The crypto community is focused on discussing some exciting news about up and coming projects as well as some interesting coins that may cause some commotion in the industry in the nearest future. We will talk about them in our honorable mentions category right at the end of the article. Let’s dive in!
#1. Bitcoin — the undisputed king of the hill!
With its 14 years of history, Bitcoin is still the most respected and important cryptocurrencies. The coin is so influential and popular that even the US government acknowledged that it is “too big to fall”. The last winter was quite brutal for the industry as a whole, but Bitcoin not only survived but persevered. It is stronger than before the pandemic and will most likely improve its positions in the market during this year.
You should expect a brief bearish period for this coin as the world is entering a period of financial distress with many economies struggling to make ends meet. Interest rates are going up across the globe which may stop the inflation, but it is still a bet that some people do not want to take. Instead, many investors are looking at Bitcoin as a savior. Experts believe that BTC will grow against the US dollar as more and more people will start investing in crypto to protect themselves from fiat inflation.
The average market cap is roughly $530 billion which is more than twice as much as the next big thing — Ethereum. Just a couple of years ago, many Ethereum enthusiasts were talking about the potential of their network to overtake Bitcoin. It never happened and probably never will. Ethereum still needs to deliver on its promise of creating a viable financial ecosystem. So far, layer-2 solutions have been interesting at best.
We believe that Bitcoin is still the most important token to follow. If you are interested in buying any token, you should first analyze the position of the main cryptocoin and make your decision after thinking of the industry as a whole. BTC is still the best representation of the industry and its course.
- Market cap — $540 billion.
- Market share — 48.2%.
#2. Ethereum — a place like no other!
After switching to the PoS consensus protocol, Ethereum became the most hotly discussed topic for a couple of months until everything calmed down and people finally had a chance to observe the situation and think about everything clearly. While it is true that the merger of Ethereum was a big deal for many reasons including environmental impact of the crypto industry and future scalability, it was also nothing more but a fluke in our collective consciousness.
ETH is still the second biggest coin in the crypto market and the rightful runner-up place holder for any list of top ten cryptocurrencies, but it did not impress investors or enthusiasts, or developers with their updates following the merge.
Ethereum promised to deliver a new financial ecosystem where DeFi platforms could thrive and grow, but the technology is still lagging behind the demand. The pace of growth has slowed down and so the interest from many investors who happily supported this network just three years ago. We cannot say that Ethereum is losing its positions. Right now, it is solidly in the second place, but Ethereum devs should look behind at the competitors like Cardano which are capable of catching up.
- Market cap — $210 billion.
- Market share — 18.9%.
#3. Tether — the safe haven for many USD investors
While other coins gain value through speculation or hype, Tether is a definitively different beast with its singular purpose in the industry — to be the main exchange medium for other cryptocurrencies. USDT is pegged by the US dollar meaning that its value never fluctuates too far from the base value of $1. However, even the slightest change in this value can lead to catastrophic consequences for the market.
So far, Tether managed to avoid huge controversies despite battling against the US government and facing some audits from independent institutions. It is still the biggest stablecoin and has the largest market share among them.
Some experts believe that USDT can be even more valuable than USD if something terrible happens to the US economy which is likely according to some independent thinkers. On the other hand, it is inherently tied to the fiat currency which is something that many crypto enthusiasts don’t like at all and prefer using DEX platforms to swap their tokens without using any intermediary.
- Market cap — $82 billion.
- Market share — 7.2%.
#4. Binance Coin — one of the most useful tokens to have
Binance is the biggest centralized cryptocurrency exchange in the world. It has its own native token called BNB which can be used for a wide range of purposes. The BNB token is used on the exchange to generate additional liquidity and provide unique services to users. It is also one of the best cryptocurrencies to invest in 2024.
While the exchange faces some issues in the US market, it is a global enterprise with a large portion of its operations conducted in the SEA region, Europe, and Africa. Even if something were to happen to the US subsidiary of the exchange, it would not suffer tremendously to the point of total collapse like in the case of FTX or any other large-scale bankruptcy in the crypto industry.
