If you’re wondering what cryptos are available to buy other than Bitcoin for investors, then you’ve come to the right place. As in this article, we’ve listed the most prominent and promising cryptocurrencies you need to know about.
We give you a rundown of each, explaining what these assets are, the main three main types of crypto, and some ways you can invest in them, like trading platforms.
As the crypto market continues to grow, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the information and choices available. Our goal is to help you cut through the noise so you can focus on what really counts. Let’s get started.
What Are Cryptocurrencies?
First off, let’s start with a clear definition of what a cryptocurrency is.
Cryptocurrencies or “cryptos” are digital currencies that are secured by cryptography and utilize blockchain technology. They’re usually decentralized, meaning they operate on a vast network of computers and are free from the control of any central authority.
The clever design and cutting-edge technology that underpin cryptocurrencies make them censorship-resistant, almost impossible to counterfeit, and resilient against hacking or network downtime.
Cryptocurrencies can be used as digital cash to pay for goods and services or held as investments. They can also provide access to products or grant you exclusive rights.
How Many Cryptocurrencies Are There?
According to CoinMarketCap and other sources, there are now more than 6,500 cryptocurrencies in existence. Bitcoin was the first to be created back in 2009, and the number of new cryptos has continued to increase since then.
Furthermore, there will probably be even more cryptos in the future. That’s because the industry is still developing, and interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology is growing.
However, keep in mind that a cryptocurrency can also cease existing if it doesn’t have enough adoption.
What Are the Different Types of Cryptocurrencies?
There are three main types of cryptocurrencies you need to know about: Bitcoin, altcoins, and tokens.
Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency created by the pseudonymous “Satoshi Nakamoto” in 2009. It is also the largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Bitcoin is used as a payment network, a form of digital cash, and a store of value. The Bitcoin network has been functional 99.98% of the time since its creation, proving its resilience.
The term “altcoin” is an abbreviation of “alternative to Bitcoin.” They are defined as all the cryptocurrencies that operate on their own independent blockchains, excluding Bitcoin. Altcoins can serve many different purposes; some are used as digital cash, some enable smart contracts and decentralized apps, and some are designed for specific industries like gaming or logistics.
Tokens are the cryptos that have been created and deployed on top of the blockchain network of another cryptocurrency. They do not have their own native blockchains. For example, many cryptos run on the Ethereum blockchain, such as Uniswap, and are known as ERC-20 tokens.
Top Cryptocurrencies to Buy Other than Bitcoin
Here are some of the most popular and well-established cryptocurrencies you can buy other than Bitcoin:
ETH is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap after Bitcoin. In addition, Ethereum was the first “programmable blockchain,” meaning people can create and deploy decentralized applications on it. Today, thousands of dapps and tokens run on Ethereum, making it the market leader in this space.
Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin in that its primary use case is as a form of decentralized digital cash for cross-border, low-fee transactions. Litecoin has been around since the early days of crypto, as it first launched back in 2011. Its secure blockchain has experienced no downtime since its inception.
Cardano has a proof-of-stake blockchain based on peer-reviewed research, evidence-based methods, and the secure Haskell programming language. Charles Hoskinson, who was one of the co-founders of Ethereum, founded Cardano. The Cardano ecosystem is growing fast and is a leading platform for DApps and smart contracts.
Polkadot is a leading project focused on enabling the decentralized internet, also known as web 3.0. It does this by providing a solution called the Polkadot relay chain, which allows independent blockchains to interact, exchange information, and operate together.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a fork of Bitcoin (BTC), meaning they have many similarities but also some differences. Like BTC, BCH was designed to be peer-to-peer digital cash. However, they differ in that BCH has faster transactions and lower fees, whereas BTC is more decentralized and secure.
Stellar is an open-source, decentralized network for storing and sending money. It facilitates low-cost cryptocurrency to fiat currency transfers, making it great for cross-border payments involving any pair of currencies. Some big companies, such as Moneygram and Tala, have partnered with Stella to use its blockchain services.
Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that connects blockchain-based smart contracts with off-chain data. By securely enabling the use of off-chain data sources in on-chain smart contracts, it opens up many new possibilities for more advanced “hybrid smart contracts.” LINK is the native coin that pays for the services on the Chainlink network.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Binance owns the world’s biggest exchange, and it also offers many other popular crypto services. BNB is its native coin that powers the Binance ecosystem. Holding it gives you trading fee discounts on its exchange, but it also has many other uses. For example, you can use BNB to pay for goods and services or participate in Binance Launchpad token sales.
Not only is Tether the world’s most used stablecoin, but it’s also one of the most used cryptos overall. Its value is pegged to the US dollar, meaning 1 USDT should always be worth 1 USD. In addition, there are ways to earn interest on USDT that offer better returns than banks. Also, many people hold USDT during bear markets or when they want less volatility.
Monero is a leading privacy coin, which means its goal is to provide a currency for private, secure, and untraceable transactions. It allows people to make payments anonymously, whereas most other cryptos like BTC are easy to trace. Monero achieves this through advanced cryptography, which obscures sender and recipient information.
What Cryptocurrency Should You Buy for Short-Term Investments?
If you want to make short-term investments, you can potentially look at the more volatile, speculative coins that can bring bigger returns quickly. However, you should never invest more money than you are prepared to lose, and always do your own research before buying any cryptocurrency.
What Cryptocurrency Should You Buy for Long-Term Investments?
If you want to make long-term investments, it’s best to find trustworthy cryptocurrencies with good potential and longevity. For example, you could look for well-funded projects that have professional teams and strong partnerships. Another good tip is to find cryptos that already have an active user base or proven use cases.
Can You Buy Cryptocurrency with an IRA for Retirement Investments?
Yes, there are various Crypto IRA companies available that allow you to invest in cryptocurrencies. The leading names include iTrustCapital, Bitcoin IRA, and Coin IRA.
Adding cryptocurrencies to an IRA account could be a great way to diversify your retirement savings portfolio. In addition, Crypto IRA accounts are very secure, as they usually use cold storage, and your funds are covered by insurance.
How to Open a Crypto IRA Account
Opening a crypto IRA account with iTrustCapital is straightforward and doesn’t take a lot of time. You can visit the iTrustCapital website to open an IRA account of your choice (traditional, Roth, or SEP) and fund your account to start investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. There are a few different ways to fund your account, which include:
- Transfer funds from an existing IRA account to your new crypto IRA.
- Roll over a 401(k) employer plan to your new crypto IRA account.
- Contribute new funds directly to your crypto IRA.