The crypto market has come a long way since the launch of the first digital currency, Bitcoin (BTC-USD), in 2009. Initially created as an alternative to fiat currencies, the crypto space has grown into a significant ecosystem with non-fungible tokens, decentralized finance (DeFi), and the emerging metaverse. As a result, 2021 was a banner year for cryptos and blockchain technology.
The adoption of cryptocurrencies has soared among institutional and retail investors. Over the past several months, we have seen cryptos decline, wiping out a significant part of last year’s gains in many digital assets.
The crypto market cap hovers below $2 trillion, down more than 35% from its November peak of almost $3 trillion.
Despite several challenges, such as lack of regulations and high volatility, digital assets offer vast potential for patient investors. According to a recent research by Crypto.com, the number of global crypto owners should reach one billion by the end of 2022.
With that said, here are the ten best cryptocurrencies to buy now to reap benefits in the long term:
- Algorand (ALGO-USD)
- Avalanche (AVAX-USD)
- Dai (DAI-USD)
- Fantom (FTM-USD)
- Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR-USD)
- Near Protocol (NEAR-USD)
- OKB (OKB-USD)
- Polkadot (DOT-USD)
- Polygon (MATIC-USD)
- Stellar (XLM-USD)
Cryptos: Algorand (ALGO-USD)
Algorand is a decentralized, self-sustaining blockchain launched in June 2019.
MIT Professor Silvio Micali designed it to solve the “blockchain trilemma“ i.e., security, decentralization, and scalability.
The network runs under a permissionless pure proof-of-stake (PPoS) protocol. As such, it is faster and less energy-consuming than the first-generation platforms such as Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH-USD), which are based on the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus algorithm.
ALGO, the native cryptocurrency on the Algorand blockchain, has a maximum supply of 10 billion coins, with roughly 6.6 billion in circulation. It is among the top 30 altcoins, with a market capitalization (cap) of $5.1 billion.
The altcoin currently trades around $0.76, down about 30% over the past 52 weeks and 55% year-to-date (YTD).
Cryptos: Avalanche (AVAX-USD)
Next on the list is a smart-contract capable blockchain platform, Avalanche.
Launched in 2020 by Ava Labs, the platform offers superior interoperability features, high processing speeds of up to 6,500 transactions per second (tps), and scalability.
Dubbed as the “Ethereum Killer,” the network focuses on developing its ecosystem of decentralized applications (DApps) and DeFi. To date, more than 150 DeFi projects, including SushiSwap (SUSHI-USD) and TrueUSD (TUSD-USD), are running on Avalanche.
With 246 million coins in circulation, AVAX ranks among the top 10 cryptocurrencies, with a market cap of over $21 billion. The altcoin changes hands shy of $71, up about 200% in the past 12 months but down more than 35% so far in 2022.
Cryptos: Dai (DAI-USD)
DAI, a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar, was released in 2019 by the smart-contract lending platform MakerDAO organization.
It is the world’s first crypto-collateralized and decentralized stablecoin. The price of the ERC-20 token is soft-pegged to $1 and backed by a diversified portfolio of crypto collateral assets.
They can borrow against this collateral in DAI within a ratio that ranges from 101% to 175%. Users can also make money by trading their DAI for another asset. If the invested crypto-asset price goes up, they make a profit.
With a market cap of $9.7 billion, DAI stands among the top 20 cryptocurrencies.
Cryptos: Fantom (FTM-USD)
FTM is the utility token of the Fantom network. Created in 2018, Fantom is a directed acyclic graph (DAG) smart-contract platform that provides DeFi services.
Like other “Ethereum Killers,” Fantom aims to offer a cheaper and faster alternative to major cryptos.
FTM is trading around $1.32, down about 60% from its Jan. 16 all-time-high (ATH) of $3.31. It sits among the top 40 altcoins, with a market cap of $4.6 billion.
