Top Altcoins in 2023

Since its inception in 2008, Bitcoin has paved the way for a multitude of other cryptocurrencies, commonly referred to as altcoins. The current count of these alternative coins, or altcoins, exceeds 5,000, offering investors diverse options for their cryptocurrency portfolios.

For those considering cryptocurrency investments beyond Bitcoin, exploring altcoins with distinct functionalities becomes a viable strategy. Here, we present a list of the top 10 altcoins by market capitalization, all of which have gained approval from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the financial regulator.

  1. Ether (ETH):
    • Native to the Ethereum platform, Ether serves as the cryptocurrency for a global software ecosystem. Ethereum facilitates applications, including smart contracts, games, and financial transactions via blockchain technology. Additionally, it plays a role in minting and storing non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
    • Launched in 2015, Ether has amassed a market capitalization exceeding £210 billion as of December 2023. Each Ether token is valued at approximately £1,754.
  2. Tether (USDT):
    • Introduced in 2017, Tether represents one of around 200 stablecoins. Tether’s value is tethered to the US dollar, with its creators holding $1 in reserve for each coin issued.
    • As a stablecoin, Tether aims to maintain a stable value around $1 (or £0.81) at all times. Despite this stability, it is essential to note that stablecoins are not immune to fluctuations, as witnessed in the case of Terra USD in May 2022.
    • Tether’s current market capitalization stands at approximately £71 billion.
  3. Binance Coin (BNB):
    • Launched in 2017 and operating on the Ethereum blockchain, Binance Coin experienced an initial coin offering (ICO) that issued 200 million BNB coins. Periodic buybacks and destruction of coins contribute to the value of those remaining in circulation.
    • As of December 2023, Binance Coin is valued at £197.93.
  4. XRP (XRP):
    • Known for its use in the Ripple global money transfer network, XRP operates on its own ledger. Unlike Bitcoin, XRP transactions are not verified through proof-of-work or proof-of-stake but are processed by network participants known as validators.
    • Following a recent legal victory for Ripple Labs against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), XRP’s value increased by 75%. As of December 2023, it has a market capitalization of £25 billion, with each coin valued at around £0.47.
  5. Solana (SOL):
    • Introduced in 2020, Solana is a blockchain platform designed to host decentralized applications, similar to Ethereum. Solana distinguishes itself with low transaction fees and the ability to process up to 65,000 transactions per second through a ‘proof-of-history’ process.
    • Valued at £58.62, Solana’s market capitalization is £25 billion.
  6. USD Coin (USDC):
    • As a stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, USD Coin was first issued in 2018 by Circle, a peer-to-peer payment platform. For each USDC in circulation, one dollar is held in reserve.
    • As of December 2023, USD Coin maintains a value of $1 (approximately £0.78), with a market cap of £19 billion.
  7. Cardano (ADA):
    • Created in 2017 by Ethereum’s co-founder Charles Hoskinson, Cardano serves as the native cryptocurrency for its blockchain platform. Using proof-of-stake for transaction verification, Cardano consumes considerably less energy than proof-of-work blockchains.
    • With a current value of £0.46, Cardano’s market cap stands at £16 billion.
  8. Avalanche (AVAX):
    • Emerging in 2020, Avalanche has gained popularity as an Ethereum alternative for developers. Despite its recent establishment, Avalanche boasts a market cap of approximately £11 billion, with a current value of £32.03.
  9. Dogecoin (DOGE):
    • Originating as a meme currency in 2013, Dogecoin has evolved into a crypto asset with a distinctive Shiba Inu dog logo. Despite its humorous origins and unlimited supply, Dogecoin reached an all-time high of £0.58 in 2022, propelled by Elon Musk’s tweets.
    • As of December 2023, Dogecoin’s value has decreased to approximately £0.07, with a market cap of £10 billion.

The cryptocurrency landscape continues to evolve, offering investors a plethora of options beyond the pioneering Bitcoin. As with any investment, thorough research and consideration of market dynamics are crucial for making informed decisions in this rapidly changing space.