Investing or trading cryptocurrency can be lucrative. In early 2021, the price for altcoins was indeed spectacular but the bulls are not evergreen. Still, we could not ignore the fact that more institutions and retail traders are jumping into the crypto bandwagon. In fact, the explosion of decentralized finance (Decentralized Finance (DeFi) takes the decentralized concept of blockchain and applies it to the world of finance. Build...) and the use of smart contracts give rise to some of the altcoins’ value.
According to some crypto analysts, the best altcoins include LINK, ADA, DOT, UNI, and MATIC. But, there are also other alternative coins worth looking into.
In this guide, we highlight some of the prospects of these altcoins and help you better evaluate an altcoin before investing in it.
What Is An Altcoin?
Altcoins or “alternative coins” refers to cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. In other words, any cryptocurrency that are alternative to Bitcoin are classified as Altcoins. That includes Ethereum’s Ether and Ripple’s XRP. Altcoin deviates from the monopolization of Bitcoin and offers a cheaper alternative for digital transactions.
Bitcoin remains one of the largest digital assets with over 48% of the total market capitalization but altcoins are growing as corresponding to the rising demand of DeFi, including NFTs and DApps development. Among those, Ether (ETH) has around 17% of the global cryptocurrency market cap in June 2021.
Today, altcoins are accounted for more than 40% of the total cryptocurrency market, with over 10,000 cryptocurrencies and counting. Some of these include utility coins, stablecoins, security coins, and meme coins. Still, the highest altcoins by market cap remain to be Ether, Tether, Binance Coin, and even Dogecoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency with a very large community. The name “Doge” originates from internet mem.... One of the main drivers of value behind these altcoins is the project, platform, or blockchain it is connected that gives validity and utility to the real world.
The Retrospective: Altcoins Growth and Projections
The first rally of altcoins was in 2017, that along with the popularization of the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) model, saw many startups issue their ERC-20 tokens of coins based on different standards blockchains.
Recently, altcoins and Bitcoin have seen a boost from a broad pool of investors. Many traditional banking and investment institutions have started acquiring extensive holdings of cryptocurrency. For example, Grayscale Investments, one of the world’s largest digital currency management firms, has crypto holdings worth $28 billion. Among the investment, over $7 billion are in altcoins like ETH, ETC, LTC, and more.
Analysis of past performance, current growth trajectory, and future projections reveal that the altcoin market cap is in full-blown breakout mode in early 2021. However, in the present, digital currencies, including Bitcoin and altcoins, the downtrend continues amid inflation fears.
But the price on its own tells us very little information. There are plenty of other metrics to access the information and evaluate the true potential of an asset.
The Largest Altcoins by The market capitalization (or market cap) of a cryptocurrency is a measurement of its market value. In other words, it...
The total market capitalization of altcoins, excluding Bitcoin, is at a all-time high, according to CoinMarketCap, from March to May 2021. Before that, the previous peak was recorded at $142 billion on June 26, 2019, but it has rocketed past a mammoth $750 billion in April 2021.
By taking a closer look at the altcoins’ projections in general, some altcoins perform better than others. And are thus ranked according to their market cap (how much the coins in circulation are worth in non-virtual currency, e.g., US dollars).
The top 11 largest altcoins by market cap, in alphabetical order in June 2021, are:
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Chainlink (LINK)
- Ether (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Polygon (MATIC)
- Tether (USDT)
- Theta (THETA)
- Uniswap (UNI)
- XRP (XRP)
Some of these altcoins can be considered competitors to Bitcoin in one way or another as they have solid technological backing of separate blockchains or platforms. Besides, it can potentially turn into highly lucrative investments.
The Best Altcoins to Trade Now
While Bitcoin has been securing its position in the crypto space, several altcoins still demonstrate phenomenal growth and produce considerable returns.
1. Binance Coin (BNB)
BNB is a utility token primarily used to trade and pay fees on its cryptocurrency exchange. The token holder uses it as a form of payment at a discounted rate when trading on the platform. Although BNB was initially launched as an ERC-20 token but was then launched on the Every blockchain protocol has a mainnet. This is a component of the blockchain where the transactions of a cryptocurre... using a Proof-of-Stake consensus algorithm.
The max supply for BNB is capped at 170,532,785. However, BNB has entered its 15th times of coin “burn” where the token is permanently removed from circulation to slowing down the inflation rates. refers to the process of permanently removing a crypto token from circulation.