Cryptos: Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR-USD)
Hedera is a public network for the decentralized economy that enables users to create DApps. It utilizes the Hashgraph consensus, a faster alternative to conventional blockchain technology used by Ethereum and Cardano (ADA-USD).
Its potential utility for native fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) makes the network attractive for crypto enthusiasts. Hedera also partnered with Safe Health Systems to enable home Covid-19 testing on mobile phones.
Currently, the HBAR coin trades around 20 cents, rising a whopping 2,000% since the start of 2020. Yet, for the year it is down about 35%. With a market cap of $4.0 billion, it is among the top 35 altcoins
Cryptos: Near Protocol (NEAR-USD)
The NEAR Community has helped launch both the platform and the ecosystem around it. It also continues to update it.
Like other crypto projects, the Near Protocol wants a slice of the Web 3.0 pie. NEAR -USD bulls suggest the delegated scalable PoS blockchain offers advantages over other crypto assets that aim to dethrone Ethereum.
For instance, its Rainbow Bridge technology allows holders of Ethereum to operate on both blockchain systems.
NEAR has declined more than 50% since mid-January and is now trading below $10. The altcoin has a one-year return of about 135%. With a market cap of $6.5 billion, it ranks among the top 25 altcoins.
Cryptos: OKB (OKB-USD)
Since its launch in 2017, it has become one of the largest exchanges worldwide and currently ranks second in liquidity. In addition, the platform has its own cloud mining service.
OKB-USD. Holders of OKB get discounts on trading fees, voting rights for tokens to be listed on the exchange, as well as other rewards.
OKB hovers around the $18 territory, down more than 50% from its April 2021 highs. It has a market cap of $1.2 billion, which shrank almost 34% YTD. However, it’s still placed among the top 80 altcoins
Cryptos: Polkadot (DOT-USD)
Next, we have one of the top-ranked Ethereum Killers. This scalable heterogeneous multi-chain technology, i.e., Polkadot, is a protocol that brings together different blockchains. Its unique feature is “interoperability,” which connects several blockchains into a single network. As a result, they can exchange data without compromising security.
The platform recently launched the first parachains, individual blockchains running in parallel within the Polkadot ecosystem on its network. The objective is to improve the interconnected blockchain technology.
The network’s native DOT has a total supply of 1.17 billion tokens, of which 1.1 billion are currently in circulation.
DOT has dropped significantly from its Nov. 4, 2021 ATH of $54.14. It is now swapping hands around $16, down more than 50% from this time last year. With a market cap of $17.3 billion, it is among the top 15 cryptocurrencies.
Cryptos: Polygon (MATIC-USD)
Polygon (formerly the Matic Network) is a platform that transforms Ethereum into a full-fledged multi-chain system.
As such, the network aims to solve one of the main issues that face Ethereum today, or building scalable user-friendly dApps with low transaction fees.
Its native coin MATIC-USD is an ERC-20 token, used mainly for paying gas fees and participating in governance. The crypto is currently trading around $1.55, up roughly 675% over the past 12 months.
Cryptos: Stellar (XLM-USD)
Released in 2014, Stellar is an open network that allows cross-asset transfers with low fees. Every transaction costs just 0.00001 lumens (XLM-USD), implying that users can save a lot compared to traditional money transfer methods.
The network’s native token, XLM-USD, is a first-generation cryptocurrency. Fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies can run in parallel on the XLM platform by using lumens. For example, IBM’s cross-border payment system IBM World Wire uses a blockchain network powered by Stellar.
XLM is now changing hands at around 17 cents, down by more than 55% over the past 12 months. Its market cap has also dropped 33% YTD to $4.6 billion. Nevertheless, the altcoin is among the top 35 in the crypto space.
On the date of publication, Tezcan Gecgil did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.
Tezcan Gecgil has worked in investment management for over two decades in the U.S. and U.K. In addition to formal higher education in the field, she has also completed all 3 levels of the Chartered Market Technician (CMT) examination. Her passion is for options trading based on technical analysis of fundamentally strong companies. She especially enjoys setting up weekly covered calls for income generation.