10 Best Altcoins of 2022

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The definition of an altcoin has evolved since the early days of cryptocurrency, when there were only a handful of crypto assets. At the time, everything except Bitcoin (BTC) was considered an altcoin.

Today, the world of crypto assets is much larger. There is a wide variety of coins and tokens with use cases that go far beyond a medium of exchange, meaning they are not necessarily Bitcoin competitors.

Yet, for lack of a better designation at this time, the basic definition of an altcoin is any crypto asset other than Bitcoin.

Here is an overview of the top 10 altcoins by market capitalization, excluding stablecoins. We have excluded stablecoins because they are designed to maintain a stable price and are generally not considered a speculative investment.

1. Ethereum (ETH)

Of the nearly $1 trillion that represents the total market capitalization of the more than 20,000 crypto assets available today, almost 20% is held in Ethereum, the largest altcoin in the market.

Unlike Bitcoin, which is characterized as a “decentralized currency,” think of Ethereum as a distributed computing network where users can use the blockchain to run decentralized applications (dApps) and host smart contracts.

“BTC is a store of value while ETH is a decentralized playground for builders to determine the future of technological innovations in blockchain technology,” says Walker Holmes, vice president of metaverse platform MetaTope.

Ethereum reviews point to the high fees for making transactions. But with the thousands of apps and other altcoins powered by its blockchain, Ethereum is here to stay.

2. Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin is a utility token that can be used to pay trading fees and obtain discounted trades on the Binance exchange. You can even use BNB outside the Binance crypto exchange for payment processing, like booking travel.

Critics say that BNB is not as decentralized as other altcoins. Another risk is a reported investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into whether Binance should have registered BNB as a security during its initial coin offering.


XRP can be used to facilitate trading of different types of currencies with digital technology and payment processing company Ripple Labs. Although this altcoin has extremely low transaction fees, reviewers note that it faces legal challenges.

Ripple and two of its executives are involved in an SEC lawsuit alleging they should have registered XRP as a security, and the company says XRP is a currency instead.

4. Gimbal (ADA)

Cardano was an early adopter of the Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism, which speeds up transaction time by removing the competitive and energy-intensive problem-solving dimension of platforms like Bitcoin.

“Cardano is a thought leader in the industry that has paved the way for proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms,” says Holmes. “ADA is a blockchain solution that promises low fees with higher levels of security than most of its counterparts.”

But Daniel Logvin, CEO of blockchain network provider and consultant LedgerByte, says the altcoin has promised too much and has yet to deliver.

5. Solana (SOL)

Developed to help power decentralized finance and applications as well as smart contracts, Solana operates on a unique hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history mechanism to process transactions quickly and securely.

Solana is one of the fastest blockchains on the market. Yet it has also been criticized for being too centralized with very few validating nodes compared to Ethereum, says Whitney Setiawan, research analyst at digital asset exchange Bitrue.

Holmes says Solana is a highly scalable blockchain solution with very low fees, but has experienced outages and downtime.

6. Dogecoin (DOGE)

Dogecoin is the original coin, which started as a joke in 2013. Nevertheless, it quickly evolved into a top cryptocurrency thanks to a dedicated community and creative memes.

Richard Gardner, CEO of financial software provider Modulus Global, points out that DOGE has had big backers but remains riskier than Bitcoin.

“Altcoins like DOGE can fluctuate to extremely low and high levels depending on market volatility, as they have yet to prove any real use cases,” says Garry Krugljakow, founder of 0VIX Protocol, a decentralized application that enables crypto lending and borrowing.

7. Dots (DOT)

This altcoin powers the Polkadot ecosystem, where developers can create special-purpose blockchains as spokes connecting to the main Polkadot blockchain hub, says Max Thake, co-founder of peaq, a blockchain network built on Polkadot. DOT is the native token of Polkadot.

“(There is) sustained demand for DOT from projects seeking to build on Polkadot,” he says.

This altcoin has better shared security and is a leader in development activity and many projects, says James Wo, CEO of blockchain and cryptocurrency investment firm Digital Finance Group. But the project’s progress has been slow and it lacks flagship apps to help energize its ecosystem, he says.

8. Polygon (MATIC)

Polygon is an Ethereum-based scaling platform that allows developers to build dApps with low transaction fees.

“It allows people to process transactions on top of the Ethereum network,” Logvin explains. “This solution increases efficiency and saves tons of money on gas (transaction fees).” Gas fees, transaction fees, are generally cheaper on Polygon than on Ethereum.

9. Shiba Inu (SHIB)

  • Market cap: $6.6 billion

Like DOGE, this is another meme piece. Dubbed the “Dogecoin Killer”, it’s a joke based on a joke. Although based on the Ethereum blockchain, Shiba Inu is an altcoin that should not be invested in for one use case, although there are non-fungible tokens (NFTs) based on SHIB.

This does not mean that there is no investment case. Speculators can make a lot of money but lose it all with this highly volatile crypto asset.

10.Tron (TRX)

Tron is a blockchain that developers can use to share media content and build decentralized applications. TRX also has a healthy total value locked (TVL) or amount of money deposited in decentralized finance. TVL is the total value of crypto assets deposited in a decentralized finance (DeFi) protocol, such as staking, loans, or liquidity pools.

A high TVL indicates the popularity of a protocol and the adaptation rate of a particular cryptocurrency. Currently, TRX’s TVL stands at $5.7 billion, according to DeFi Llama.

* Market caps and prices sourced from coinmarketcap.com, current as of September 1, 2022.