Top 5 Most Valuable Cryptocurrencies

Discover the top 5 cryptocurrencies by market cap and utility: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance Coin, Cardano, and Ripple. Learn about their unique applications driving demand.

Cryptocurrencies have seeped into the financial world in the short span of 14 years, with CoinMarketCap reporting that there are at least 23,000 digital currencies as of March 2024. 

Nevertheless, only a small number of these cryptocurrencies stand out from the rest. These digital currencies offer a lot more value than other coins in terms of market capitalization and real-life utility. Below, you’ll get to explore the five biggest cryptocurrencies and their evident applications that drive up the demand for these products.

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that sparked the introduction of other digital currencies. Its emergence in 2009, after its inception by Satoshi Nakamoto, made it the most dominant cryptocurrency on the market, a position it still holds today. Enthusiasts cite its decentralized nature, finite supply of 21 million coins, and network security as the features that make the coin valuable.

Investors view Bitcoin as a good hedge against inflation since its price has historically brought positive returns. Traders typically add Bitcoin to their portfolios because it can counterbalance the risk posed by conventional fiat currencies.

Bitcoin is also one of the fastest ways to make international payments. With the current banking system, some individuals find it difficult to send and receive money to and from various parts of the globe. However, if the entity you want to send money to has a Bitcoin wallet, there would be no problem facilitating the transaction. 

What’s more, Bitcoin payments are fast and low-cost, ensuring that the other party gets the most value from the transaction when they convert the crypto to cash. 

Besides facilitating transactions, Bitcoin can be used in everyday life, from shopping online and in-person at stores to gaming and gambling at a licensed casino site that accepts Bitcoin as a payment option. Wagering with crypto offers players benefits like reduced transaction fees and quicker transaction times when compared to fiat currency, making it a popular option. 

2. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum was ushered into the cryptocurrency space with a lot of anticipation when its whitepaper mentioned the smart contract capabilities on its blockchain. Smart contracts are self-executing programs that control and document agreements between parties without intermediaries, eliminating any extra expense.

It is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and it can host other digital currencies on its blockchain, a process known as tokenization.

As of 2024, over 280,000 tokens using the ERC-20 standard have been launched on Ethereum’s blockchain, making tokenization the most popular use of the platform. About 40 of the biggest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, including Chainlink and Tether, were built using Ethereum’s platform.

Ethereum is also popular as a hotbed of Decentralized Finance (DeFi), which serves crypto users by duplicating conventional financial services on the blockchain without the use of middlemen. 

DeFi protocols on platforms like Compound allow users to lend their coins in exchange for interest. In the same vein, users can also borrow money without going through the restrictions imposed by conventional financial institutions.

Also, non-fungible tokens—digital assets that represent various items, including art and virtual real estate—started out on the Ethereum blockchain, which continues to tick many boxes. 

3. Binance Coin (BNB)

Initially launched on Ethereum’s blockchain before it moved to Binance’s blockchain– the Binance Chain– and then to Binance Smart Chain a year later.

In terms of price and utility, Binance Coin has exploded in a relatively short period, which is largely because many crypto users use Binance’s ecosystem and, essentially, the Binance Coin as fuel on the ecosystem. 

Traders who use the Binance coin enjoy several perks in the Binance ecosystem. The first one is that they get front-row privileges when exciting projects make their way to the Binance Launchpad. The second is its service as the key currency on the Binance Smart Chain, where it plays a huge role in the launch and use of decentralized applications as Binance tries to set itself up as one of the leaders in the DApp space. 

4. Cardano (ADA)

One interesting fact about Cardano is that it was founded by Charles Hoskinson, one of the co-founders of Ethereum. Hoskinson left the Ethereum project to create Cardano, which he believes provides better solutions to issues found in digital currency projects.

It is because of Charles Hoskinson that Cardano offers a solution similar to Ethereum, which has been developed tirelessly to improve the DeFi space. Going one step further, the organization has made great strides to improve cybersecurity. It achieves this by providing an avenue for crypto enthusiasts to manage their online identities without the need for centralized entities.

Through its blockchain technology, Cardano offers users the chance to create self-sovereign identities (SSIs) that can work across various platforms. These SSIs permit individuals to control the entities with whom they want to share their data.

Cardano’s blockchain also plays an important role in supply chain management, allowing individuals to better manage how they track products, which is very handy in the e-commerce and health sectors. It does this by allowing records to be added to its blockchain, ensuring unparalleled transparency. 

5. Ripple (XRP)

When you discuss Ripple, the first thing that pops into mind is its facilitation of quick cross-border payments, which is a major reason it has become popular with no-ID casinos, which often attract players internationally. 

Ripple’s technology allows individuals to send cross-border remittance payments. This way, a lot of expatriates trying to send money back home don’t have to be burdened with the high fees associated with the traditional banking system.

Because of the technology’s low transaction fees, many content creators use Ripple for micropayments when purchasing and selling digital content. Since the transactions made on its network are fast, it encourages content creators to monetize their content more easily and bridge the gap with their audience.