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The information on this site does not modify any insurance policy terms in any way. Bitcoin gets all the headlines when people talk about cryptocurrencies, but there are literally thousands of other options when it comes to these digital currencies. While Bitcoin may have been the first major cryptocurrency to hit the market — it debuted in — many others have become highly popular, even if not quite as large as the original.
Here are the largest cryptocurrencies by the total dollar value of the coins in existence, that is, the market capitalization, or market cap. Data is from CoinMarketCap. As the harbinger of the cryptocurrency era, Bitcoin is still the coin people generally reference when they talk about digital currency. The system allows you to use ether the currency to perform a number of functions, but the smart contract aspect of Ethereum helps make it a popular currency.
Tether often acts as a medium when traders move from one cryptocurrency to another. Rather than move back to dollars, they use Tether. Binance Coin is the cryptocurrency issued by Binance , among the largest crypto exchanges in the world. While originally created as a token to pay for discounted trades, Binance Coin can now be used for payments as well as purchasing various goods and services.
Like Tether, USD Coin is a stablecoin pegged to the dollar, meaning that its value should not fluctuate. The issuance of the currency, called SOL, is capped at million coins. Formerly known as Ripple and created in , XRP offers a way to pay in many different real-world currencies. Ripple can be useful in cross-border transactions and uses a trust-less mechanism to facilitate payments. Using its currency Luna, Terra is a platform that helps backstop a range of stablecoins based on real currencies such as the dollar or euro.
Terra helps stabilize the price of stablecoins through various technical means, and it also supports smart contracts. Cardano is the cryptocurrency platform behind ada, the name of the currency. Created by the co-founder of Ethereum, Cardano also uses smart contracts, enabling identity management. Avalanche is a fast and low-cost smart contracts-based blockchain platform focused on building decentralized apps and facilitating the creation of custom blockchains.
Its users can process transactions in the native AVAX token. Launched in May , Polkadot is a digital currency that connects the technology of blockchain from many different cryptocurrencies. Originally created as a joke after the run-up in Bitcoin, Dogecoin takes its name from an internet meme featuring a Shiba Inu dog.
Unlike many digital currencies limiting the number of coins in existence, Dogecoin has unlimited issuance. It can be used for payments or sending money. The cryptocurrency market is a Wild West although it appears as if the U. Volatility can be intense, with crypto assets fluctuating significantly even in a single day. And individual investors can be trading against highly sophisticated players, making it a fraught experience for novices.
Editorial Disclaimer: All investors are advised to conduct their own independent research into investment strategies before making an investment decision. In addition, investors are advised that past investment product performance is no guarantee of future price appreciation. How We Make Money.
Editorial disclosure. Written by James Royal. Written by. James Royal. Bankrate senior reporter James F. Royal, Ph. Brian Beers. Brian Beers is the senior wealth editor at Bankrate. He oversees editorial coverage of banking, investing, the economy and all things money. Edited By Brian Beers.
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