In the first quarter of 2021, the price of Bitcoin was soaring. Supported by high-profile investors and increasing institutional adoption, it was hitting new highs. Only a month ago, experts were envisioning a price of $100,000 by year’s end. Then, Elon Musk had a sudden change of heart. Clearly, the coin is too sensitive to publicity, which now makes investors wary.
If you are tired of Bitcoin’s erratic behavior, here are six robust competitors. Any of them could be poised to outperform BTC, so read more about altcoins news to keep track of these markets. These tokens have seen substantial growth in recent years.
1. Ethereum (ETH)
The second-biggest cryptocurrency with a market cap of roughly $335.23 billion, Ether emerged in 2015. It was designed to facilitate smart contracts — i.e., ‘If/Then’ commands. For instance, if John shows up for work every weekday, he gets paid $xx or if the user enters specific data, they get a Coke.
As smart contracts accumulate, they form decentralized applications referred to as dApps. These are secure and protected from interference, as the users and the providers are connected directly. There is no middleman to store and control the information.
The cryptocurrency finally started becoming mainstream in April, when it appeared in several novels ETFs — exchange-traded funds on the TSX. Most of the cryptocurrencies we know today are based on the same principle and use the same blockchain.
2. Litecoin (LTC)
This network was co-founded by a former Google employee. Since 2011, it has allowed faster and cheaper international payments in a decentralized manner. At its core, Litecoin is a faster alternative to Bitcoin with more coins available. As a result, it is still referred to as “the silver to Bitcoin’s gold”.
So far, Litecoin has not seen the same dramatic recovery as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but its potential is undeniable. The credibility and technical benefits make it a strong contender in the long term. Currently, the market cap is 12.825 billion.
3. Cardano (ADA)
This is one of the younger currencies which have seen growth in recent years. After its debut in early 2018 with a price of over $1, Cardano plunged to 2-3 cents until bottoming out. Now, the value has risen above $1 again, and investors suppose there could be more pleasant surprises in the future.
With the current emphasis on sustainability, this is perfectly plausible. Cardana is based on a more eco-friendly technology than Bitcoin. It already uses proof of stake, while other blockchains are still migrating to it.
This makes Cardano attractive for the ESG movement. In recent months, celebrities like Gene Simmons have started investing in ADA. Bullish retail investors tend to prefer Cardano over Bitcoin.
4. Polkadot (DOT)
Do not be misguided by this coin’s amusing name. Since its release in summer 2020, it has achieved a spectacular rise from the bottom to the sixth-largest market cap figures — 22.702 billion as of this writing. The investors are dead serious.
This growth is only partly attributed to the BTC rally. The system embodies a blockchain revolution. It applies the classic Bitcoin concept more efficiently than Ethereum. Polkadot is based on a shared multi-chain network that is capable of processing multiple transactions on a cluster of chains simultaneously.
You can think of it as a highway with multiple lanes, where every car is a data point, and these vehicles can move at the same time. The scheme prevents the accumulation of data backlogs. Eventually, it causes less power waste. Polkadot has been dubbed “the blockchain of blockchains” because it operates on open-source interaction with other systems.
5. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple appeared 1 year after Litecoin — in 2012. Today, this San Francisco-based network has grown to include offices in 27 countries. Like Litecoin, it was devised as a cheaper and faster alternative to BTC. The RippleNet system allows multi-currency transactions.
Over 100 world banks had joined the platform by the end of 2017. By 2020, the coin had nearly tripled in value. The coin is called XRP, and its current market capitalization stands at 44.143 billion.
6. Tether (USDT)
What makes this token unique is its link to fiat currency. The value of Tether is connected to the US dollar — hence the name. Every coin costs $1, which prevents dramatic fluctuations typical for other alternatives. This cryptocurrency is unique because it bridges virtual and conventional monetary systems.
Referred to as “stablecoin”, it is particularly attractive to investors who are tired of erratic volatility. Some experts believe tether could pave the way for the digitization of the American currency. Today, it is a great choice for those who seek stability. The market cap is 61.211 billion.
The Major Players
Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, Polkadot, Ripple, and Tether each have unique strengths. Their market capitalization is growing, and the recent fluctuations of Bitcoin are fueling investors’ interest. Given the transition to more sustainable mining, altcoins could take the spotlight off the pioneering cryptocurrency.