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Best altcoins to buy in 2022
This guide picks out the altcoins that are most worth your money this year. Our experts have been through the thousands of coins available to choose the best options, depending on your budget.
What are the top altcoins to buy?
Here are our picks for the best altcoins this year. We have divided them up based on market cap (the number of coins on the market x the price of the coin) so that you can look through the options that best suit your budget. You can find the latest price information by clicking the links in each table, or scroll down to read more about each coin.
The best large cap altcoins
Large cap coins are the most popular and well-known cryptocurrencies on the market. They tend to be the most expensive but they have established themselves over a number of years and are less volatile than some of the smaller coins available.
1. Ethereum (ETH)
The ‘best of the rest’, Ethereum is widely regarded as the second cryptocurrency behind Bitcoin. Live since 2015, it has always been defined by its differences with the market leader. Whereas Bitcoin is a pure cryptocurrency, Ethereum made it possible to build applications that people can interact with on the blockchain.
Ethereum is top of this list because it’s the most actively-used blockchain platform. Many other currencies and projects are built on top of the Ethereum network and have to use the Ether cryptocurrency to pay fees. As the crypto space grows, Ethereum is likely to be one of the major beneficiaries, and you can find out the latest news about Ethereum here.
2. Dogecoin (DOGE)
Dogecoin is named after an internet meme and started as a joke between two software engineers. For many years, it was worth virtually nothing and used simply as a way for creators to tip each other tiny amounts online. In 2021, however, it became the favorite cryptocurrency of Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, whose tweets made it into a household name.
Even by crypto standards, owning Doge can be a wild ride. However, it is still available relatively cheaply and its potential comes from the fact it could yet be anything. It’s likely to see regular spikes in value every time Musk speaks about it, and it could yet build up the infrastructure to become a serious cryptocurrency in its own right.
3. Uniswap (UNI)
Uniswap is a cryptocurrency exchange platform that’s built on the blockchain. With no restrictions on who can trade, lower fees than traditional platforms, and thanks to the fact it offers some of the best prices around, it has quickly become one of the most popular exchanges in the world.
During the crypto bull run in 2021, Uniswap regularly exceeded $1bn worth of trading volume in a single day. It’s the best decentralised exchange and its cryptocurrency tends to rise along with the performance of the platform: it doubled in price during the aforementioned bull run. Our Uniswap guide explains everything about it in more detail.
4. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple is an online payment system that’s built on the blockchain. The XRP cryptocurrency is a means of sending funds overseas or paying someone in another country without having to transfer money into different currencies.
XRP has had some run-ins with federal regulators in the US but its potential as a leading alternative payment provider is clear. It has already partnered with a number of major banks, such as Santander, and works with an established network of financial institutions.
5. Binance coin (BNB)
Binance has long been the largest exchange around. It’s the first port of call for many people who are new to cryptocurrency and offers a place to trade all of the most popular coins. Owning its native token, Binance coin, entitles you to cheaper trading fees, and it can be used as a go-between to pay for virtually any other coin on the platform.
Much like with Uniswap, an increase in activity within the crypto markets is almost always good news for BNB’s value. It was one of the biggest winners in 2021, increasing by more than 1000% in the first quarter of the year. That shows what’s possible and why Binance coin is one of the top large cap coins around.
The best mid cap altcoins
These coins are all popular options that have a period of success behind them. They are, unsurprisingly, a middle ground between the more expensive but more reliable large cap coins, and the high risk, high reward potential of the small cap ones.
1. PancakeSwap (CAKE)
Another exchange platform, PancakeSwap is similar to the aforementioned Uniswap. It lets you trade cryptocurrencies without creating an account and it offers a host of other decentralised finance features as well. All wrapped in a dessert-themed bow.
PancakeSwap is often the only exchange that offers the smallest and newest altcoins. It is likely to benefit any time altcoins surge in popularity and the coin’s price tends to reflect the performance of the platform.
2. Litecoin (LTC)
Originally formed out of a split with Bitcoin back in 2011, Litecoin is a leaner, faster version of its predecessor. Although it’s not as popular, in many ways it’s actually an improvement on Bitcoin, but it’s more often used as a test centre to trial new developments that can be added to the Bitcoin blockchain.
What that means is that you can use Litecoin as a cheaper alternative to the leading cryptocurrency. It’s likely to perform in a similar way and has some value in its own right, most notably because it’s already accepted as a means of payment by many online merchants. Use our guide to learn more about how to buy Litecoin.
3. Stellar (XLM)
Stellar is another payment provider that specialises in moving money across the world. Its ultimate goal is to make money ‘borderless’, so that people can hold funds in lots of different currencies and spend it without having to constantly exchange from one to the other.
