Deciding Which Crypto to Buy: Navigating the Crypto Market

Tags: Best cryptocurrency to buy, Best Places to Buy Cryptocurrency

Key points: Which Crypto to Buy:

  • Bitcoin pioneered cryptocurrency, beginning in January 2009.
  • There are thousands of cryptocurrencies on the market.
  • Most cryptocurrencies have minimal market capitalizations.

Crypto investors are anxiously awaiting regulatory changes, and major cryptocurrencies have lately witnessed favorable growth.

Crypto aficionados expect fresh all-time highs amid market volatility and regulatory certainty to entice institutional investors.

Despite the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum remain dominant. Their market capitalizations combined account for more than two-thirds of the cryptocurrency market.

Here are the top ten cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, excluding stablecoins.

Additionally, given current market patterns, two cryptocurrencies worth considering for investing are Cardano (ADA) and Solana (SOL). Both ADA and SOL have shown strong development potential and new features in the decentralized finance (DeFi) market.

Bitcoin (BTC)

Market Cap: $1 trillion

Year-over-year return: 149%

Which crypto to buy: Even after roughly 14 years since its inception, Bitcoin remains the foremost and most valuable cryptocurrency globally. Under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, a mysterious person or group created it. Bitcoin’s introduction of blockchain-based, decentralized transaction verification, and a public ledger system brought a paradigm shift in digital security perceptions.

Bitcoin’s decentralization and transparent nature have made it immensely attractive to investors and users alike. However, critics have raised concerns regarding its energy-intensive proof-of-work consensus mechanism and highlighted challenges in scaling the network. Furthermore, several large-scale crypto projects now boast higher transaction speeds than Bitcoin, while others have implemented blockchain designs aimed at enhancing Bitcoin’s functionality.

Amidst the diverse options in the cryptocurrency market, Bitcoin’s status as a pioneer and its robust market cap continue to make it a compelling investment choice. Despite the emergence of numerous alternative cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin’s established position and widespread adoption contribute to its enduring appeal.

Ethereum (ETH)

Market Cap: $429.5 billion

Year-over-year return: 97%

Which crypto to buy: Ethereum was one of the first altcoins, or alternatives to bitcoin, to enter the market in July 2015. Despite numerous altcoins emerging, Ethereum stands out as the most valuable crypto after bitcoin. Ethereum’s blockchain pioneered the concept of smart contracts, enabling the execution of decentralized applications, or dApps. This innovative approach has led to Ethereum’s blockchain hosting over 1,400 applications and developer tools, with ether serving as the native cryptocurrency of the network.

Which crypto should you buy in 2024?

Ethereum has completed the shift from a proof-of-work consensus process to a far less energy-intensive proof-of-stake transaction verification method. This move positioned Ethereum as a greener investment than Bitcoin. Aside from its environmental advantages, Ethereum’s blockchain capability remains its fundamental distinction. Ethereum’s capacity to swiftly execute smart contracts has cemented its place as a foundation for decentralized finance (DeFi) and other blockchain-based applications.

Binance Coin (BNB)

Market Cap: $87.4 billion

Year-over-year return: 84%

Which crypto to buy: Binance, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, issues BNB. Initially conceived as a utility token on the Ethereum network, BNB allowed users to access discounted trading fees on the Binance exchange. However, BNB has since migrated to Binance’s independent blockchain, expanding its utility and scope of applications. Presently, BNB facilitates a diverse range of transactions and serves various use cases within the Binance ecosystem.

Unfortunately, Binance’s market share in the United States decreased in 2024 due to legal obstacles. The US Securities and Exchange Commission launched a complaint against the exchange, accusing it of violating securities laws. Despite this setback, BNB’s importance in the global cryptocurrency market has endured due to its association with one of the industry’s leading exchanges and its customizable functionality.

Solana (SOL)

Market Cap: $82.0 billion

Year-over-year return: 768%

Which crypto to buy: Solana, introduced in March 2020, shares similarities with Ethereum as its network supports decentralized applications (dApps), smart contracts, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Solana separates itself from Ethereum by its unique hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history verification method, which allows for speedier and more cost-effective transactions. This breakthrough has sparked tremendous interest in the crypto world, establishing Solana as a possible challenger to Ethereum’s supremacy in the decentralized application environment.

Despite technical developments, the Solana network has had issues, notably in terms of stability. Since its introduction, the platform has had network failures, which has harmed its reputation in the cryptocurrency market. In February 2024, the Solana network was down for about 20 hours, emphasizing the significance of fixing infrastructure concerns to maintain long-term profitability and investor trust.


Market Cap: $34.1 billion

Year-over-year return: 12%

Which crypto to buy: XRP, created by Ripple, serves as a global payments network aimed at providing an alternative to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT). The main global system for money transfers used by banks and financial institutions is SWIFT. Ripple asserts that its technology offers superior speed, cost-effectiveness, and transparency compared to the SWIFT system. XRP functions as the native cryptocurrency tailored for the Ripple network and the XRP Ledger blockchain, facilitating seamless transactions and liquidity across borders.

In July, XRP had a large spike after a critical judgment by a judge in the Southern District of New York, who said that cryptocurrency is “not necessarily a security” under certain conditions. This verdict may possibly remove XRP from the jurisdiction of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), relieving regulatory worries and providing investors with increased certainty. The legal development significantly boosted XRP’s market mood and increased confidence in its long-term sustainability as a digital asset for global payments.

