The best cryptocurrencies… the mere thought of such a list is enough to make many of the best investors snicker and then dismiss the topic altogether.
Investing rock star Warren Buffett has called Bitcoin rat poison, a mirage and worthless. He also noted that cryptos are basically worthless because “they don’t produce anything.”
Carl Icahn has gone on record describing cryptocurrencies as “ridiculous.” But at least he also noted that he just might be too old to understand them.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has said that he’d rather have bananas than Bitcoin… After all, at least you can eat bananas. But you could also trade a single Bitcoin for more than 150,000 bananas. So that might not be the sagest advice Mr. Shark Tank has imparted even though he’s come out saying that he owns them!
Then there’s JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. He’s referred to digital currency as a “fraud.” He also said that people stupid enough to buy it will pay the price for it in the future. He was close… It turns out Bitcoin investors have been paid a price — and a substantial one at that.
Even “the fools” who jumped in on Bitcoin during its 2017 highs have seen a return on their investment, though it did take a few years. And those who waited for the 2017 crypto frenzy to die down have been even luckier.
Here’s a straightforward chart from Coindesk showing the past year of Bitcoin’s value (perceived or otherwise, Mr. Buffett).
If the past year has proven anything, it’s that cryptocurrencies have a lot more lasting power than the naysayers thought. So a list of the best cryptocurrencies is most certainly a worthwhile endeavor.
So without further ado, here are…
The Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest In 2021
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
There are close to different cryptocurrencies out there. And a whole lot of them aren’t worth the space they take up on your hard drive. Take internet darling Dogecoin for instance. This alt coin was created in 2013 and just recently cracked into uncharted territory when it was worth (*checks notes*) an entire cent.
But this also helps explain part of the draw of cryptocurrencies. There are plenty of folks out there who threw a couple hundred bucks at it a while back when it was worth a fraction of a cent. In March of 2020, a single Dogecoin was worth $0.001774.
Fast forward less than a year and a buy-and-hold strategy (or hodl, if you will) would have brought in gains upward of 460%. That’s a solid return no matter what kind of investment it is. That brings us to the best cryptocurrencies to pick up and “hodl” for the foreseeable future.
Sure, it’s the most obvious one. But that’s for good reason. After all, there’s something to be said for the cryptocurrency that started it all. With a market cap of more than $600 billion, it’s without a doubt the strongest cryptocurrency out there.
Sure, that scored me a quantity of only 0.0125636 Bitcoin. But that small holding stills grants me exposure to the most prominent cryptocurrency out there.
For every Batman, there’s a Robin. And while Bitcoin rules the crypto roost, Ethereum is a potent second fiddle with lots of upside potential. Like Bitcoin, Ethereum is seen by enthusiasts as an alternative to fiat currency. But its blockchain technology (aka database) is more focused on decentralized applications than digital currency. But that hasn’t slowed this alt coin’s rapid rise in value.
While operating as a software platform, it enables decentralized applications to be built and run without fraud or third-party interference (take that Apple and Google). The applications run on its platform operate via its own cryptographic token. That makes this crypto sought after by developers looking to improve and run apps within this network.
Ethereum also happens to be one of the few cryptos that can be used on exchanges to buy other cryptocurrencies. While its market cap pales in comparison with Bitcoin’s, it has slowly been making headway. And with momentum on its side, Ethereum is an easy pick for one of the best cryptocurrencies available.
Founded by former Google employee Charlie Lee, this crypto shares a lot of similarities with its big brother, Bitcoin. It was developed with the intention of improved transaction times (roughly 2 1/2 minutes) and lower transaction fees. It has a substantially faster block generation rate than Bitcoin. And unlike most cryptos, the list of merchants that accept Litecoin is growing rapidly.
As Litecoin usage becomes more commonplace, it stands to reason that its value will only grow. And that makes this one of the best cryptocurrencies out there… whether you want to hold it and watch it grow or use it as a form of payment.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash will forever hold a special place in the history of cryptocurrency. It is one of the earliest hard forks from Bitcoin. And thus far, it’s the most successful one.
Because cryptos are decentralized by nature, when there is debate about possible issues to one’s underlying code, no changes can be made without a consensus. If miners and developers can’t come to an agreement, the digital currency can be split — or forked.
In this case, there was a heated debate about Bitcoin’s scale-ability. Bitcoin remained the same. And Bitcoin Cash was created with updates to its code. This code change increased the size of blocks from one megabyte to eight. This allowed for much faster transaction times.
Although it still has some catching up to do with some of its competitors, Bitcoin Cash’s scale-ability could allow it to accrue value even faster than much of the competition.
The Not-So-Great Cryptocurrencies to Date
Two of the biggest cryptos out there that didn’t make this list missed it for two big reasons. One is under investigation. The other doesn’t exist yet.
Ripple (XRP) has been one of the most widely known cryptos for years. It’s had ups and downs in value just like the others. But while many cryptos are surging upward, Ripple is floundering in a big way. At the end of 2020, Ripple took a big hit, and it’s uncertain how long the damage will last. But in all likelihood, it’ll be for a while.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed suit against Ripple Labs and two of its executives at the end of 2020. The suit alleges that $1.3 billion were raised through an unregistered digital asset security offering. That’s a big no-no. And the price of Ripple has dropped dramatically. Will it return to its former heights? That remains to be seen. But for now, investors should steer clear. Or at the very least, they should be extremely wary.
Then there’s Diem (formerly known as Libra). It may be the most hyped-up crypto ever. Heck, it’s responsible for Congress trying to wrap its collective brain around what exactly cryptocurrency is. While it’s no shocker that our politicians are still largely in the dark, the opportunity afforded Facebook’s future cryptocurrency lots of time in the spotlight. And when it’s released sometime this year, it wouldn’t be too shocking if name recognition rewards early adopters.
The Bottom Line on the Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest in This Year
There’s a lot of competition out there in the world of cryptos. And volatility is a characteristic of many of them. That’s why this list of the best cryptocurrencies is mostly intended for the buy-and-hold crowd.
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