With 128 million registered users living in all corners of the world, Binance is able to provide additional utility to users holding BNB. You can use the token to pay for travel, housing, utility bills, and other goods and services. The company behind the exchange plans to significantly expand its geography and partnerships with various e-Commerce platforms to make BNB more mainstream.
- Market cap — $31 billion.
- Market share — 3.2%.
#5. Ripple — a struggling yet persevering token
XRP has been on a rollercoaster for the last two years. The continuous investigation by the SEC into Coinbase’s shenanigans regarding its operations and involvement with Terra Luna has shaken the positions of XRP, but it managed to gain a lot of the ground back by standing strong against the US government represented by the SEC.
It is possible that the latest decision of the US court against the Ripple ruling can lead to dramatic drop-off for XRP, but it has been doing fine so far. Hopefully, XRP will find its footing and continue growing. It is still one of the biggest tokens out there with a solid market share.
One of the issues is that Ripple did not become the next big settlement system that many hoped for. The platform lacks the necessary throughput and still faces many technological challenges. Combined with some image-breaking events in the crypto industry, the slow pace of expansion and adoption of the Ripple platform may lead to notable reductions in popularity of the token.
Until something really devastating happens to the coin and the issuing company Ripple, we have to keep XRP in our top 10 crypto currencies to look out for in 2024!
- Market cap — $36 billion.
- Market share — 3.1%.
#6. Dogecoin — the meme that keeps going strong
DOGE fell far below its all-time high, but it still works and attracts thousands of crypto enthusiasts. Despite being created as a practical joke, it quickly gained notoriety among Reddit and 4Chan users who propelled the coin to unforeseen highs. Due to the sheer size of this collective investment in the coin, the development team had to step up and make some adjustments to the underlying technology.
Today, Dogecoin network has deflationary mechanisms, new exciting projects, and a strong position in the crypto market. Enthusiastically supported by the community, DOGE continues its march toward a better future. Despite losing value after the spike caused by no other than Elon Musk and his infamous tweet (or should we say X?), the token managed to climb back.
As the crypto industry slowly made its way back to some form of stability following the hot July of 2024, Dogecoin reached a significant support level with bulls defending at $0.70 and slightly higher. DOGE still has enormous potential simply because so many people wholeheartedly support the network and its creators.
- Market cap — $11 billion.
- Market share — 0.92%.
#7. Cardano — the eternal second fiddle to Ethereum
Cardano’s creator has a beef with the Ethereum development team and has been promising to deliver their demise for over a decade. ADA is doing quite well despite many ups and downs that the crypto industry experienced as a whole two years ago. Cardano’s supporters were quite vocal during the Ethereum merge and talked about their next update sweeping the floor with Ethereum, but it never happened.
Cardano has some potential and focuses on building a flexible development environment for projects that want to focus on building decentralized finance platforms without constantly thinking about limitations imposed by the network’s throughput capacity. The issue is that even massive improvements are still negligible considering the demand expected by some DeFi platforms.
Many experts believe that Ethereum is still the most reasonable platform to work on simply because it is more popular and has many integrations with other platforms that developers will likely enjoy. Nevertheless, there is a group of dedicated development teams and supporters who put their faith in Cardano. Maybe, you should too.
- Market cap — $10.7 billion.
- Market share — 0.91%.
#8. Solana — blockchain and DeFi commercialized
One of the issues with the crypto industry is that some token issuers do not have a solid plan for the next year. They talk about grandiose plans for the next decade, but their plans for the foreseeable tomorrow are usually lacking in adequacy and details. Solana is different in many ways. Positioned as one of the most appealing and developer-friendly web 3.0 development platforms, Solana knows that it needs to monetize the network.
It was also designed by an actual company with very distinct revenue goals. Recently, the management of Solana Labs revealed their pricing model and some other aspects of the platform while also reporting significant increases in revenue generation and TVL (total value locked). SOL is doing quite well despite slowly losing its positions due to the flickering interest toward the network.
Solana has seen some notable decreases in total number of transactions and the general interest from users seems to be dwindling. It could be quite concerning for many investors, but you should remember that Solana plans to sway further away from the NFT space that significantly affected the image of the company and focus more on actually updating their network. It means that SOL still has some real potential!
- Market cap — $9.5 billion.
- Market share — 0.81%.
#9. Polkadot — it’s still alive and thriving!
