Assets can be ranked according to their type, popularity, date of inception, utilities, and more. Yet, no ranking standard is as reliable as market capitalization—especially when it concerns a relatively young asset class like crypto.
Referring to the market cap metric makes it possible for you to explore the crypto space better—and with fewer biases. And that’s exactly what this list of top 10 crypto assets by market cap will help you do.
Why market cap: The rationale behind the list
First, a few words on the selection process we followed to compile the list.
- In a space brimming with thousands of assets, not all of which are dependable, market capitalization can help buyers make the right choice. Buyers can use it to compare crypto assets not only with each other but also with other real-world assets and companies.
- We have excluded stablecoins like Tether and USDC from this list, as they do not get so easily affected by market fluctuations and are relatively easy to choose.
Top 10 crypto coins
Now that we have explained why the market cap is such a reliable ranking metric for assets, it’s time to look at the cream of the crypto space. Here is the list at a glance followed by relevant details of each crypto asset.
Current market cap: Over $400 billion
Often referred to as digital gold because of its store-of-value features, Bitcoin holds the top spot in crypto rankings. As of July 26, 2022, it continues to dominate the crypto space with a market share of 41.70%.
Since its introduction, Bitcoin has surpassed every other crypto asset, thanks to its superior peer-to-peer transaction settlement system, underlying technology, tokenomics, and adoption.
Written off multiple times by experts in the past, Bitcoin has proved its resilience and has bounced back stronger after every fall. Bitcoin is closely tracked by some of the world’s leading economies and financial institutions. In September 2021, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender.
At the time of writing, bitcoin is trading at above $21,000. In November 2021, it reached an all-time high level of $68,789 and a peak market capitalization of $1.26 trillion.
Bitcoin continues to be the fundamentally strong crypto asset in the market and has outperformed every other asset class known to mankind. It began trading on an exchange in 2010 and was priced at $0.0008.
Current market cap: Over $170 billion
Often termed the mother of decentralized applications, Ethereum introduced the concept of smart contracts in the crypto market.
The platform is built for blockchain developers and has been the driving force behind a wide range of other crypto projects and ecosystems like DeFi, NFTs, Play-to-earn, etc. Ethereum is a shared ecosystem, where resources and services can be accessed by developers on payment of transaction fees with its native token Ether (ETH).
Other utilities of the ETH token include store of value, peer-to-peer transaction, and staking.
At publishing time, ETH is trading above the $1,400 level and has touched an all-time high level of $4,891.
Despite being an inflationary crypto asset, the recent introduction of the ETH burning mechanism will keep the ETH supply under check, which would help enhance its value with the increase in adoption. Moreover, the migration towards the proof-of-stake consensus mechanism will also make the Ethereum blockchain more scalable, driving adoption, and increasing the value of ETH tokens.
3. Binance Coin (BNB)
Current market cap: $39 billion
Binance Coin (BNB), the native token of the Binance Ecosystem, is one of the more innovative cryptos around. It focuses on transactions across blockchains and ecosystem incentivizing.
The Binance Ecosystem also comprises the Binance Chain, which handles the Decentralized Exchange (DEX), and the Binance Smart Chain, which involves decentralized applications (dApps) and other developer-centric tools. To top it all, BNB is a deflationary asset (token volume reduces over time)—something that might work in favor of crypto buyers and sellers.
Fun fact: The expansion of BNB token is “Built and Build”.
As of July 26, 2022, BNB is trading at $243, hitting an all-time high level of $669 in November 2021. BNB continues to be the most traded coin in the crypto market with average daily trading volume crossing the $1-billion mark.
The growth in the value of the BNB token is directly linked to the growth of the Binance Network, which consists of Binance Chain, Binance Smart Chain, and many other crypto-related projects.
4. Ripple (XRP)
Current market cap: Over $16 billion
Ripple started out with a single aim: to simplify global payments for institutions. Since then, Ripple—the company—has paved the way for several inventive products. These include RippleNet (global financial network with on-demand liquidity) and XRP Ledger (Ripple’s native blockchain). What’s more, Ripple aims to replace SWIFT payments network as the preferred payment partner for global payments and exchange systems.
As of July 26, 2022, XRP is priced at $0.33, clocking its all-time high of $3.37 in July 2018. During the crypto bull run of 2020-2021, XRP touched a high of $1.41.
Due to limited use cases and not-so-favorable token distribution, XRP is witnessing a lack of interest from investors. Yet, it continues to be one of the top traded coins in the market.
Current market cap: Over $15.5 billion
Cardano is yet another proof-of-stake Layer-1 blockchain platform with smart contracts functionality and high scalability. Considered one of the Ethereum Killers, Cardano aims to create a transparent, fair, and secure decentralized society on its platform.
It helps developers build and run dApps and protocols in the world of business and finance. ADA is the native coin of Cardano, which is used to pay for the services on the platform and also to send and receive funds instantly.
ADA has been shedding gains for over a year due to the delay in launching smart contracts and other functionalities. At the time of writing, it is trading at $0.46 and is witnessing increased investor appetite due to the Vasil hard fork. Earlier, ADA had reached an all-time high of $3.10 and many experts consider Cardano a good bet for the long term.