BNB Price Analysis
From its launch to now (June 2021), the price of BNB has grown steadily, even reaching its all-time high. At the beginning of 2021, it was around the $30 mark. However, with the onset of the bull market, its price rocketed with an all-time high of over $690 on May 10. Following the BTC downtrend, BNB is currently hovering around $300.
Binance Coin Future Projects
With the rise of cryptocurrency exchanges, BNB is set to be used more and more in the coming years. It is being accepted by an increasing number of merchants, which is set to increase even more in the next few years. The Binance Smart Chain with low gas fees compared to the Ethereum blockchain is seen as an alternative outlet for DeFi project developments.
Binance Coin Price Predictions
Price predictions for this coin in the coming years are generally bullish. Trading-Education predicts it could reach $2,350 by 2025. DigitalCoinPrice predicts it could reach $1,387 by 2027. Either way, it’s quite likely for BNB to surpass $1,000 as the exchange grows, corresponding to the demand.
2. Cardano (ADA)
Cardano is another DApps-building platform with its native currency— ADA. It focuses on solving three of the most pressing issues faced by 1st and 2nd generation blockchain projects— scalability, interoperability, and sustainability.
Cardano Price Analysis
ADA is a relatively new altcoin compared to ETH or LTC, but it has grown its market capitalization to $42 billion in June 2021. It is popular among investors and developers because of its highly robust blockchain that offers advantages over Ethereum.
ADA grew from about $0.020 at its launch in October 2017 to $1.20 in January 2018. However, after that, it fell to relatively low levels again. In late 2020, it was trading at around $0.14. But, like the coin preceding this, its price exploded in the next few years. As of June, ADA hits its all-time high of $2.46 on May 16, 2021.
Cardano Future Projects
Cardano is one of the most prominent blockchains to use a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism successfully. In 2020, Cardano held a Shelley upgrade to make its blockchain 50 to 100 times more decentralized than other large blockchains. At the time, Hoskinson predicted that this would pave the way for hundreds of assets to run on its network.
Cardano Price Predictions
3. Chainlink (LINK)
Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network focus on creating smart contracts to help blockchains interact with external parties to provide real-world data through oracles. The native ERC-20 tokens (LINK) are used as a reward to incentivize oracles that provide accurate data.
Chainlink Price Analysis
LINK was one of the best-performed altcoins in 2020. The crypto LINK’s price exploded from a low of $1.76 to a peak of $30 in less than a year. Although the rise of Bitcoin has contributed to its price surge, the escalated demand for decentralized finance (DeFi) in smart contracts may also be the reason for its growth. In the last year, Chainlink’s price has surged over 1,200%. While May 10, 2020, was the highlight for LINK to reach its all-time high of $52.88. LINK is currently trading at $18.23 on June 28, 2021.
Chainlink Future Projects
Chainlink partners with all types of projects but a lot of the fresh excitement revolves around its oracle’s network. As a result, the crypto Chainlink’s project has aptly positioned itself to serve the ongoing DeFi demand surges.
Most recently, Chainlink also became the oracle provider for major rising blue-chip DeFi plays like Synthetix and Aave. The Chainlink 2.0 upgrades will further resolve the security and scalability issues through the hybrid smart contracts that allow easy access to off-chain data.
Chainlink Price Prediction
The growing trend of new addresses joining the network is even more apparent here, hitting an all-time high.
The Chainlink price prediction is highly dependent on the overall crypto market. Overall, it is seen as one of the best altcoins to invest in or trade. The Chainlink crypto will remain bullish if the market sentiments persist. Since LINK has already surpassed the $50 range, market predictions pointing to a higher number might not be too unrealistic. For example, in the longer term, Wallet Investor predicts it could reach $157 by 2025.
4. Ether (ETH)
Ethereum is the blockchain, while Ether (ETH) is the token. Ether was the first cryptocurrency to introduce smart contracts, but the core focuses on running the programming code of any decentralized applications (DApps). With Ethereum 2.0 on the move for its roll-out and the upcoming EIP-1559 protocol roll-out, it’s only the future that can tell how quickly the Ether’s value will appreciate.
On top of it, the widely-recognized Ethereum standard for its utility tokens ERC-20 also became the most used by startups looking to launch Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
Ether Price Analysis
The price of ETH grew from just $9 in January 2017 to a high of $1,389 in January 2018. When analyzing its growth in terms of percentage, it yields a return of over 17,000%. Like most of the crypto space, however, its price fell off after that, but it started to recover handsomely in 2020.
