itcoin spawned an entire market of alternative cryptocurrencies. Today there are more than 5,000 of these ‘altcoins’.
Altcoins can be a good way to diversify your crypto holdings, especially given the additional functionalities they offer.
Cryptocurrency trading is not regulated in the UK. You would receive no compensation if something went wrong. Your capital is at risk, which means you may lose some or all of your investment.
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1. Ether (ETH)
Ether is Ethereum’s native token and the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency. Ethereum is a global software platform that runs decentralised applications, smart contracts and financial transactions, as well as minting and storing Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).
Launched in 2015, ETH has amassed a market cap of over £129 billion as of December 1, 2022. The crypto’s value peaked at £3,815 in August 2021, and each token is now worth £1,055.
2. Binance Coin (BNB)
Launched in 2017, BNB is the native token of the Binance crypto exhchange.
With a market cap of roughly £39 billion, Binance Coin can be used to pay trading fees and get discounted trades on the exchange. BNB holders can also invest in new tokens via Binance’s initial coin offering (ICO) Launchpad programme.
At the time of writing, one Binance Coin was worth £245.
3 Ripple (XRP)
XRP is a crypto token that runs on the Ripple XRP Ledger, a blockchain created by Jed McCaleb, Arthur Britto and David Schwartz in 2012 .
XRP can be bought as a speculative asset, as a coin to swap for other tokens such as Bitcoin, or to make transactions on the Ripple payments system.
Ripple XRP has a market cap of £16 billion and is was worth 33p at the time of writing.
4. Cardano (ADA)
ADA is the native token of the Cardano blockchain, which was created in 2017 by one of the co-founders of Ethereum.
The Cardano platform uses proof of stake consensus mechanism, with holders staking their ADA for the chance to verify a block of transactions and earn more tokens.
Cardano (ADA) has a market cap £8.9 billion and was worth 26p at the time of writing.
5. Solana (SOL)
Solana (SOL) uniquely uses both proof of work and proof stake consensus mechanisms for speed and security.
Theoretically, Solana can achieve a throughput of 65,000 transactions per second (TPS), compared with Bitcoin’s 5-10 TPS.
Conceived in 2017 and launched in 2020, Solana supports smart contracts, decentralised apps (dApps) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)
SOL has a market cap of around £4.1 billion, and was worth £11 at the time of writing.