Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: Capital

You can also look at the price of an individual cryptocurrency share, or coin, which is useful for knowing how well (or otherwise) crypto is performing, but it doesn't always tell the full story. So we're sticking with market cap for this guide to the top cryptocurrency performers right now.

That said, many of the other crypto projects listed below are super interesting and certainly worth looking further into. And with new cryptocurrencies such as SafeMoon and Chia springing up seemingly every day, we'll be updating this top cryptocurrency list regularly.

List of The Top 10 most valuable cryptocurrencies 2021:

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

2. Ethereum (ETH)

3. BinanceCoin (BNB)

4. Dogecoin (DOGE)

5. Tether (USDT)

6. Cardano (ADA)

7. XRP/Ripple (XRP)

8. Polkadot (DOT)

9. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

10. Litecoin (LTC)

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin market cap: $1.08 trillion

Bitcoin value: $57,635

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: Information Age

The Bitcoin story: Bitcoin has been around since 2008 and is the blue chip cryptocurrency. It has, by far, the largest market cap, the highest coin value, and the largest network of users.

Bitcoin was created by an unknown person or group who goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. It was supposed to be the cash of the future, and although you can use it today to purchase many goods and services, you wouldn’t use it to buy a cup of coffee because the cost of the transaction would be too high.

Think of Bitcoin instead like the gold of the future: not really useful for daily transactions, but you want to have some for its stored value. It’s also like gold in that it has a limited supply, which is one of the things that makes Bitcoin so attractive to investors: a total of 21 million Bitcoins will ever be released, which makes Bitcoin inflation-proof.

Bitcoin performance history: Like all cryptos, Bitcoin started out worth virtually nothing. In 2017 it took off from under $1,000 to over $20,000, but within a year was down around $4,000. In late 2020 it began skyrocketing again, this time from around $10,000 to the $55,000-plus orbit it’s in today.

How to buy Bitcoin: Bitcoin can be purchased on crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, Binance, and Kraken; at Bitcoin ATMs; on PayPal; and on Robinhood. Don’t be put off by the high price of a coin: you can invest as little as $25 in Bitcoin on Coinbase.

2. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum market cap: $477.7 billion

Ether value: $4,126

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: Asia Times

Ethereum is different from Bitcoin because it isn’t only a cryptocurrency. It’s also a network that allows developers to create their own cryptocurrency utilizing the Ethereum network. While Ethereum is far behind Bitcoin in value, it’s also far ahead of the other competitors. Even though it came out years after some other cryptocurrencies, it has far exceeded its place in the market because of its unique technology.

While Ethereum utilizes blockchain technology, it only has one “lane” for conducting transactions. This can lead to transactions taking longer to process when the network is overloaded.

Ethereum performance history: In the past year, Ethereum’s price has shot up from around $200 to well over $3,000. In fact, it recently passed $4,000 for the first time in early May and is currently trading at an all-time high of more than $4,100.

3. BinanceCoin (BNB)

BinanceCoin market cap: $102 billion

BinanceCoin value: $661

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: InvestingCube

The BinanceCoin story: BinanceCoin was launched in 2017 by the Binance cryptocurrency exchange, the world’s largest crytpo exchange by volume. During its initial coin offering (ICO), it sold 100 million coins to the public at $0.15 per coin. BinanceCoin can be used to pay transaction fees on the Binance exchange, to trade for other cryptocurrencies, and to pay for some goods and services. Every quarter, Binance uses 20% of its profits to buy back and destroy BinanceCoins. This will continue until Binance buys back and destroys 50% of the total supply, making its coin scarcer and therefore more valuable, Tom's Guide cites.

BinanceCoin performance history: Since launching in 2017, BinanceCoin has made a long, slow climb to about $60 a coin, before shooting upwards in February 2021. As of today (Monday, May 10) it was trading in the $660 range.

4. Dogecoin (DOGE)

Dogecoin market cap: $65.9 billion

Dogecoin value: $0.50

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: Blogtienao

The Dogecoin story: Dogecoin bills itself as “the fun and friendly internet currency.” Launched in 2013 by software developers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer as a satire of Bitcoin and the exploding popularity of crypto, it’s basically a Bitcoin clone with a cute dog meme for a mascot.

Dogecoin has no real use (though some people use it to give small tips on social media), but it’s developed a growing fanbase that’s boosted the price of a Dogecoin from less than a penny a few months ago to about $0.61 today, making it one of the top cryptocurrency performers by market cap if nothing else. Dogecoin also started what is now known as the “memecoin” space. If you’re looking for the next big memecoin, it could be SafeMoon, which launched in March 2021 and already has over a million users. SafeMoon encourages investors to buy and hold by imposing a 10% fee on anyone who sells their tokens.

