Top 10 Cryptocurrencies to Buy in 2024 and Why (Market Caps Indicated)

Josiah Nang-Bayi, MD
11 Min Read

The cryptocurrency market is filled with thousands of options to consider investing in. With so many choices, it can be overwhelming trying to identify solid projects with promising outlooks worth buying for 2024 and beyond.

To help navigate the crowded crypto field, I have compiled the top 10 cryptocurrencies likely to be smart long-term investments in 2024. These picks represent vetted leaders in major crypto niches with solid use cases and adoption.

While cryptocurrencies always carry inherent risks, these standout contenders have key characteristics that give some level of sustainability and upside potential in 2024 specifically. Let’s explore what makes each crypto on this list deserving of consideration for your portfolio.

top 10 cryptocurrencies to buy in 2024

 1. Bitcoin (BTC)

Market Cap Ranking: #1

Current Market Cap: $838 Billion

No cryptocurrency list can be complete without the king of crypto – Bitcoin (BTC). Created in 2009, Bitcoin launched the blockchain revolution as the first-ever cryptocurrency and digital store of value.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– The most proven store of value and leading crypto asset

– Massive mainstream brand recognition and investor interest

– Scarcity driven by capped 21 million token supply

– The most developed network effects and global mining infrastructure

– Growing utility as a hedge against inflation and market volatility

As the crypto market leader and reserve trading pair, Bitcoin should be a core long-term holding for any portfolio. The upcoming 2024 bitcoin halving, which cuts mining rewards in half, will also drive scarcity sending BTC prices higher.

top 10 cryptocurrencies to buy in 2024

2. Ethereum (ETH)

Market Cap Ranking: #2

Current Market Cap: $266 Billion

Ethereum (ETH) is the leading smart contract blockchain hosting over 3,000 decentralized applications with large developer adoption and dominance in decentralized finance (DeFi).

Key Strengths for 2024:

– Largest cryptocurrency development ecosystem with massive DeFi and NFT activity

– Upcoming major upgrades like “The Merge” to proof-of-stake for energy efficiency

– Plans to enhance scalability via sharding to vastly increase transactions per second

– Tremendous institutional interest from large banks, tech giants and more

– Trillions in value likely to migrate onto Ethereum long term as Web3 grows

Ethereum will remain the centerpiece blockchain network serving Web3 and powering the open financial system. Once technical upgrades rollout, expect ETH to continue leading altcoins.

3. Binance Coin (BNB)

Market Cap Ranking: #4

Current Market Cap: $48 Billion 

Binance Coin (BNB) is the native utility token of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. BNB provides access to discounted trading fees, token launches, staking rewards, and more on the Binance ecosystem.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– Dual token model combining centralized and decentralized use cases

– Deep integration and demand drivers within the Binance ecosystem

– Very high trading volumes and liquidity make BNB useful for reducing fees

– Ongoing burns and buybacks that reduce BNB supply over time

– Speculation on expanding utility if Binance evolves into a “treasury” for acquisitions

With new products and services consistently building on the Binance platform, expect BNB to maintain prominence as an exchange-based utility token.

4. Cardano (ADA)

Market Cap Ranking: #8

Current Market Cap: $19.5 Billion

Cardano (ADA) was founded by Ethereum co-creator Charles Hoskinson and represents a next-generation energy-efficient proof-of-stake blockchain with peer-reviewed technical papers driving development.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– Strong focus on formal verification, transparency, scalability, and compliance for enterprise needs

– Government partnerships established in Africa, Asia, and emerging markets

– Plutus smart contract functionality soon be fully operational allowing decentralized apps

– Major exchange listings and integration expected to drive new demand

– Staking rewards maintaining holder incentives as the network grows

With a methodical approach optimized for regulation and efficiency, Cardano’s growth trajectory remains strong. Compatibility and real-world utility give it an edge.

5. Solana (SOL)

Market Cap Ranking: #5

Current Market Cap: $42.9 Billion

Solana (SOL) utilizes an innovative proof-of-history consensus optimized for speed and scalability beyond other chains, with capacities of up to 50,000 transactions per second.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– Lightning fast performance at a fraction of the cost of Ethereum gas fees

– An established ecosystem of DeFi, NFTs, Web3 projects and Venture Capital funding

– High staking yields over 6% for token holders even as supply increases 

– Growing stablecoin usage and cross-chain bridges drive volume 

– Planned mobile phone integration and web-scale capabilities

Solana’s technology strengths position it as a leader in next-generation scalability, especially for consumer-facing decentralized apps. Expect development to continue rapidly.