On May 12, 2021, ETH’s price soared to a new high of $4,326. The Ethereum 2.0 upgrade from the Proof-of-work (PoW) mechanism to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) will only strengthen the position of Ethereum in the long term.
Ether Future Projects
The Ethereum blockchain is currently anticipating the long-planned move from a Proof-of-Work mechanism to the more scalable Proof of Stake with the ETH 2.0 upgrade. With ETH 2.0 phase 0 rolling out, the ETH price may well dip in the short-term, but the future looks bright. Ether possesses a positive impression in the crypto market and provides the basis for further growth.
ETH Price Predictions
The Ethereum blockchain and altcoin’s flexibility, robustness, and utility make Ether attractive to both developers and investors. The market sentiment shows that ETH is looking rather neutral, however, the on-chain signals ETH to be rather bullish. However, price projections are generally bullish for the coming years. Coin Price Forecast predicts its price could reach $12,000 by 2025 and $30,000 by 2030. However, in short term, FxStreet’s prediction is rather conservative which ETH price is forecast to rise to $2,045 based on the 200-day SMA before the next wave arrives.
5. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin (LTC) is one of the oldest altcoins but yet still one of the top ones. It was created in 2011 by an ex-Google employee, Charlie Lee. Like Bitcoin, Litecoin is just another peer-to-peer digital asset. Despite the similarities, especially the core code, Litecoin distinguishes itself from the little to near-zero payments worldwide and its fully decentralized network features. Ultimately, Litecoin aims to overcome Bitcoin’s shortcomings, primarily its slow transaction speed.
Litecoin Price Analysis
Litecoin has been in the market for nearly a decade. In that time, it earned the status of one of the best altcoins with a market capitalization of $14 billion—positioning itself for a long time just slightly behind Ethereum.
During the crypto boom in 2017, Litecoin is among the cryptocurrencies that received tremendous support from traders. In that year, Litecoin’s price grew from $4 in January 2017 to $350 in December 2017. That’s a whopping return of 8,000% within a year. Like many cryptos, though, it regressed from this in 2018. As of June 28, 2021, LTC is trading at $131.
Litecoin Future Projects
After several development updates to Litecoin, namely the Segregated Witness (SegWit) protocol upgrade and the Lightning Network, Litecoin has attracted plenty of attention from crypto enthusiasts. However, in 2018, its creator Charlie Lee reportedly told Franklyn Richards, director of Litecoin Foundation, that “no one is interested in working on Litecoin protocol development work.”
LTC Price Predictions
Litecoin has made considerable improvements in Bitcoin’s technology in increasing the speed of transactions. Due to Bitcoin’s scalability challenges, Litecoin attracted more users in 2017, driving its price up to new highs. However, it remains in Bitcoin’s shadow. Nevertheless, price predictions are fairly bullish. Coinswitch predicts its price could reach $1,200 by 2025.
6. Polkadot (DOT)
Polkadot is a network protocol to allow arbitrary data to be transferred across the blockchain. It aims to improve communication between private and public blockchains without compromising scalability. Its native coin (DOT) helps to maintain and operate the blockchain on the network.
Polkadot Price Analysis
DOT is a relatively new coin launched in August 2020. Like several other cryptocurrencies on this list, its price remained relatively stable until early 2021, when it saw a big leap. After being around $7.50 at the end of 2020, it had shot up to around $20 by early February 2021.
It then hit an all-time high of $46.96 on May 15. DOT’s average 24 hours trading volume is around $1 billion. As of June 28, DOT is trading at $15.
Polkadot Future Projects
Polkadot has numerous projects in the pipeline. One such project is the Edgeware project, that aims to allow smart contract creation within a sustainable ecosystem. Another project is the Acala project, which aims to bring DeFi to the Polkadot ecosystem.
Polkadot Price Predictions
Price predictions for Polkadot are generally positive for the coming years. Longforecast predicts it could reach $29.01 by 2025. Digital Coin Price predicts it could reach $41.96 by 2025. Wallet Investor is significantly more bullish, predicting it could reach $242 by 2025.
7. Polygon (MATIC)
Polygon (formerly known as Matic Network) is an Ethereum compatible scaling infrastructure that can turn Ethereum into a full-fledge multi-chain system similar to Polkadot and Cosmos. In combination with the Plasma Framework and PoS architecture, Polygon allows autonomous smart contracts to be more scalable and easier for execution.
The highlight of this technology is it boasts up to 65,000 transactions/second with less than two seconds of confirmation time. The native MATIC token is used to facilitate the process and enabling governance.