Dogecoin performance history: In early 2021, Dogecoin crossed the $0.05 threshold for the first time, then went to the moon in April, recently trading at an all-time high of $0.70. It dropped to below $0.45 following Elon Musk's appearance on Saturday Night Live, but has since rallied slightly and is currently at $0.50.

5. Tether (USDT)

Tether market cap: $55.7 billion

Tether value: $1

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: Unhashed

The Tether story: Tether is the most stable of all cryptocurrencies because it is tied to the U.S. dollar. For each unit of Tether, there is one dollar in the Federal Reserve Bank. This makes Tether great for investors who want to transact with their cryptocurrency, reported Yahoo Finance.

Investors have raised questions over the actual reserve stock. There are doubts that there is truly a U.S. dollar in the reserve bank for each Tether unit. If this were ever disproven, the value of Tether’s stock could drop quickly.

Tether performance history: One Tether token = one USD. Always has, always will.

6. Cardano (ADA)

Cardano market cap: $55.6 billion

Cardano value: $1.73

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: CoinMarketCap

The Cardano story: Cardano, founded in 2017, is another Ethereum-like contender for the top cryptocurrency crown: a blockchain platform that supports applications, systems, and real-life business use cases. It’s a promising technology but, like all the others, has a lot of catching up to do with Ethereum in terms of its network size.

What makes Cardano unique is that it is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach. The development team consists of a large global collective of expert engineers and researchers, and the platform was built through peer-reviewed research.

Cardano performance history: Cardano was cruising along at about $0.10 from its founding in 2017 until early 2021, when it jumped to well over a dollar and was recently trading at $1.73.

7. XRP/Ripple (XRP)

XRP/Ripple market cap: $54.7 billion

XRP value: $1.54

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: Financefeeds

The XRP/Ripple story: XRP’s claim to fame is that it's the fastest digital asset, enabling near real-time global payments anywhere in the world. As such, some payment providers use XRP to expand their reach, lower foreign exchange costs, and settle payments more quickly.

XRP was launched in 2012 by a trio of developers, who then created a private company called OpenCoin, now called Ripple Labs, and gifted it 80 billion XRP. This is what makes XRP unique — it is, essentially, a for-profit platform, unlike almost every other crypto project in the world.

Buyer beware: in late 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against Ripple and its two cofounders, claiming they raised over $1.3 billion through an unregistered, ongoing digital asset securities offering (aka XRP). The lawsuit is still unsettled.

XRP performance history: Aside from a blip of a spike in December 2017-January 2018, XRP didn’t crack the $0.60 threshold until 2020. As of early May 2021, it was trading at $1.54.

8. Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot market cap: $37.3 billion

Polkadot value: $39

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: Coinlist

The Polkadot story: Polkadot was created by Ethereum leaders who broke away to form their own cryptocurrency with a better network. Instead of having a single “lane” to complete transactions in, Polkadot has several. This cryptocurrency was designed to reward genuine investors and weed out people who are just trading on the stock market to make money fast.

Polkadot performance history: This crypto was trading at about a nickel until late 2020, when it took off (stop us if you’ve heard this one before) and was recently trading at $41.

9. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash market cap: $27.4 billion

Bitcoin Cash value: $1,430

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: CMC Markets

The Bitcoin Cash story: Don't be confused by the name, because Bitcoin Cash is a completely different cryptocurrency to Bitcoin. That said, it does owe its existence to the market leader, in that it was created by a group of developers intent on bringing down the cost of Bitcoin transactions. A further split then resulted in the creation of Bitcoin SV.

Bitcoin Cash performance history: Bitcoin Cash has a lot of catching up to do to Bitcoin in terms of the size of its network. After reaching a high of nearly $4,000 back in 2018, it then dropped considerably and settled to around $300-400 for the next couple of years. A big jump in recent weeks has seen it climb back to more than $1,500, although it's currently at around $1,400.

10. Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin market cap: $26.3 billion

Litecoin value: $380

Top 10  Most Valuable Cryptocurrency 2021: Bitcoin, Ether, Binance and more
Photo: ETF Stream

The Litecoin story: Originally established in 2011, Litecoin hit the market at the same time as Bitcoin. However, it didn’t take off in the same way. Litecoin boasts completing transactions four times faster than Bitcoin. In 2017, it was the first cryptocurrency to complete a Lightning Network transaction. The transfer was completed in less than one second. If the company expands its use of Lightning Network for faster transactions, Litecoin’s value could increase dramatically.

Litecoin performance history: Litecoin spiked briefly over $300 in late 2017 before dipping as low as $25 in 2019. In late 2020, it began another ascent and recently passed the $400 mark for the first time.

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