The Stellar Lumens cryptocurrency is a crucial entry requirement if you want to use the platform. While there are a few different cross-border payment providers like this, Stellar is one of the platforms leading the charge towards a more transparent, globalised payment system. Get started by reading the guide to buying lumens.
4. Internet Computer (ICP)
The Internet Computer platform aims to create a completely new version of the internet. It makes it easy for anyone to create online content and, in theory, takes the power out of the hands of the likes of Google and Amazon, who traditionally dominate the space.
Internet Computer is a relatively new cryptocurrency but it has received backing from lots of big names who are intrigued by its vision of an online utopia. The coin quickly became a popular investment opportunity and you can find out how to get it yourself in our guide to ICP.
5. Tron (TRX)
The Tron founder, Justin Sun, is one of the most well-known names in cryptocurrency. He created the Tron network as a way for content creators and consumers to connect, without the need for a middleman. Tron’s cryptocurrency is the means by which rewards flow between them.
Tron has long been one of the most widely-traded cryptocurrencies in the world. Although it has been overtaken by some newer coins in terms of hype, it is established and has the backing of a famous name. You can learn more about Tron in our comprehensive course.
The best small cap altcoins
This list represents the best small or new coins on the market. Investing in these coins can be more risky than choosing a bigger name but the payoff can be big as well. It’s not uncommon for a coin to double or triple in value very quickly and many of the larger coins have trodden that path before.
1. Chiliz (CHZ)
Chiliz is a cryptocurrency that’s based around sport. Fans can use the coins to get ‘fan tokens’ in their favourite teams, which then unlock access to rewards that bring them closer than ever to the action.
All this takes place through socios.com, a social platform that has exploded into wider popularity as it signs up more and more partners, in football in particular. It already adorns the shirts of the Italian side, Inter Milan, while the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, and Leeds United have signed up to the platform as well. We have a guide that teaches you all about buying Chiliz.
2. SushiSwap (SUSHI)
SushiSwap is yet another exchange platform where you can buy or sell cryptocurrency. It was created as essentially a clone of Uniswap when it split from the latter and took hundreds of millions in assets along with it.
Like the other exchanges on this list, investing in the Sushi coin is a bet on crypto in general. The more volume that’s traded, the better for the coin’s value.
3. Axie Infinity (AXS)
Axie Infinity is an entire online gaming platform that lives on the blockchain. You can create, buy or sell your own monsters and battle them online, earning rewards depending on how successful you are and how often you play.
The gaming market is still relatively untapped and Axie is one of the first to successfully introduce a ‘play to earn’ model, where players can make quite a lot of money based on their gaming performance. Learn more about how this model works in the Axie guide.
4. Yearn.finance (YFI)
The Yearn platform lets people earn interest on their cryptocurrency by offering the best rates of return. You simply put some money into the platform and then its algorithms scour the rest of the decentralised finance world in order to find the highest rewards.
There is a very low limit on the number of yearn.finance coins in existence, which means that the price of each one is significantly higher than most. You can learn about how this limit on the total supply could be good for its long term performance in our YFI guide.
5. Mdex (MDX)
The final exchange platform on this list, Mdex is also one of the youngest. It rose to prominence in the second quarter of 2021, grabbing a big slice of the total market volume. It’s a faster, cheaper exchange than the others and has already leapfrogged SushiSwap in volume.
Mdex has the potential to spike in price just like the leaders in the exchange market have done. However, it doesn’t have quite the same name recognition just yet and so is available cheaper than the alternatives. Read through our guide to learn more about how to buy Mdex.
Where to buy the best altcoins?
You can find any of the altcoins on this page through these brokers. They are the best trading platforms around that have been reviewed and approved by our crypto experts. You can sign up through the links in the table below, or read our extensive reviews to compare them in more detail.
What is an altcoin?
It’s a cryptocurrency that isn’t Bitcoin. Each altcoin shares a set of similar characteristics, such as the fact they are based on blockchain technology, but they can vary dramatically in terms of what they do. There are thousands of altcoins in existence, some have been set up to solve real world problems, others are merely jokes with no substance behind them.
Are altcoins a good investment?
Ultimately, that depends on which altcoin you choose. You should thoroughly research any project you’re interested in so that you’re familiar with the factors that influence its price. Learn about its competitors and remember that cryptocurrency markets can be volatile.
It’s likely that every coin is going to have times when it rises dramatically and others where it falls in price. Sometimes those changes can simply be as a result of fluctuations in the market as a whole, as altcoins tend to all perform well during the boom times but struggle when investor confidence drops.
That’s why you need to stay in tune with cryptocurrency in general. You can use the information to decide when to get a coin, or to identify opportunities that might be on offer from new altcoins. Our altcoins hub is a great place to get everything you need in order to start investing.
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Fact-checking & references
Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.
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