Considered the original cryptocurrency among most investors, Bitcoin (BTC) was founded by programmer Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 and has since held a position as the most valuable cryptocurrency in the world. The price of one BTC coin exceeded $29,000 as of July 20, 2021, while Ethereum, the second-most valuable cryptocurrency, had a value of $1,785.45. BTC’s hold on the market is so secure that all other cryptocurrencies are known as altcoins simply by virtue of not being BTC.
However, cryptocurrencies are prone to volatility given the lack of centralized regulating authority. Consequently, many investors see them as an opportunity to make significant gains. Below are five cryptos to keep an eye on in 2021.
One of the first altcoins launched during the early 2010s, Litecoin is among the most valuable cryptocurrencies outside of BTC and Ethereum. It functions similarly to BTC as a peer-to-peer currency and had a market value of $10 billion as of June 29. It has a maximum supply of 84 million coins with one coin valued at around $147 as of the aforementioned date. Comparing BTC to gold, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee called his cryptocurrency “very similar to silver.”
Litecoin even has distinct advantages over BTC. It boasts faster transaction times and better storage efficiency, in addition to a more affordable entry point for first-time investors. The coins are also more affordable, as there are four times as many of them available as compared to that of BTC.
Dogecoin recently experienced one of the fastest increases among all cryptocurrencies in terms of value. Created in 2013, the meme-based crypto received an endorsement from Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and, at one point, achieved a market cap in excess of $90 billion. While it has cooled considerably, traders could have made a 20,000 percent return on a perfectly timed investment.
The blockchain is the secure system that records and verifies cryptocurrency transactions. Cryptos have their own blockchain, but Cosmos is seeking to link blockchains together similarly to how the Internet of Things allows for a range of devices to work in conjunction with each other. One Cosmos coin was valued at around $5 in early 2021 and, as of July 21, was at $10.56. It peaked at more than $28 in May.
Endorsed by Marc Cuban, Aave is a decentralized finance lender that has positioned itself as a hassle-free alternative to commercial lenders like banks and other financial institutions. Borrowers have access to competitive rates, and investors can lend out crypto and receive interest on those loans. The platform operates on the Ethereum network, and the token has a market cap of more than $3 billion.