Cryptocurrencies are set for another huge year as enterprising investors look for high returns.
Here are the top cryptocurrencies for January 2021.
Cryptocurrency valuations hit record highs last year, buoyed by outstanding support and mainstream interest from investment banks.
The sometimes astonishing returns that it can bring to buyers attract brave and optimistic investors who are looking for better returns than savings accounts and stock markets.
But cryptocurrencies are also very volatile compared to reliable and low-return investments.
And while there have been some massive rises in value over the past year and more, there have been some cliff-edge crashes as well.
Valuations can fluctuate wildly depending on sentiment, celebrity support, or regulatory crackdowns – and there are far fewer investing fundamentals than typically apply to stocks or bank funds.
Cryptocurrencies are also unregulated, so there is a higher risk of being scammed.
It is important to do your research so that you understand who is behind the coins and what they are used for.
The City of London Financial Supervisory Authority has warned that this is a high-risk investment and investors should be prepared to lose all their money.
Cryptocurrencies have two important characters.
There is the value of an individual currency and its market value.
Market value is determined by multiplying the price or value of a single coin by the number of coins offered.
Here’s how cryptocurrencies are ranked by market capitalization as of January 4th.
Bitcoin is the original and largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $887 billion and a market share of nearly 40%.
The cryptocurrency was launched in 2009 by a mysterious founder named Satoshi Nakamoto, who wanted to create a peer-to-peer online currency that could be discovered or mined online and used without the supervision of banks.
The price of a single bitcoin hit record levels last year with the crypto boom, buoyed by the backing of Elon Musk, interest from major financial institutions and the backing of major tech finance companies including PayPal.
Its value reached a record high of over $68,000 per coin in August, but has now fallen below $47,000 following bans in China and India.
Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency and was launched in 2014 to rival Bitcoin with the more user-friendly blockchain technology that can be used by other cryptocurrencies.
It has a market capitalization of $458 billion and the price of one Ether is $3,859.
Ethereum also hit record highs last year, but there have also been sharp declines due to regulatory restrictions.
However, some analysts predict that Ethereum may one day outperform Bitcoin.
5 Risks of Cryptocurrency Investments
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned people about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies.
- consumer protection: Certain investments that advertise high returns based on crypto assets may not be subject to regulation other than anti-money laundering requirements.
- price volatility: The high price volatility of crypto assets, combined with the inherent difficulties in reliably valuing crypto assets, puts consumers at high risk of losses.
- Product complexityThe complexity of certain products and services related to crypto-asset groups may make it difficult for consumers to understand the risks. There is no guarantee that crypto assets can be reconverted into cash. Converting crypto assets to cash depends on the supply and demand that exists in the market.
- Fees and feesConsumers should consider the impact of fees and costs on their investment, which may be greater than those of regulated investment products.
- Marketing materials: Companies may overestimate product returns or underestimate the risks involved.
Binance Coin was launched in 2017 by crypto exchange Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange.
It was initially set up for Binance users to get discounted trading fees.
But now it can be used to pay transaction fees on Binance and to pay for items on websites like Crypto.com.
One Binance coin is currently valued at $517 and has a market capitalization of $86.2 billion.
Tether is a different type of cryptocurrency than Bitcoin and Ethereum.
It is known as a stablecoin because its price is pegged to a regular “fiat” currency such as the dollar.
Users are said to be able to store, send and receive inverse digital tokens in exchange for their chosen currency.
Tether claims to keep its values constant by keeping reserves of that currency in the bank.
It has a market capitalization of $78.2 billion and the price of Tether or USDT is $1.
Solana is a relatively new cryptocurrency that was only launched in March 2020.
It has generated excitement and investor interest by claiming that its blockchain technology is faster and more efficient than Ethereum.
The cryptocurrency has a market capitalization of $53 billion and a price tag of $172.
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies are a form of payment that can be exchanged for goods and services.
They work using a technology called blockchain.
Blockchain is a decentralized technology spread across computers that manages and records transactions. Learn more about cryptocurrencies below..
Cardano was created in 2017 by Charles Hoskinson, who was one of eight co-founders of Bitcoin competitor Ethereum.
It aims to be more transparent by giving its investors a say in how the cryptocurrency is operated.
Cardano, which has a market capitalization of $44.9 billion, reached an all-time high on May 17, when its US dollar conversion amounted to $2.3091.
The jump came after reports that its parent company, Input Output, has partnered with World Mobile Group – a mobile network built on the blockchain.
Celebrity support also drew attention to Cardano.
Gene Simmons of rock band Kiss lent his support behind her in March, tweeting that he had bought $300,000 (£216,223).
One Cardano or ADA coin is currently priced at $1.34.
USD . coin
The US dollar coin (USDC) is another stable currency that is linked to the value of the US dollar.
Each unit of United States dollars purchased is backed by one dollar held in reserves either through cash or short-term Treasuries.
The digital currency was launched in 2018 by fintech company Circle and crypto exchange Coinbase.
It recently overtook XRP to take the seventh place in the cryptocurrency rankings by market capitalization.
Its market cap of $42.68 billion and price tag of $1 make it one of the few major cryptocurrencies to gain over the past few months.
XRP is a form of digital currency that can be used to transfer funds between individuals or banks using the Ripple network.
For example, if you need to send euros to someone using dollars, the Ripple network will convert this into XRP to speed up and lower the transaction cost.
It was launched in 2012 and has a market capitalization of $39.8 billion.
The price of XRP is now $0.836, down from $1.84 in April 2021.
Another recently climbed into the top ten cryptocurrency list, Luna has overtaken popular cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin and Shina Inu in recent weeks to climb to the major leagues.
It is the token used in the blockchain technology run by Terra, which was launched in 2019 to compete with Ethereum by offering a payment system that links cryptocurrencies with fiat money to keep values stable.
Luna is currently priced at $88.3, and has a market capitalization of $31.8 billion.
Polkadot is another of the newer cryptocurrencies in the block.
It was only launched in May 2020 and supports transfers of assets and tokens across different blockchains.
The price for a single Poladot or Dot is $29.55, which is down from a high of $54 in 2020.
It currently has a market capitalization of $29.2 billion.
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