Even the hottest cryptos of last year are seeing tremendous declines as investors have adopted a risk-off mood regarding the cryptocurrency market.
The market value of the global cryptocurrency market had touched almost $3 trillion in November 2021.
Since then, it has plunged almost 70% to $930 billion, falling below $1 trillion for the first time since Jan. 2021. Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and Ethereum (ETH-USD) have lost more than 50% and 60%. respectively, for example.
Meanwhile, ETFs that give access to digital assets, such as the Bitwise 10 Crypto Index Fund (OTCMKTS:BITW) or the Defiance Digital Revolution ETF (NYSEARCA:NFTZ), trade close to 52-week lows, down about 65% and 60% year-to-date (YTD).
Those metrics mean a massive sell-off for any asset class, even one as volatile as crypto. Understandably, it could take months for these digital assets to recover from a crash of this magnitude.
Yet, the sell-off has also created a buying opportunity for certain cryptocurrencies with compelling real-world uses. Those altcoins with competitive advantages could mean viable long-term investments for investors whose portfolios can handle volatility.
With that information, here is our list of the seven of the hottest cryptos to research further:
52-week range: $9.34 – $146.22
Avalanche (AVAX-USD) is a robust decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem that incorporates customizable blockchain solutions with their own staking systems.
Developers can create projects supported by their unique validators and tokens through these secondary networks.
AVAX-USD is the native utility token that powers the main network. While Ethereum is the dominant network in the world of smart contracts and DeFi, Avalanche is vying for a slice of the pie with its ultra-fast transaction speed and low fees.
Avalanche’s long-term prospects remain compelling for crypto investors due to its thriving smart-contract ecosystem.
AVAX-USD is currently the fourth-largest crypto in the Defi space, with $2.8 billion in total value locked (TVL) in DeFi apps, down from over $10 billion in late April.
The DeFi token has plunged around 75% YTD. Its market capitalization of over $6 billion positions the cryptocurrency among the top 20 altcoins in the crypto market.
52-week range: $5.5888 – $44.6955
Cosmos (ATOM-USD) bills itself as the “internet of blockchains.” This smart-contract platform operates a decentralized network of interconnected blockchains that can communicate with each other.
Put another way, the Cosmos network provides developers with the tools to create separate blockchains that offer different utilities. Then, users can exchange tokens and data from separate blockchains without switching between platforms or changing wallets.
ATOM-USD is the native utility token used for staking within the network. The crypto allows users to stake, pay for transactions, and participate in the governance process. New ATOM-USD tokens are generated as a reward for network validators.
The autonomous blockchains, known as Zones, are powered by the Tendermint proof-of-stake (PoS) Byzantine fault-tolerant protocol. Cosmos currently includes 49 apps and services on its network.
So far in 2022, Cosmos has fallen more than 70%. Its market cap of $2.5 billion positions the altcoin among the top 30 altcoins in the crypto market.
52-week range: $0.095471 – $0.969806
Through aggressive marketing, Cronos (CRO-USD) has rapidly gained popularity, attracting more than 10 million users over the past year.
The network allows users to conduct a range of transactions. For instance, they can spend, trade, loan, store and even pay bills with cryptocurrencies.
CRO-USD is the utility token that powers the Crypto.com platform. It facilitates the conversion of cryptocurrencies to their fiat counterparts. Cronos is one of the leading blockchains in the Defi space, with roughly $1.15 billion TVL in DeFi apps.
The network has invested aggressively to attract new crypto fans, including a global ad campaign starring Matt Damon and the purchase of the naming rights to the Staples Center in a deal worth over $700 million.
In addition to teaming up with sports giants, including the Formula 1, Paris Saint-Germain, Philadelphia 76ers and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the network recently became an official sponsor of the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Cronos has dropped around 75% YTD. Its market cap of $3.3 billion ranks the altcoin among the top 25 altcoins in the crypto market.
52-week range: $0.4543 – $5.9023
Regarded as an early version of the metaverse, users can play games, set up virtual businesses, organize concerts, and even charge others to visit their venues or events.
The platform also allows users to buy parcels of virtual space called LAND via non-fungible-tokens (NFTs). Then, owners can capitalize on their land by adding games, 3D content and other applications.
MANA-USD is the utility token powering this virtual platform where players can buy avatars, LAND, wearables, and other in-game items.
So far in 2022, Decentraland has tumbled more than 65%. Its market cap of close to $2 billion ranks the metaverse token among the top 40 altcoins in the crypto market.
52-week range: $896.11 – $4,891.70
Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap with a first-mover advantage in decentralized applications (dApps).
From DeFi projects to NFT marketplaces, the platform commands more than 70% of the dApps market.
However, relying on the proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism has resulted in high gas fees and network congestion for Ethereum users.
Consequently, developers are currently working on The Merge upgrade, which aims to help Ethereum scale. The Merge is forecast to launch in the third quarter.
Ethereum dominates the DeFi space with over $50 billion in TVL, accounting for more than half of the TVL in DeFi apps. However, the crypto crash led to a more than 50% decline in TVL since the start of May.
So far in 2022, Ethereum has declined around 60%. The second-largest cryptocurrency enjoys a market cap of over $150 billion.
52-week range: $0.322821 – $2.923235
Polygon (MATIC-USD) is a popular side chain that connects to the Ethereum network. Its technology enables dApps to run on Ethereum.
In addition, the network offers a Layer 2 scaling solution. As a result, it allows for faster and cheaper transactions.
The platform’s utility token, MATIC-USD, is used for transaction fees, verification and governance. This digital currency has become a leading DeFi player with around $1.8 billion TVL in DeFi apps.
Like other cryptos, Polygon has crashed over 70% YTD. Its market cap of close to %5 billion positions the token among the top 20 altcoins in the crypto market.
52-week range: $22.18 – $260.06
Solana (SOL-USD) is a smart contract blockchain with a developer-friendly ecosystem. Its high-throughput platform has a capacity of up to 65,000 transactions per second.
As a result, Solana currently ranks behind Ethereum as the second-largest blockchain by NFT sales volume.
The blockchain is powered by the native SOL-USD token. The platform uses the proof of history process, adding timestamps to data blocks to streamline the verification of transactions.
In 2021, projects on Solana’s network grew from 70 to over 5,100. Moreover, the platform recently launched Solana Pay, a decentralized peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platform supporting real-world currencies and incorporating NFTs.
So far in the year, SOL-USD has also lost around 70%. Its market cap of over $10 billion positions the token among the leading 10 altcoins in the crypto market.
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.