a larger crypto by market cap, Cardano is the largest platform to implement the PoS consensus mechanism. Cardano has recorded fast growth in the crypto space. Its team is focused on building a scalable and safe platform through rigorous research and publishes its findings in peer-reviewed academic papers. The native token on the platform is ADA, which allows users on the platform to operate on the network and can be used to stake on the platform to be a part of its governance systems.

Year-to-date return: -13.0%

Market cap: $38 billion

6. Avalanche (AVAX)

Avalanche, known as a rival to the Ethereum blockchain, enables decentralized applications and other blockchain networks to operate through its smart contract capability. Avalanche also has high transaction output of roughly 6,500 transactions per second while also maintaining scalability. The network’s speed makes it one of the fastest smart-contracts platforms in the blockchain industry. As opposed to the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks, Avalanche uses a PoS consensus mechanism, which allows operations to function quicker. Avalanche also stands out because its network is spread across three blockchains, each built for its own purpose. It’s also cheaper to deploy smart contracts on Avalanche, providing developers with more flexibility to develop on the network.

Year-to-date return: -18.3%

Market cap: $37.4 billion

7. BNB (BNB)

BNB is the native cryptocurrency of the Binance crypto exchange, which is the largest exchange globally and was launched in 2017. BNB powers the BNB chain ecosystem, making it one of the most popular utility tokens. Binance crypto traders use BNB to pay for goods and services and settle transactions on the exchange. For example, you can use BNB for travel expenses on, pay for transaction fees on the BNB Smart Chain, pay for trading fees on the the Binance decentralized exchange and even donate on Binance Charity. Users can also buy BNB on several other platforms, not just on Binance.

Year-to-date return: -18.8%

Market cap: $73 billion

8. Dogecoin (DOGE)

The famed meme coin Dogecoin was created in 2013 as a fun alternative to conventional cryptocurrencies. Today, Dogecoin is one of the largest cryptocurrencies by market cap, as well as one of the most widely traded cryptos. Dogecoin is an open-source peer-to-peer digital currency that had a rapid rise in early 2021, reaching as high as 74 cents that May after ending 2020 at less than 1 cent. Tesla Inc. (ticker: TSLA) CEO Elon Musk has been an advocate of the meme crypto, tweeting his support for Dogecoin, and even accepting the cryptocurrency to purchase limited Tesla merchandise. While Bitcoin was created to be a scarce cryptocurrency with a limit of 21 million coins being mined, Dogecoin is not a scarce crypto, with 10,000 coins mined per minute, leading some to question its value. In the end, Dogecoin is marketed as a fun internet cryptocurrency that is backed by a vibrant community that strongly supports it.

Year-to-date return: -18.9%

Market cap: $18.4 billion

9. Cronos (CRO)

Cronos is the native crypto token of the Cronos Chain, a decentralized blockchain developed by, one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency exchanges. has millions of users on the platform and holds partnerships with the likes of Visa Inc. (V). CRO rallied in November 2021 when purchased the naming rights to the Staples Center in Los Angeles for $700 million. has partnerships with the UFC, Formula One, the Philadelphia 76ers, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club and many others, with its goal to reach billions of users through these partners.

Year-to-date return: -20.3%

Market cap: $11.8 billion

10. Shiba Inu (SHIB)

A rival meme token to Dogecoin, Shiba Inu was inspired by the breed of dog on the Dogecoin logo and has made its way to the top as one of the most popular cryptocurrency meme tokens on the market. SHIB was created in August 2020 by someone using the name Ryoshi, but there’s not a lot of information about the founder, similar to the pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. SHIB runs on the Ethereum blockchain, which has brought about the creation of decentralized exchange ShibaSwap, allowing users to stake tokens without an intermediary. The meme community quickly rallied behind investing in SHIB as several tweets made headlines from the likes of Elon Musk and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

Year-to-date return: -23.0%

Market cap: $15.2 billion

10 best-performing major cryptocurrencies in Q1 2022:

— Terra (LUNA)


— Bitcoin (BTC)

— Ether (ETH)

— Cardano (ADA)

— Avalanche (AVAX)


— Dogecoin (DOGE)

— Cronos (CRO)

— Shiba Inu (SHIB)

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