Current market cap: Over $12 billion
If you are interested in a blockchain platform that is known for its unimaginable transaction speeds and unique consensus mechanism, Solana is the one you might want to consider.
Arguably one of the most scalable decentralized ecosystems of the modern era, Solana relies on cost-effectiveness and supports decentralized applications—especially the DeFi-specific ones. And it can process up to 65,000 transactions per second. Its native token, SOL, can be used for staking, paying network-specific transaction fees, and securing voting rights on the platform.
As of July 26, 2022, SOL is trading at $35.84, while it reached its all-time high of $260 in November 2021. According to DefiLlama.com, the total value locked on the Solana blockchain is steadily rising, indicating increased activity around the blockchain.
Current market cap: Over $8 billion
The only memecoin to feature on this list, Dogecoin has long outgrown the joke it once was. An inflationary crypto asset with unlimited supply, Dogecoin has been endorsed by Elon Musk, a notable crypto influencer.
DOGE, the native token of Dogecoin, is more like a penny crypto asset, and it is mostly the huge circulating volume that drives the market cap through the roof.
At the time of writing, DOGE is trading close to the $0.061 level and is highly volatile. Being an inflationary token (5 billion new tokens enter supply every year) and no use case, it’s difficult to ascertain the long-term value of Dogecoin. Due to higher volatility and liquidity on the counter, DOGE is preferred by traders in the market.
Current market cap: Over $6.5 billion
Known for its cross-chain (blockchain interoperability) expertise, Polkadot is a Layer-0 blockchain (an ecosystem that underlines any Layer-1 chain) that aims to become a decentralized web in the years to come. And network participants and users can pay for the services and even procure platform voting rights using the DOT token.
Compared to Ethereum and Cardano, Polkadot is a relatively new blockchain platform, which witnessed strong growth in value and adoption. The project is backed by many leading crypto venture capital firms.
At the time of writing, DOT is trading close to $6.60 and its all-time high so far is $55. Due to headwinds in the DeFi ecosystem, DOT is witnessing a bit of pressure on its value.
Current market cap: Close to $6 billion
Polygon is a Layer-2 scaling platform of the Ethereum blockchain. It helps to improve the speed, simplify complexities, and reduce the cost of transactions on the Ethereum network. Previously known as Matic Network, Polygon was founded in India in 2017 and had its initial coin offering (ICO) in April 2019, raising the equivalent of $5.6 million in Ether tokens.
Polygon or its token MATIC continues to attract significant investor attraction and is one of the top-performing coins in the market. At publishing time, MATIC is trading close to $0.75 and its all-time high so far is $2.87. Currently, Polygon is riding the wave of the development of Metaverse, Web 3.0, and NFT ecosystems.
Current market cap: Over $5.5 billion
Avalanche deserves a special mention for being one of the most eco-friendly cryptos around. But that’s not all. Touted as an Ethereum challenger, Avalanche, bolstered by its native AVAX token, is a breeding ground for DeFi products and dApps.
Also, Avalanche is one of the more scalable ecosystems around. It focuses on solving the Blockchain Trilemma—a term used to refer to the fact an ecosystem is often forced to choose between three things: security, scalability, and degree of decentralization. Plus, it holds a 1.11% share of the crypto market.
At the time of writing, AVAX is trading at $20.4 and has been one of the top-performing cryptos. It clocked an all-time high level of $146.22 in November 2021. The maximum supply of AVAX tokens is 720 million, out of which 227 million tokens are locked in the protocol.
Furthermore, with a greater focus on green, eco-friendly crypto projects, AVAX is poised to benefit in the long term.
What factors should I consider when investing in the top 10 crypto assets by market cap?
Market trends, technology, team behind the project, adoption, regulatory environment, security, utility, community support, risk tolerance, diversification, long-term potential, and staying informed about developments and risks.
What factors affect the value of crypto assets?
Supply and demand dynamics, market sentiment, adoption and use cases, technological advancements, regulatory developments, media coverage, macroeconomic factors, network security, competition, and overall market conditions influence crypto asset values.
Are crypto assets a safe investment option?
Crypto assets can carry high volatility and risks due to their nascent nature and regulatory uncertainties. While they offer potential for high returns, they are generally considered high-risk investments. It’s essential to thoroughly research, understand the risks, and only invest what you can afford to lose. Diversification and risk management strategies are advisable.
How can I securely store and manage my crypto assets?
Securely store crypto: Use hardware wallets, strong passwords, 2FA, avoid phishing, back up seed phrase offline, keep software updated, research and use reputable platforms, and practice caution.
What is the process of buying and selling crypto assets?
Choose exchange, create account, verify ID, deposit funds, select crypto, place order (market/limit), match order, receive crypto. To sell, follow similar steps in reverse.
What are the tax implications of owning crypto assets?
The gains made from trading cryptocurrencies are taxed at a rate of 30%(plus 4% cess) according to Section 115BBH. Section 194S levies 1% Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) on the transfer of crypto assets from July 01, 2022, if the transactions exceed ₹50,000 (or even ₹10,000 in some cases) in the same financial year.