Do you want to try your hand at digital currency but aren’t sure where to begin? Get to know some of the most popular altcoins.
Although the year is far from done, 2021 appears to be the year in which avoiding cryptocurrencies will be almost impossible. It’s all over the news these days, from all-time price highs being made (and reset) to billionaire entrepreneurs praising their favorite currency to the advent of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and so on.
While Bitcoin (BTC) reigns supreme and is a valuable asset owing to its high market cap and institutional investment (a number of Fortune 500 firms have BTC on their balance sheet), many people are curious about the next big thing in crypto.
Altcoins have a role in this. What is an altcoin, exactly? It’s very straightforward: any cryptoasset that isn’t Bitcoin. With over 5,000 available online, there’s a lot to think about. We’re here to assist, with four cryptocurrencies (all in the top 20 by market cap) that are well worth your time.
After Bitcoin, ETH is the second most valuable cryptocurrency, with a price increase of over 300 percent so far this year, about double that of BTC. While ether is the name of the cryptocurrency, the Ethereum network as a whole is worth far more than a single coin. It’s the most widely used blockchain for constructing crypto projects, such as Ethereum-based altcoins, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized finance (DeFi) apps.
Cardano, while not as well-known as Ethereum, has a lot of promise. ADA, which is firmly in the top ten in terms of market capitalization, has achieved significant progress in 2021 in a similar way to ETH — on the basis of its blockchain technology. Cardano was established by one of Ethereum’s co-founders with the goal of creating a more reliable blockchain that solved previous flaws (namely scalability, interoperability, and compliance). Cardano will be able to handle smart contracts with the release of its newest update, Alonzo.
Let’s speak about smart contracts now. Smart contracts are agreements between two parties that take place on a blockchain, whether it’s for a trade, a real estate transaction, or anything else that requires a contract. Chainlink is an Ethereum-based platform that connects smart contracts on any blockchain to various parties (thus the name) (data providers, enterprise systems, cloud services, etc.). LINK tokens are the digital assets used to pay for Chainlink network services.
Some crypto newbies may have heard about exchanging, whether it’s through UNI, SUSHI, or another site, but are unsure what it entails. Users may swap multiple Ethereum-based tokens (associated with the UNI token) through liquidity pools on Uniswap, a decentralized crypto exchange (DEX), and earn interest through trading fees. If all of this seems a bit too complicated, Uniswap fans may just buy UNI tokens to HODL (i.e., keep) rather than swap.
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