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How the lesser-known crypto tokens fared in 2021

How the lesser-known crypto tokens fared in 2021
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The Cardano cryptocurrency logo is displayed on the phone screen. Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Cryptocurrencies, such as Cardano (ADA-USD), KuCoin, and Ripple (XRP-USD), have slipped below market capitalization rankings and have posted notable gains throughout 2021.

Crypto tokens with low market caps have more wiggle room and investors can hope to make bigger gains from higher market cap offerings. Like Ethereum (ETH-USD) and bitcoin (BTC-USD). However, tokens with lower market caps are subject to greater volatility than those cryptocurrencies at the top of the rankings. Several lesser-known cryptocurrencies, such as Cardano, KuCoin, and Ripple, are doing well in 2021.

Cardano started public trading at $0.15 (£0.1), and is now trading at $1.34. The coin is in seventh place in the cryptocurrency rankings by market capitalization. During the year, rival blockchain project Solana (SOL-USD) Cardano has jumped to the fifth position now. From January 2021 to the present, Cardano’s value has increased by about 10 times. The cryptocurrency reached an all-time high of $3.10 on September 2.

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The blockchain platform is still going through its own strict development roadmap. It was the brainchild of developer Charles Hoskinson in 2015 and launched its testing phase in 2017. It has progressed from the “Shelley” development era to the current “Goguen” era, which allows for the ability to deploy smart contracts on the blockchain. In general, Cardano will have to go through five ages of evolution before it becomes a fully self-sufficient system. He is only now in his third era.

The two prior to this, the Byron and Shelley eras, had mainly focused on foundation building and decentralization. However, this did not stop investors from buying into its original token called ADA, which increased in value by 940% in 2021.

Brazil - 09/06/2021: In this illustration, the Cardano logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.  (Image illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The Cardano logo appears on a smartphone. Photo: Getty Images

However, there are doubts about the continued success of Cardano through 2022 and 2023. The project will be taken down by eToro for its US clients from January 1, 2021. The trading platform cited regulatory concerns as the reason for their actions.

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Another project that did well in 2021 is the original token of the central crypto exchange KuCoin – KCS Offer. Kucoin, like Binance, is also linked to the blockchain, the Kucoin Community Chain (KCC). Similar to the Binance Smart Chain (BSC), the KCC is a version of the ethereum network, and is not completely decentralized. However, the Kucoin token, KCS, has seen significant gains in value throughout 2021.

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The current price of the KCS token is $21.44 – it started the year as low as $0.70. This is in line with the growing popularity of the KuCoin exchange. The KuCoin exchange has become a popular trading venue for institutional blockchain projects such as the Kadena cryptocurrency.

The cryptocurrency project Ripple also fared well in 2021. It is known as a global payments network that uses the XRP consensus ledger, which the company claims is faster, cheaper and greener than Proof-of-Work consensus mechanisms to settle transactions. The Ripple token has been active since 2012 and is under the XRP listing. The price of XRP rose from $0.43 in January 2021 to a value of $0.99 today. In the past seven days, the value of Ripple has increased by 20%.

A representation of the Ripple payments network is shown in this illustration taken on November 29, 2021. REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration

A representation of the Ripple payments network. Photo: Reuters

Ripple Labs is still recovering from the fallout after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued two of its senior executives in 2020. In late December 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission commissioned Ripple and two of its executives to make a $1.3 billion sale. “Securities View of Unregistered and Ongoing Digital Assets”. The Securities and Exchange Commission reported that the alleged sale of XRP tokens by Ripple executives was to raise capital to fund the company’s business. Ripple is currently ranked sixth in terms of cryptocurrency market capitalization. In 2022, the token could surpass its all-time high of $3.84, which was reached in August 2021.

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Ripple Labs, the development arm of the Ripple project, has made strides throughout 2021 by developing the Ripple Marketplace for financial companies to allow customers the ability to trade cryptocurrencies securely. Ripple avoids being tied to the more messy aspects of the crypto space, such as the decentralization and non-intermediary of the banking system. Instead, Ripple snuggles close to many of the major banks, investment firms, and major financial institutions around the world.

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