Polygon Price Analysis
There is a max supply of 10 billion MATIC tokens, of which 487 million are already in circulation. MATIC was listed in 2019 with less than $1 but has slowly gained momentum in value through the demand of the technology.
Alongside the bull run earlier 2021, MATIC reached its all-time high of $2.68 on May 18 but has seen a significant drop just a few days after that. Since then, MATIC’s price has been hovering between the $1.2 to $1.7 range. Currently, MATIC is trading at $1.2 per token.
Polygon Price Predictions
As DeFi projects continue flocking to Polygon’s Layer 2 Solution, the demand for this technology means there’ll be chances for the price to appreciate over time. One reason why Polygon is worth the rave includes cheaper transaction costs and faster block processing time.
As of June 2021, Polygon is at a consolidating price of $1.27 to $1.16, but Fxstreet predicted it to break out once it surpasses the resistance barrier. Walletinvestor forecasted that MATIC might go as high as $30.59 in five years.
8. Tether (USDT)
Tether (USDT) is a stablecoin designed to ensure that each token is represented by its underlying asset in the form of a U.S. dollar. It was released on the Omni, Ethereum, Tron, EOS, Liquid, and Algorand blockchains.
Tether Price Analysis
Between March 2020 and March 2021, the capitalization of the most popular stablecoin, Tether (USDT), grew by nearly 1,000%. The all-time high price for USDT was $1.21 on May 27, 2017. But since it is pegged to a USD fiat currency, the price is always hovering around $1.
Tether Future Projects
On March 14, 2019, the company claimed that tokens are backed not only by U.S. dollars but also by loans issued to related companies of Tether Limited. On July 17, 2019, Tether announced the release of its stablecoin USDT on the Algorand 2.0 blockchain. The changes were implemented on February 10, 2020. The Algorand protocol can increase transaction processing speed and lower fees.
Is it Worth Investing in USDT?
According to Wallet Investor, USDT will remain around $1. It will remain pegged to the price of the US dollar – mission accomplished. But as the demand for USDC increases, it might also cause the price to drop slightly below $1.
Generally, USDT is considered a worthwhile investment, as it can be useful to swap your investments into during times of volatility in the crypto markets. Plus, USDT digitalizes US dollars and makes transactions easier, faster, and cheaper on the blockchain.
9. Theta (THETA)
In early 2021, Theta nudges into one of the top altcoins by market capitalization. It bills itself as a “decentralized streaming video protocol” and aims to take on the rights of YouTube and Netflix in the blockchain era, giving more freedom and control to content creators.
THETA is a governance token used to secure the network and governance the blockchain. The TFUEL is given out as a reward to users who watch creators’ streams on the network.
Theta Price Analysis
Theta price was under the $1 mark in 2020. But in early 2021, its price saw some dramatic growth, reaching $2, and reaches its all-time high of $15.90 on April 16, 2021.
TFUEL has seen even more dramatic growth in early 2021, jumping remarkably in price from $0.02 on New Years Day to an all-time high of $0.622 on June 9. Ahead of the delayed mainnet 3.0 launch, its price has regressed slightly from those highs, but the gains are still hugely significant.
Theta Future Projects
With video streaming projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.4% from 2020 to 2027, the potential for Theta’s future projects is huge. Partnerships such as with electronic giants Samsung could become more commonplace as its market capitalization continues to grow in the future.
Theta Price Predictions
Price predictions for THETA are generally bullish, although it is at a consolidation price now in June 2021. Wallet Investor predicts Theta will be an excellent long-term investment and expect it to reach $75 by 2025. Digital Coin Price predicts it could reach $20.29 by Feb 2025.
10. Uniswap (UNI)
Uniswap burst into the crypto scene in September 2020 amidst the DeFi boom. In general, Uniswap is a protocol on Ethereum for swapping ERC-20 tokens without the need for buyers and sellers to create demand.
Its token UNI is a governance token that gives holders the right to vote for any changes to the platform.
Uniswap Price Analysis
After launching in September 2020, its price saw a gradual increase to the end of the year and was around the $4 mark as 2020 rolled over into 2021. This increase accelerated as 2021 dawned, and its price was $20 by early February 2021.
Its all-time high was $44.91 on May 3, 2021. The UNI price took a hit amidst the BTC’s downtrend; its current price is at $16.95 on June 28.