While Solana’s developers think of ways to attract more DeFi developers to their network, Polkadot is doing its thing and just works for those who want nothing but decentralization in their vision of the future of finance. Polkadot is leading the industry in the area of web 3.0 interoperability and platform compatibility allowing decentralized projects to effortlessly connect with other service providers and build something big.
For some reason, many investors are still sleeping on DOT and the TVL of the network did not grow that much, but you should! Polkadot has many interesting features ready to roll out during several upcoming updates and many interesting DeFi projects are getting ready for deployment during 2023 and 2024. These will be the years when the industry might actually see some true interoperability between platform operating within different ecosystems.
Polkadot can be a game-changer for the industry if everything aligns properly during the next five years of its existence. If you are bullish on the crypto industry as a whole and believe that it has potential to change the way we see finance, missing out on DOT right now when it is still early is not a good plan. Don’t take it as a financial advice and go do you own research, just study the Polkadot’s prospects with some integrity and dedication!
- Market cap — $6.5 billion.
- Market share — 0.55%.
#10. Litecoin — one of the earliest birds of the crypto industry
Litecoin is dead last in our list of Top 10 cryptocurrencies in 2024. While its positions have been improving ever since the beginning of the year after the crypto winter receded, many experts are still not sure about this coin. LTC has been in the shadow of its big brother Bitcoin for a long time and cannot escape its authority.
Crypto enthusiasts supporting this cryptocurrency believe that Litecoin is a good alternative to Bitcoin and has some real potential. The problem with this line of thinking is that LTC has been around for just as long as Bitcoin (LTC was released to the public just three years after Bitcoin), but did not have the same impact on the global financial system.
Litecoin’s upcoming halvening, the lack of meaningful development, and the same challenges that Bitcoin faces but with way less enthusiastic developers to solve them make LTC a weak competitor to BTC, but a good alternative to many other digital assets. It is still a very strong token that can be used as storage of value. However, we strongly advise people who want to buy some LTC to conduct a through research of the crypto industry before committing.
- Market cap — $6.8 billion.
- Market share — 0.59%.
Some closing thoughts on our list of top cryptocurrencies
The crucial aspect of this list is the potential uncertainty that we cannot ignore when it comes to analyzing speculative financial assets prone to unforeseen volatility. The crypto industry as a whole has been recovering throughout the last year after a harsh crypto winter, but the tumultuous period is not over yet. The SEC is still after Coinbase, Tether, Binance, and many other institutions in the crypto industry.
While many enthusiasts can happily ignore the red flags and continue supporting the very idea of decentralization, it is true that decentralized entities may be abused or used in malicious ways. In the end, blockchain is just an instrument that can be used by both well-meaning and egocentric individuals.
The future of the industry is foggy as we are navigating the murky waters of legalizing cryptocurrencies to make it easily adoptable for the masses. Crypto enthusiasts have been dreaming about the future where we use crypto coins instead of fiat banknotes, but the experience with these tokens has been contradictory at some times and mediocre at others.
We strongly discourage our users to buy any digital assets before doing extensive research and talking to people actually connected to the projects you plan to invest in.
Our list of top cryptocurrencies is formed by tokens that have been reliable investment targets for the last decade and managed to stay on top of the market despite the challenges presented by the crypto winter. It does not mean that other projects have disappeared into obscurity or do not deserve any attention from our readers.
Let’s talk about some of the tokens that didn’t make the cut but remain quite promising or interesting to investors who are not afraid of assets with higher risk profiles.
TRON — an operating system for crypto enthusiasts
One of the reasons why contemporary operating systems are often ignored by tech geeks is that they have vulnerabilities and exploits that can be easily targeted by hackers and government structures. TRON wants to build something robust and capable of leveraging the power of decentralization to create an invulnerable operating system.
The architecture of their OS is quite sound with three layers each dedicated to a specific type of functionality:
- Storage layer dedicated to working and storing the data;
- Core layer responsible for basic functionality and overall control over the system;
- Application layer that allows for the use of various apps designed to work within the OS.
Despite many criticisms of the development process, designing, and even plagiarizing some of the architecture and code, TRON remains one of the most promising blockchain projects in the industry. Their native token Tronix (TRO) has been on a strong recovery path for the last year and may start gaining traction again after a couple of new updates to the main product.
