As we have stepped into the first month of 2024, many are wondering about the best crypto to buy now. The crypto market has proven to be a hotbed of innovation, offering investors new opportunities and challenges alike. Whether you’re a seasoned trader or a novice looking to venture into the exciting realm of digital assets, staying informed about the latest trends and potential investment options is crucial.
In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the 10 best cryptocurrencies that stand out as promising picks for January 2024. As the crypto market continues to mature and diversify, making informed decisions becomes increasingly important. From established giants to rising stars, each of the selected cryptocurrencies has unique features, potential for growth, and a compelling narrative that makes them noteworthy in the current market.
1. Bitcoin (BTC)
Bitcoin, a decentralized peer-to-peer cryptocurrency, was first conceptualized in 2008 and officially launched in early 2009. The pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, remains unidentified to this day. Bitcoin revolutionized the digital currency landscape by introducing the innovative concept of a blockchain, offering a highly secure and fully decentralized form of currency.
Its implementation of Proof-of-Work ensures the integrity of transaction history, making it exceptionally challenging to manipulate or duplicate coin transactions. The network’s security is maintained by miners, who earn BTC as rewards for contributing to the expansion of the Bitcoin blockchain through block additions.
Despite the emergence of numerous cryptocurrencies and blockchain platforms following Bitcoin, BTC continues to maintain its status as the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and emerges as the best crypto to buy now. As per recent reports, BlackRock anticipates the approval of its Bitcoin spot ETF application by the SEC on Wednesday, January 10.
The report further notes that other companies seeking approval for a Bitcoin spot ETF are also optimistic about the outcome. Various companies putting forth their Bitcoin ETF offerings have disclosed the fees they intend to levy on investors. Regarding BTC price performance, Bitcoin has been on an upward trajectory, nearing the $47,000 threshold. Naturally, if the approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF is imminent, heightened volatility in the market can be anticipated.
2. Ethereum (ETH)
Ethereum, a blockchain designed to facilitate smart contracts, empowers intricate applications such as decentralized lending protocols and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Initiated by Vitalik Buterin, the Ethereum project saw the publication of its whitepaper in late 2013, followed by the blockchain’s launch in July 2015.
Presently, Ethereum boasts a dynamic ecosystem of decentralized applications spanning decentralized financial services, NFT marketplaces, publishing platforms, decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges, and beyond. In our view, this diverse landscape positions Ethereum as the best crypto to buy now. ETH serves as the intrinsic asset on the Ethereum blockchain, motivating users to contribute to network security.
Initially employing a Proof-of-Work consensus mechanism, Ethereum transitioned to Proof-of-Stake in September 2022. Developers within the Ethereum community have set January 17, 2024, as the targeted date for launching the Dencun upgrade on the testnet. The chosen testnet for the upgrade is Goerli, scheduled at epoch 231680. Tim Beiko from the Ethereum Foundation indicates that testnet clients supporting the update are expected to release around January 10.
As of now, the tentative timeline for the Dencun upgrade on the Ethereum mainnet is late February. However, Ethereum developers have not established a definitive deadline yet. This upgrade is set to incorporate five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) and marks the first significant enhancement to the Ethereum mainnet since the Shapella upgrade. Launched in April of the current year, Shapella enabled users to withdraw staked ETH.
3. Arbitrum (ARB)
Arbitrum is a layer 2 solution built on optimistic rollups technology for the Ethereum network. The primary objective of the Arbitrum platform is to provide users with faster and more cost-effective transactions, all while leveraging the robust security of the Ethereum network. While relatively new in the cryptocurrency domain, the Arbitrum platform has swiftly emerged as a major player in the DeFi ecosystem, boasting one of the highest Total Value Locked (TVL) among blockchains.
Arbitrum maintains its dominance in the Ethereum Layer 2 realm, commanding a substantial 49.8% market share, as reported by the layer 2 aggregator L2Beat. The platform’s TVL has experienced a consistent uptrend since mid-October of the previous year, currently standing at $9.79 billion. This makes ARB be listed as one of the best crypto to buy now.
In a recent development, the Arbitrum project has implemented a feature allowing projects utilizing Arbitrum Orbit custom blockchains to employ custom gas tokens. Notable projects already leveraging custom tokens for their Arbitrum Orbit chains include XAI (Binance Launchpool’s latest project), Caldera, AltLayer, and Conduit.
Simultaneously, the second phase of the Arbitrum Foundation’s grant program has commenced, aiming to offer financial support to projects developing decentralized applications on the Arbitrum platform. These projects encompass areas such as gaming, decentralized physical infrastructure networks (DePIN), NFTs, social media, and beyond. Notably, Arbitrum’s ARB token has demonstrated robust performance, registering a 46.60% gain over the past 30 days.