Uniswap Future Projects
With DeFi and decentralized exchanges only likely to become more popular in the coming years, it is also likely that the token will be more widely used in the future. The benefit to users is that no central entity has access to your funds, and this idea will no doubt be popular as DeFi becomes more mainstream.
Uniswap Price Predictions
UNI’s bullish trend may or may not be sustained. It all depends on the demands for DeFi and the new businesses’ commitment to access and adopt international liquidity. However, Coinpriceforecast predicts it could reach $46.89 by the end of 2025. Elsewhere, Wallet Investor is even more bullish, predicting it could reach $274 by 2025. Digital Coin Price has a more conservative prediction of $49.95 for UNI by 2025.
11. Ripple (XRP)
Ripple (XRP) is one of the most popular altcoins among investors due to its competitive low transfer fees and edging money transfer technology. It was created to resolve Bitcoin’s lack of anonymity. As of June 2021, XRP is the 7th largest cryptocurrency with a $29 billion market capitalization.
XRP Price Analysis
XRP is trading at $0.638 after recovering from a significant price dip in late 2020 due to the lawsuit from SEC. However, since the judge granted the defendants’ motion to reject the SEC’s access to eight years of XRP’s co-founders, the XRP price has since gone up again. Although XRP generally shows good signs, the recent BTC price drop doesn’t stop altcoins like XRP from following their trail.
Ripple Future Projects
Ripple’s primary goal has always been creating a payment system used by banks to facilitate the transfer of funds in domestic and international markets.
In August 2020, India’s largest bank, HDFC Bank Limited (HDB), had joined RippleNet. As in November, after years of speculation and rumors, Ripple confirmed its cooperation with the Bank of America (BAC) as the U.S. second-largest bank had also become one of RippleNet’s clients.
XRP Price Predictions
Ripple’s value is strongly correlated to Bitcoin. That means, if Bitcoin is in bullish momentum, XRP’s value will go in tandem. However, if it’s bearish, XRP’s price will suffer as well. Further afield, projections are a little mixed. Wallet Investor’s predictions are quite modest, predicting it could reach $2.58 by 2025. However, on the other hand, CryptoRating predicts is rather ambitious with the prediction of $6.30 per XRP by 2025.
How to Choose An Altcoin to Trade in 2021?
While few altcoins can match Bitcoin’s growth in value and stability due to the high interest towards the father of all cryptocurrencies, they can certainly be your introduction to the crypto industry, in the same way, that buying shares in up-and-coming companies are a gentle introduction to the securities market.
Altcoins are generally influenced positively by a rally in the price of the leading cryptocurrencies – BTC and Ether. But they are also driven by the success of their own blockchains, services, and products.
How to Trade Altcoins?
Trading altcoins takes place on specialized crypto exchanges. Not all exchanges support all altcoins and most crypto exchanges only support a limited list of altcoins with a substantial market cap.
Another crucial component of trading any digital assets or DeFi tokens is opening or registering a digital wallet. This wallet allows you to store and trade your cryptocurrencies. Depending on your preferences, you may choose to get a mobile, hardware, or software wallet.
Where to Store Altcoins?
The storage of your altcoins is a question of security. Many traders prefer to store their assets on the exchanges where they trade them to react quickly to price movements. However, some web-based wallets are also vulnerable to malicious attacks, and traders may risk having their assets stolen.
Alternatively, you can take your altcoins offline and store them in cold wallets or hardware wallets. These are USB devices with a cryptographic key that lets you securely access, store, and transfer your cryptocurrencies. For more on the advantages and disadvantages of storing your crypto online or offline, find out more about hot vs cold wallets.
What Are Other Altcoins Worth Taking a Look?
Many additional altcoins are also showing healthy jumps in value. Some that offer good opportunities for investors include Tezos (XTZ), Stellar Lumens (XLM), and Solana (SOL), to name a few. Generally, altcoins are essential to diversify a trader’s portfolio, as it acts as a backup to balance the profits and losses.
While meme coins like Doge and Shiba Inu coin may not be the best option to invest in. But Doge has been gaining a lot of momentum, specifically from the community and social media support. For example, Elon Musk tweeted “a dog barking at the moon,” and Doge’s price spiked to $0.40 from $0.29 after the tweet.
As many financial institutions jumping into the crypto world and blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies, in general, can be seen to be an alternative to traditional fiat currencies. That could only mean the future is bright for these digital assets. But the sustainability is still down to the network participants and how investors perceive the ideas of these digital financial products.
All in all, always seek professional investment advice before investing. Only invest the amount you’re willing to lose, especially in the volatile crypto market.