- Market cap — $7.2 billion.
- Market share — 0.59%.
MakerDAO — a token that will never go away
DAI is an interesting token that you should look at as an indicator of what is happening in the crypto industry and the cryptocurrency market. DAI is not traded regularly and the supply is unstable causing spontaneous deflationary and inflationary events like the one during the 2019 pandemic when the price of DAI suddenly spiked to $1.11, a whole 11 cents higher than the intended $1 value that must be maintained at all times.
People who want to invest in MakerDAO can do so by buying $MKR tokens which act as shares with voting rights within the decentralized governance organization that splits the profits among themselves and votes on new changes to the Maker system. DAI is a token that is created when someone wants to borrow against their digital assets. 1 DAI is roughly equal to $1 and must be returned to reclaim the collateral. Upon returning to the network, DAI are destroyed.
This makes DAI a very interesting token to work with as you can purchase DAI and wait for a fluctuation in price to liquidate your tokens at higher prices. It is not a reliable strategy, but it can be utilized by some investors looking for some exotic assets to work with.
- Market cap (DAI) — $4.5 billion.
- Market share — 0.39%.
- Market cap (MKR) — $1.28 billion.
- Market share — 0.11%.
Monero — something true crypto enthusiasts really want
Monero is the last haven for crypto enthusiasts interested in using a cryptocurrency that provides absolute privacy and anonymity to users. One of the issues with Monero is that it has been used for illicit purposes by shady individuals and organizations. However, the bigger problem is that XMR turned out to be traceable.
Despite the best efforts from the development team, it is still possible to track XMR transactions which was proven by the Chainlysis and Integra FEC. The process is not ideal and some technical details will have to be sorted out in the future, but it can be traced with enough effort on the part of governmental organizations.
The news made XMR lose its market positions after reaching a significant peak in 2021. It is possible that XMR will never gain its ATH again due to many complications that the development team faces. On one hand, they are pressured to comply with the US government. On the other hand, the biggest users of XMR are people against whom the US government is actively working.
If Monero can sort out its issues and choose a side, we will be able to see the prospects of the network. You should be watching this token, but don’t be too eager to buy it.
- Market cap — $2.9 billion.
- Market share — 0.25%.
Toncoin — the abandoned project founded by Telegram
The Open Network is what the original Telegram Open Network became after Pavel Durov decided to stop actively working on the blockchain network for the Telegram ecosystem. TON and its applications are still heavily integrated with the infrastructure of Telegram, but it remains an independent entity that some people are zealously supporting.
TON is going around Telegram users and can be used for many purposes within the TG ecosystem, but it is also traded on a variety of centralized exchanges. If you are an active user of Telegram and enjoy the application, you will benefit greatly from using TON and investing in it. The utility of the token alone will make up for the initial investment.
However, people who are not heavy users of the messenger and its social features should carefully contemplate whether they need to buy TON. The token has seen better times, but it usually bounces back. The community supporting it is quite active and Telegram is doing great with more and more users joining each month.
- Market cap — $4.1 billion.
- Market share — 0.35%.
Some final thoughts
What is the best crypto to invest in? The answer often lies within your vision of the future of the crypto industry. If you believe that we will see a massive recession of the US and global economy, using Bitcoin as a hedging mechanism is a great idea. If you think that the future is in building a unified web 3.0 ecosystem with a strong focus on interoperability, buying DOT early sounds like a plan.
While many crypto enthusiasts usually use the acronym “FUD” (stands for “fear, uncertainty, and doubt”) as a way to insult their ideological opposition, uncertainty is what makes the crypto industry so hard to analyze. We don’t know how the SEC will act during the next year when it comes to pressuring centralized exchanges to operate transparently. We don’t know which new updates to blockchain networks will actually work and provide a good foundation for a bull run.
It is the biggest reason why so many “TOP 10 digital currencies to look” lists are so similar. The only tokens that can be suggested as candidates for long-term investments are mainstream coins that have been around for a long time. The blockchain technology (at least, in its current form) has existed for just over two decades, but the list of coins that people must watch out for has been meaningfully updated only several times.