6. Polygon (MATIC)

Market Cap Ranking: #13

Current Market Cap: $8.2 Billion

Polygon (MATIC) powers highly scalable Ethereum sidechains using variants of plasma and proof-of-stake to achieve several thousand transactions per second with negligible fees.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– Strong focus on Ethereum scaling and interoperability with plasma chains

– Rapidly growing ecosystem with major DeFi, NFT, gaming partners

– Key Layer 2 infrastructure for Ethereum, reducing costs and latency

– User friendly fiat onramps making crypto far more accessible 

– MATIC rewards for network operators and delegators

As demand on Ethereum rises, cost-effective solutions like Polygon with deep integrations will become ever more essential. Bullish accumulation indicates MATIC holders see its positioning for the long term.

Market Cap Ranking: #14

Current Market Cap: $8.01 Billion  

Chainlink (LINK) is the industry standard oracle network for connecting smart contracts on any blockchain to critical off-chain data feeds like asset prices, weather, IoT sensor data and more.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– First mover in the surging oracle space making smart contracts possible

– Hundreds of partnerships with leading DeFi apps, NFT platforms, insurers, payment systems and more

– Cross-chain integration allows bridging data onto any network

– Trillions in value will eventually flow through connected Chainlink oracles as adoption grows

– Staking incentives recently launched for LINK HODLers securing the network

Oracles are a universally needed capability. With deep integrations across sectors secured, Chainlink is guaranteed relevance over the long term.

 8. Stellar Lumens (XLM)

Market Cap Ranking: #25

Current Market Cap: $3.41 Billion

Stellar Lumens (XLM) powers decentralized cross-border payments using fast transactions, minimal fees, fiat integrations and stablecoin support. Partners include IBM, Stripe and Deloitte.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– A stable, profitable payment utility coin with practical global fiat on and off ramps

– Built-in decentralized exchange for frictionless cross-asset transfers and trades

– Enables micropayments, mobile money transfers, multi-sig accounts and more

– Non-profit foundation leads strong governance minimizing misalignment

– Growing smart contract capabilities to expand functionality

For reliable international payments and currency exchange, Stellar presents an accessible mobile-first solution likely to capture market share from slow legacy systems.

9. Flow (FLOW)

Market Cap Ranking: #62

Current Market Cap: $1.2 Billion 

Flow (FLOW) is a developer-friendly Web3 blockchain designed from the ground up specifically to support next-generation games, digital assets, and immersive virtual worlds as the foundation for the Metaverse.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– Designed for mass consumer usage, speed and scaleability with 100,000+ Transactions Per Second capacity 

– Low transaction costs and high throughput to support entire virtual economies

– Partnerships with major gaming studios like NBA Top Shot, Dr. Seuss, Ubisoft and Genies

– Custody solutions to make NFT assets insurable against loss or theft

– Environmentally friendly proof-of-stake consensus mechanism with token staking

As the NFT and Metaverse explosion continues, purpose-built blockchains like Flow delivering robust infrastructure, usability and partnerships will capture significant mindshare.

 10. Uniswap (UNI)

Market Cap Ranking: #21

Current Market Cap: $4.8 Billion 

Uniswap (UNI) pioneered decentralized trading protocols and automated liquidity pools using an elegant exchange model with no order book. Uniswap has facilitated over $1 Trillion in trades.

Key Strengths for 2024:

– The largest decentralized exchange and #1 leader in decentralized trading volume 

– Allows trading any ERC-20 token permissionless against ETH and other pairs

– Enables any project to launch liquidity pools for their new token simply

– New v3 concentrator pools offer capital efficiency for liquidity providers 

– UNI token unlocks DeFi governance participation and earning potential

As DeFi trading activity rises exponentially, Uniswap remains the exchange centerpiece offering embedded advantages that will be hard for competitors to overcome.

Honorable Mentions

While these projects make our top 10, honorable mentions also go out to, Polkadot (DOT), VeChain (VET), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Monero (XMR) as other cryptocurrencies with intriguing potential through 2024 and beyond worth tracking.

Conclusion

This collection of top cryptocurrencies for 2024 represents promising projects to monitor closely or consider acquiring during bear trends. They provide exposure across major crypto sectors including decentralized finance (DeFi), exchanges, NFTs, Metaverse infrastructure, oracles, payments and more. 

As always, conduct your own due diligence before investing. Aim to build a diversified crypto portfolio across both large caps and promising small projects in specialized niches. Stay up to date on developments and consider taking profits during market frenzies.

With prudent selection and management, these cryptocurrencies offer an attractive upside in an emerging alternative financial system.

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Josiah Nang-Bayi, MD is a medical doctor by profession, an author, a financial literacy and digital assets enthusiast, an entrepreneur and a growing philanthropist.
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