To paraphrase a famous Mark Twain quote, reports of the death of cryptocurrencies have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, crypto has been on a red-hot run so far in 2023, outperforming most other asset classes, including stocks. In 2023, the price of Bitcoin (BTC-USD), the biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, is up 40%. At the start of December, following the spectacular $8 billion implosion of FTX, a crypto exchange, Bitcoin was trading under $16,000; now it’s changing hands for just over $23,000. Other digital coins and tokens have also had strong rallies since the start of January. While some market observers attempt to dismiss the current bull run, others say it is a clear sign that investors’ appetite for risk has returned and that cryptocurrencies aren’t going away anytime soon. In fact, many analysts see the rebound of digital coins and tokens as a clear sign of their resiliency in the wake of an industry shakeout during the second half of 2022. Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that cryptocurrencies are once again marching higher. Here are three underdog cryptos to buy to win big in 2023.
Ethereum (ETH-USD) is typically thought of as the other cryptocurrency besides Bitcoin. The second-largest crypto by market cap, Ethereum often plays second fiddle to the larger BTC, which tends to serve as a bellwether for the entire market of digital coins and tokens. Yet many crypto bulls claim that Ethereum has a brighter future than Bitcoin and that it is ETH that will prove to be the long-term winner when it comes to the future of the sector.
Many crypto purists favor Ethereum because, they say, it helps to facilitate decentralized financial (DeFi) transactions and has more utility than Bitcoin. They also point to the fact that ETH is now more environmentally friendly than BTC after it underwent a transformation last September to a more energy-efficient proof-of-stake protocol. Today mining for Ethereum takes a fraction of the energy consumed when mining for Bitcoin and other cryptos. This, say Ethereum fans, will make all the difference moving forward.
More upgrades and enhancements to Ethereum are scheduled for this year. And those enhancements could serve as a catalyst for ETH. Over the past year, Ethereum’s price has declined 43%. However, the crypto has been on a run so far in 2023, rising over 30%.
Another crypto that has been ripping higher this year is Cardano (ADA-USD). Through almost two months of the year, ADA has gained 46%. While the current price is far below Cardano’s market peak of $2.85 reached in August 2021, its recovery so far this year has been cheered by investors and analysts, many of whom see Cardano as a dark horse in the race for crypto supremacy.
Cardano competes head-to-head against Ethereum in the realm of DeFi and smart contracts. Cardano’s underlying blockchain technology was given a boost in late 2021 when it completed the Alonzo hard fork. Fans say that the hard-fork upgrade puts Cardano on equal footing with Ethereum, though investors can purchase ADA for a fraction of the cost of a single ETH token. Proponents of Cardano recently cheered news that the crypto had surpassed 60 million blockchain transactions.
Those looking for a cryptocurrency that continues to float largely under the radar should consider TRON (TRX-USD). Founded in 2014 by Justin Sun, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania who was born in China, Tron contains many of the best attributes of both ETH and ADA.
Like those cryptos, TRX has smart contract functionality and operates on an energy-efficient, proof-of-stake protocol. However, Tron also runs on a decentralized, open-source blockchain operating system.
Tron is viewed as a favorite among smaller, lesser-known cryptocurrencies. TRX has risen 25% in 2023. It’s also one of the few digital coins or tokens whose price is up over the past 12 months.
In the last year, Tron has gained 17%. Its steady, consistent gain is unusual among cryptocurrencies given the market volatility of the past few years, and it makes Tron a crypto to buy to win big in 2023.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole 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.