Cryptocurrency has been booming since its 2016 surge, where media hype ensured that crypto markets boomed and investors made a lot of money. Now, it's something that 56% of American adults invest in, and at the end of 2022, amassed a market value of 4.67 billion. The popularity comes from the ease of access and other markets coinciding with the crypto market.
For example, if you want one of those funky NFTs celebrities like Justin Bieber is heavily investing in, you'll need cryptocurrency. You'll find that many experts will edge you in the direction of adding cryptocurrency to your investment portfolio, so we've gathered information about the five most expensive.
Bitcoin is the world's first and most popular cryptocurrency, and it has taken the financial world by storm since it first entered the market in 2009. Created by the mysterious pseudonymous figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin offers a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system that operates on a global scale. Bitcoin began trading in 2010 with a value of US $0.0008. Now, it's worth $27,545.03, a figure that's constantly fluctuating. If you don't have $27,545.03 free, you could look at Internet Computer Token Price, Smooth Love Potion, DogeCoin, and Stellar.
One of the lures of Bitcoin was and still is its limited supply. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoin in existence, and as more people become interested in the cryptocurrency, the demand for it is likely to increase. That has led to a surge in the price of Bitcoin, making it a popular investment option.
Ethereum was created by Vitalik Buterin in 2015 and has since become one of the most popular and widely used blockchain platforms worldwide. One of the key features of Ethereum is its support of smart contracts. It has secured itself as one of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency market, with widespread uses and applications. The current market value is $1,856.16. That's nowhere near the value of Bitcoin and puts into perspective just how successful Bitcoin is.
ETH is heavily relied upon, with many cryptocurrency transactions and trades using ETH. For example, when you try to withdraw from a crypto wallet, the fee is usually in ETH. ETH authorizes said transactions through smart contacts that rely on predetermined conditions being met for an action to take place. All of the decentralized applications on the Ethereum blockchain will use smart contracts to function.
Tether is one of the most popular and well-recognized cryptocurrencies behind Bitcoin and Ethereum. It's what's known as a stablecoin, designed to maintain a stable value that's equivalent to the US dollar (USD). What makes a stablecoin a stablecoin is its backing by real-world assets. Those assets are usually fiat currencies like USD or the Euro. Tether launched in 2014 and is one of the most used stablecoins in the cryptocurrency market.
The main aim of Tether was to allow traders to move funds across exchanges without panicking about price fluctuations. Because Tether's value is pegged to the dollar, its price is relatively stable and predictable. The current value of one USDT is $1.0 - Tether maintains that it will always stay at $1, thanks to its large reserve.
USD Coin (USDC)
USD is similar to Tether, but Tether is slightly more popular with investors despite receiving criticism throughout the years. Again, like Tether, it's designed to hold the value of the US dollar, acting as a stablecoin and using real-world financial assets to secure the value. The main difference between USDC and Tether is that USDC is issued by a consortium called Centre, created by Circle and Coinbase, two well-known cryptocurrency companies.
USDC was launched in 2018 and has since gained popularity with investors due to its transparency and regulatory compliance that's clearly stated. Centre publishes monthly attestation reports from Grant Thornton LLP, an independent accounting firm, to verify that the reserve assets match the amount of USDC in circulation.
XRP is one of the coins you'll always see investors telling you to add to your portfolio. Ripple has been around since 2012; it's what's known as a real-time gross settlement system (RTGS) and remittance network. Unlike Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies, Ripple is not based on a blockchain but instead uses a distributed ledger technology called the Ripple Protocol Consensus Algorithm (RPCA).
This consensus algorithm enables faster transaction processing times and lower transaction fees.
Transaction processing times and fees are two concerns with ETH. Ripple's payment network uses a global network of nodes for its power that validate transactions and maintain the distributed ledger.
This network enables users to send and receive payments in any currency, including cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. The current market value of XRP is $0.44, making it one of the more lucrative crypto investments.
There are hundreds of coins on the crypto market, and most of the above, apart from XRP, are out of reach for most people. It's always advisable to do your own research before delving into the ever-changing cryptocurrency market, but it is one well worth considering investing in.