Dogecoin (DOGE)

Market Cap: $31.0 billion

Year-over-year return: 183%

Which crypto to buy: Dogecoin, originating in 2013 as a playful parody of bitcoin, has unexpectedly evolved into a serious investment option for many cryptocurrency traders. Its appeal lies in its simplicity, high-profile endorsements, and the online charisma of its Shiba Inu mascot. Despite its whimsical origins, Dogecoin has garnered significant attention within the crypto community and beyond, emerging as a symbol of the unpredictable nature of the digital asset market.

Notably, public statements and endorsements from well-known people like Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, have frequently influenced Dogecoin’s price volatility. Musk’s tweets and references to Dogecoin have frequently sparked fluctuations in its market value, underscoring the impact of celebrity endorsements in the crypto space. However, Musk’s involvement in promoting Dogecoin has also attracted legal scrutiny, with a group of Dogecoin investors alleging illegal price manipulation in a lawsuit against him.

Cardano (ADA)

Market Cap: $23.1 billion

Year-over-year return: 68%

Which crypto to buy: Cardano emerges as a decentralized proof-of-stake blockchain, launched in September 2017 with the ambition to offer a more efficient alternative to established proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Its inception garnered immediate credibility within the crypto community, owing to its founding by Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of Ethereum. This association underscores Cardano’s commitment to innovation and functionality, positioning it as a prominent player in the blockchain ecosystem.

Similar to Ethereum, Cardano prioritizes functionality, aiming to become the preferred platform for decentralized application (dApp) development and the execution of verifiable smart contracts. ADA serves as the primary cryptocurrency within the Cardano network, facilitating transactions and powering dApps. Additionally, ADA holders can participate in staking, contributing to the network’s transaction verification process and earning rewards in return.

Avalanche (AVAX)

Market Cap: $20.5 billion

Year-over-year Return: 214%

Which crypto to buy: Avalanche stands out as a relatively new system, with its mainnet launching in September 2020. Positioned in the competitive world of blockchain technology, Avalanche claims itself as a platform that has learned from prior initiatives, seeking to be the quickest and most secure blockchain solution. Avalanche, like the other blockchains on this list, functions as a smart contract platform, allowing developers to create decentralized applications (dApps).

What distinguishes Avalanche is its compatibility with Ethereum, which allows for interoperability between the two systems. This functionality improves accessibility and flexibility for both developers and users, enabling the easy integration of current Ethereum-based applications into the Avalanche ecosystem. Avalanche’s native coin, AVAX, also plays an important role in the network, paying transaction fees and participating in governance procedures.

Shiba Inu (SHIB)

Market Cap: $18.9 billion

Year-over-year return: 198%

Which crypto to buy: Shiba Inu, sometimes described as a “meme” altcoin, debuted on the Ethereum network in August 2020, led by an unknown creator known as Ryoshi. SHIB, dubbed the “Dogecoin Killer,” emerged as a competing memecoin in the cryptocurrency arena. Despite its lighthearted roots, SHIB quickly rose to become one of the top 20 biggest cryptocurrencies by market valuation, attracting the attention of investors worldwide.

Which cryptocurrency to buy: While SHIB and DOGE have commonalities, there are significant differences. For example, SHIB runs on the Ethereum network, which allows it to enable smart contracts and decentralized apps (dApps). SHIB also has a thriving community of supporters known as the SHIBArmy, which actively contributes to the project’s development and marketing. This committed community has played a critical role in determining SHIB’s path through the crypto market.

Toncoin (TON)

Market Cap: $17.5 billion

Year-over-year return: 139%

Which crypto to buy: Toncoin, or TON, was established as a “layer 1” token by Telegram-affiliated developers in 2018. The network that powers TON is well-known for its smart-contract capabilities, which provide a significant speed advantage over Ethereum. With a blockchain speed of under five seconds, TON is a tempting choice for consumers and developers looking for rapid transaction processing and smart contract execution.

How to buy cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are traded on exchanges, exactly as equities and exchange-traded funds. However, not all brokers provide cryptocurrency trading, especially in cryptos other than bitcoin and ethereum. The first step in purchasing bitcoin is to find a broker or exchange that offers crypto trading. Robinhood and SoFi are popular cryptocurrency dealers. Coinbase and Binance are two of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges.

Once you’ve identified a cryptocurrency broker or exchange, open and verify a trading account. To authenticate your identification, you may be asked to provide a copy of your picture ID, bank statement, or other papers.

Once your account is established, you may deposit funds and purchase your preferred cryptocurrency using its distinctive three- or four-letter ticker symbol, exactly like a stock. Some traders keep their cryptocurrency in a digital wallet for further protection.

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Where can I buy crypto?

You can buy cryptocurrencies from various online platforms called cryptocurrency exchanges. Some of the popular cryptocurrency exchanges include:

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moneta markets
1000+ financial instruments, including Foreign Exchange, Commodities, Indices, Share CFDs, Cryptos, ETFs, and Bonds
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why are there so many cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology and are open source, which means the code is completely public and available to everyone. Creating a cryptocurrency may be as easy as copying and pasting from a current blockchain or altering the name.

What are the top cryptocurrencies by market cap?

The leading cryptocurrencies by market capitalization are bitcoin and ethereum, which have long held the first and second positions, respectively. After that, a group of cryptocurrencies vie for place; however, the third largest is stablecoin tether (USDT).

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be considered financial or investment advice. Cryptocurrency markets are highly volatile and speculative, and investing in cryptocurrencies carries inherent risks. It is essential to conduct thorough research and consult with a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions.