Seven of the top cryptos to buy now.
Cryptocurrencies have suffered through a vicious bear market since their peak in November 2021. The cumulative value of the once-hot asset class has plunged by roughly two-thirds in less than a year, declining from nearly $3 trillion last November to less than $1 trillion by late August. The plunge has mirrored selling in the stock market, driven by rising inflation and interest rates, that saw stocks, too, descend into bear market territory. Crypto is a far more perilous arena than the stock market, however, due to less regulation, far fewer established names, and the arcane technology behind it that can lead to “rug pull” scams or the sudden disintegration of a so-called stablecoin. In short, crypto isn’t a market for the risk-averse. But for those able to withstand extreme volatility, what’s the best crypto to buy? Here are seven of the top cryptocurrencies to invest in.
Every list of the best cryptocurrencies to buy should begin with Bitcoin, a practically required holding for folks looking to dip their toes in the water of this asset class. Created in 2009, Bitcoin is both the first cryptocurrency and the largest by market capitalization: BTC alone constitutes about 40% of the total market as of mid-September. Sometimes called “digital gold,” Bitcoin derives value from its scarcity and historical ability to be a store of value. Only 21 million Bitcoin will ever exist, with about 19.2 million, or 91%, of its supply already in circulation. Recently, Bitcoin fell back below the $20,000 level as the broader market sold off. While some critics allege that the glory days are over for Bitcoin, more and more trusts and exchange-traded funds following the asset are emerging, and it’s unlikely Bitcoin will ever disappear, unless the entire asset class goes up in smoke.
The time has come. On Sept. 15, the Ethereum blockchain made the big jump from the proof-of-work to the proof-of-stake, or PoS, algorithm. The shift to proof-of-stake should make the popular decentralized finance, or DeFi, blockchain more readily scalable and reduce the energy demand of transactions. Longer-term, the “Merge” is expected to be the first step toward ultimately decreasing the sky-high Ethereum gas fees that serve as a barrier to entry for those looking to transact on the network. The shift to PoS should decrease the network’s energy usage by more than 99%, making Ethereum — which is already the most popular blockchain for developers to build upon — more in line with its ethos.
Solana, like Ethereum and Bitcoin, runs its own blockchain. And, like Ethereum, Solana was built from the ground up for DeFi, a rapidly growing area of finance involving smart contracts. With the potential to ultimately disrupt all sorts of transactions that currently are littered with agents, brokers, centralized exchanges and other cumbersome and expensive middlemen, DeFi is a large enough field to attract multiple winners. While Ethereum’s pivot to PoS will strengthen Solana’s largest competitor, SOL’s low fees and fast network have already made it a top-10 cryptocurrency with staying power and an impressive ecosystem of decentralized applications, or dApps, of its own. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, along with a growing presence in gaming, have helped boost SOL’s share of the overall market from 0.01% in January 2021 to 1.1% today.
Next up among the best cryptocurrencies to invest in is Avalanche, which is yet another competitor in the promising area of DeFi and smart contracts. AVAX is the native currency of the Avalanche blockchain, which claims to be the fastest smart-contracts platform in the world. Avalanche has lofty ambitions for its platform, aiming to be the equivalent of an AWS for crypto. AWS is short for Amazon Web Services, a hugely popular cloud computing arm of Amazon.com Inc. (ticker: AMZN) that many Fortune 500 companies and large financial institutions use to power their websites and digital offerings. Avalanche sees enterprises increasingly wanting to launch their own blockchains, which Avalanche now facilitates through a new feature called subnets. At roughly $20, AVAX is up more than fourfold since its public market debut in 2020.
Binance Coin (BNB)
With a market cap of roughly $45 billion, Binance Coin is the third-largest non-stablecoin cryptocurrency, behind only Bitcoin and Ether. Binance is the largest global crypto exchange and is devoted to expanding the crypto ecosystem, where its BNB Coin is the native coin on the Binance blockchain. As of Aug. 30, trailing-24-hour volume on Binance was more than $16 billion, showing its market dominance over the next-closest competitor, Coinbase Global Holdings Inc. (COIN), with $2.3 billion in volume. In this young space, BNB is actually one of the older coins, debuting in 2017. One more thing to like about BNB is that it’s even more deflationary than Bitcoin, engaging in quarterly “burns” of the coin that reduce supply. Although its current circulation is more than 80% of its maximum supply of 200 million coins, it aims to get down to a 100 million supply over time through the burning mechanism.
Next among the best cryptocurrencies to buy is Cosmos. The ATOM token helps ensure the security of the underlying Cosmos Hub blockchain, with new tokens created through staking, and is a so-called governance token, giving owners a proportional vote in how the project should proceed. With a current market cap of more than $3 billion, Cosmos is a top-25 cryptocurrency with a trading history dating to 2017. The project’s goals are admirable, with the intention of making the growing ecosystem of blockchains more friendly to developers and enabling more seamless communication among different blockchains, which today leaves much to be desired. While rising interest rates may continue to roil crypto markets, long-term crypto investors should, at some point, consider gaining exposure to a few moonshot projects with grand ambitions like Cosmos.
The smallest by market cap among the best cryptos to buy now is Filecoin, which at $1.5 billion is a borderline top-30 cryptocurrency when you exclude stablecoins. It should be noted that while all cryptocurrencies on this list are well off their highs, Filecoin’s fall from its peak has been brutal: At less than $6, FIL is down more than 97% from its all-time high above $237 in April 2021. That said, Filecoin is a compelling project: It’s a blockchain-based, decentralized digital storage system allowing people to publicly store important information. Transactions use the native currency FIL. An alternative to centralized data storage, Filecoin incentivizes data storage with its FIL token and also makes censorship exceedingly difficult. Look no further than Starling Lab, an academic research center at Stanford University, which has used Filecoin to help document Russian war crimes in Ukraine in real-time in an effort to combat misinformation, preserve an accurate record of history and hold war criminals accountable. FIL hit a 52-week low of $4.82 in June.
7 best cryptocurrencies to buy now:
— Bitcoin (BTC)
— Ether (ETH)
— Solana (SOL)
— Avalanche (AVAX)
— Binance Coin (BNB)
— Cosmos (ATOM)
— Filecoin (FIL)
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7 of the Best Cryptocurrencies to Buy in September originally appeared on usnews.com
Update 09/15/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.