Over the last one year, major cryptocurrencies have seen unprecedented appreciation. For example, Bitcoin was trading at around $10,700 a year before compared to about $45,000 right now, an appreciation of over 300%. Similarly, the second most popular coin, Ethereum is up nearly 10 times, from $360 to $3,300 during the same period. While returns of Dogecoin, Cardano, Solana and Polkadot would dwarf that of Bitcoin or Ethereum.The rise in cryptocurrencies has been caused by rising expectations of the value they can add to the monetary system. However, investors who wish to invest in them are often confused by the wide variety of choices of cryptocurrencies available in the market.To make your choices easier, we look at some of the best performing digital coins today and evaluate their features.
The first and the biggest cryptocurrency in market capitalization, Bitcoin has no match. Being the biggest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is the go-to currency for any experiments, which make it well-placed for further advances in its use cases. For instance, El Salvador recently became the first country to adapt Bitcoin as legal tender.Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin can also be less volatile compared to some of the smaller cryptocurrencies, making it a good choice for first-time investors.
Ether is the second most popular crypto asset. Its advantage is that besides being a cryptocurrency, its blockchain network can be used to build decentralized apps. Ethereum has smart contract capabilities that facilitate decentralised finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFT). For instance, NFTs can be used to host digital art while DeFi has a vast number of use cases, ranging from asset management to peer-to-peer lending.
Cardano aspires to be everything that Ethereum is today, but with enhanced security, speed, and scalability. For long, Ethereum has been facing scalability issues because of low speed and high fees. Cardano has been cofounded by Charles Hoskinson who was among the initial five co-founders of Ethereum. Cardano uses “Proof of Stake” for validating transactions that make transactions faster at low cost, offering greater scalability. It is implementing smart contract capability later this month. Cardano’s native coin has appreciated from $0.092 a year ago to $2.88. The appreciation is nearly 3000%.
Polkadot is yet another major blockchain networks that is seen as another “Ethereum killer”. The reason is these coins represent similar capability as Ethereum while they have the advantage of newer technologies and contemporary approaches. For example, Polkadot offers interoperability between blockchain networks and also with non-blockchain networks. This can be a game-changer in an industry where the privacy and security of a blockchain network are the most prized thing. Placed at the 9th spot among the best performing crypto coins, Polkadot has appreciated from $5.68 a year ago to $33.90, an appreciation of nearly 500%.
Given the problems faced by cryptocurrencies at the regulatory level in different countries, the crypto industry is more likely to follow the Ethereum model than the Bitcoin model. For example, meme coin Dogecoin, which offers none of the sought-after features such as smart contracts, DeFi, or NFT, has fallen off the charts on the ranking of cryptocurrencies. While Ethereum-like cryptocurrencies such as Cardano and Solana have risen rank. Others with similar strong fundamentals and historical advantages such as Binance Coin, Tether, and Ripple have been able to maintain their position among the 10 best performing crypto assets.