Cryptocurrencies were once the new kid on the block, but now they’ve become the edgy, cool kid that is drawing a crowd—at least in terms of popularity. 2020 saw the rise of cryptocurrencies in the market, as well as plenty of characteristic volatility, with a huge increase in institutional investment, backing by celebrities such as Elon Musk, and acceptance from payment platforms like PayPal. Crypto has now made friends with the bigger players in the markets and is growing in popularity. With over 6,700 cryptocurrencies now available to trade according to CoinMarketCap.com, the crypto market is now worth over $1.6 trillion. Bitcoin has become a household name and with a huge market capitalization of $969.6 billion, has solidified its place in the market as the top crypto currency in the globe. There are also new crypto currencies like Cardano which have sprouted into action, and the fresh crypto already has a market cap of $28.3 billion. Cardano’s ADA cryptocurrency could be poised to rival the top cryptos such as Ethereum, Bitcoin cash, Ripple in the near future as it is a technological leader, and its transaction fees are far lower the average, making it overall attractive to potential investors. The crypto market is expanding constantly and gaining momentum, and as we forge further into 2021 new crypto currencies are certainly something to look out for. Here’s how the top cryptos are doing so far this year.
Not only has Bitcoin received huge amounts of investment from public listed companies and billionaire hedge fund managers, but Mastercard and Uber have announced their intentions to accept Bitcoin as payment, joining electric car giant Tesla, which is now accepting Bitcoin as payment for its vehicles. Chipotle has even jumped on the bandwagon with a competition giving away $100,000 worth of Bitcoin as a prize. The world’s largest crypto has surged through the first few months of 2021 to reach a record high of $60,000 in March, taking it up 500% from October last year. Since then, Bitcoin has simmered down to close at $51415.68 on the 25th of March, and then began to climb again by 14.5% to close at $58885.10 by the 30th. Traders are looking to April as another possible month where Bitcoin could rally again, because historically Bitcoin has performed well in April. Will it repeat its performance this year? Only time will tell.
While Bitcoin gets a lot of the attention, let’s not forget about the second largest crypto, Ethereum, which is also having a cracker of a year. Since March 2020, Ethereum’s value has increased by a serious 1,272% and at the end of March, Visa announced that it would be adding cryptocurrency to its platform for transactions which will use the Ethereum network to pilot a settlement layer. Let’s not forget that Ethereum isn’t a cryptocurrency, rather it’s a blockchain platform used for various purposes, and the cryptocurrency being used is Ether (ETH). So far this year, ETH has been on a wild ride but has maintained levels above $1400, with its lowest point being a price of $1427.233 on the 28th of February. In March, the crypto went up to $1927.928 on the 13th and had a small dip, before coming back up to $1848.052 on the 30th. Ethereum 2.0 is on the cards, and analysts believe that this could propel Ethereum upwards and boost the value of ETH in a big way this year.
Ripple has confirmed that they will be taking a 40% stake in Tranglo, a Malaysian payments specialist company. Ripple’s aim in doing this is to meet the growing demand from customers in the Asia region. Sources from Ripple have said, “Tranglo will play a critical role in supporting existing corridors, such as the Philippines, and introducing new ODL corridors within its current network.” In response to this, Ripple’s XRP had a 3.18% rise to trade at $0.58 at the end of March 2021. This year, XRP has risen by a total of 159.70%, even though the company faces a legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Ethereum, Bitcoin cash, Ripple are some of the most popular traded cryptocurrencies in the market, but what exactly is Bitcoin cash? Bitcoin cash is one of the new crypto currencies, and it arose from a split in the Bitcoin blockchain in 2017. While it’s still in the same family, it’s a variation of Bitcoin and acts separately, so it does not trade at the same price as Bitcoin. This year, Bitcoin cash had a huge 90.7% increase from a closing price of $380.22 on the 27th of January, to $725.43 on the 14th of February. After this, Bitcoin cash traded around the $500 mark for the rest of the quarter. In true cryptocurrency fashion, Bitcoin cash is extremely volatile and this offers traders both opportunities and risks.