4. Solana (SOL)
Solana stands out as a smart contracts platform distinguished by its distinctive architecture, enabling it to handle thousands of transactions per second at remarkably low costs. This efficiency is realized through the utilization of a distinctive Proof-of-History algorithm and a Proof-of-Stake consensus mechanism. The native SOL token is recognized for its cost-effectiveness, with users typically paying less than $0.001 per transaction, making it one of the most economical cryptocurrencies for transfers in the market.
Despite experiencing a significant decline in value during the 2022 bear market, Solana maintains one of the most remarkable ecosystems in the cryptocurrency industry and emerges as one of the best crypto to buy now. Solana remains a standout performer in the cryptocurrency market, witnessing a recent 32.59% increase over the past 30 days. This positive momentum aligns with a series of favorable announcements and fundamental developments.
A clear testament to Solana’s current momentum is the substantial trading activity on its decentralized exchanges, amounting to $10.1 billion in the past 7 days. Notably, this figure surpasses the trading volume generated by decentralized exchanges on Ethereum during the same period, which stood at $8.8 billion. This achievement is particularly noteworthy considering that the market capitalization of SOL is approximately eight times smaller than that of ETH.
Discussing market capitalization, SOL has surpassed XRP, securing the 5th position in the cryptocurrency market rankings. It is currently within reach of BNB, hinting at the possibility of ascending to the 4th spot soon. In parallel developments, Trezor, a prominent hardware cryptocurrency wallet manufacturer, has recently added support for SOL and tokens following Solana’s SPL token standard.
XRP facilitates swift and economical transfers, rendering it well-suited for applications such as remittances. Unlike relying on either Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake, XRP employs the XRP Ledger Consensus Protocol. Participants within the XRP network have the autonomy to select a set of validators they deem trustworthy. Ripple has seamlessly integrated the XRP cryptocurrency into its products, with On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) being a notable example.
Collaborating with cryptocurrency exchanges, ODL utilizes XRP to facilitate efficient cross-border money transfers. XRP has experienced a notable surge lately, with a 26% gain over the past week, reaching its highest price point since July and surpassing BNB in market capitalization. While this uptrend might suggest a potential overextension and the likelihood of a price correction, it’s crucial to note that the recent rally follows several positive developments associated with Ripple and XRP.
In October, the SEC dropped its claims against key Ripple executives Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, despite the ongoing legal battle between the regulator and the Ripple company itself. In recent developments, Ripple has entered into a partnership with the National Bank of Georgia to supply the technology supporting a pilot program for a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
The pilot project, known as Digital Lari, will utilize the Ripple CBDC Platform. Additionally, XRP has gained acknowledgment from the Dubai Financial Services Authority and received approval for utilization within the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). Overall, XRP has been witnessing many positive developments and this makes it one of the best crypto to buy now.
BNB, introduced by the Binance cryptocurrency exchange in 2017, functions in two key capacities. Token holders enjoy exclusive privileges when utilizing Binance, such as reduced trading fees, participation in the exchange’s Launchpad and Launchpool programs, cashback on Binance Visa card transactions, and additional benefits.
Additionally, the token operates as the native asset on the BNB Chain blockchain. BNB Chain, a derivative of Ethereum, provides users with considerably lower transaction fees and enables developers to seamlessly deploy EVM-compatible decentralized applications. Formerly identified as Binance Coin, BNB has undergone an extensive rebranding.
As BNB is the sole non-stablecoin cryptocurrency eligible for Launchpool staking, the Launchpool announcements have markedly heightened the demand for BNB. As of the current writing, BNB demonstrates a 25.07% surge in the last 30 days. As we have approached mid-January, BNB has emerged as one of the best crypto to buy now.
Through Binance Launchpool, individuals have the opportunity to stake their BNB and earn tokens from upcoming blockchain projects. The flexibility to unstake BNB at any time allows users to receive additional tokens as a beneficial incentive while assuming relatively low risk—holding BNB or stablecoins throughout the staking period. It would be prudent to monitor Binance in the upcoming days to determine if they announce another Launchpool or perhaps introduce a new Launchpad program.
7. Cosmos (ATOM)
Cosmos is a network specifically crafted to enable seamless interoperability among diverse blockchain platforms. Central to the Cosmos network is the Cosmos Hub, which operates on a Proof-of-Stake blockchain model. The Cosmos Hub is strategically structured to foster connections not only within the Cosmos ecosystem but also with external blockchains such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Communication among the various blockchains within Cosmos is facilitated by a protocol known as IBC (Inter-Blockchain Communication). Cosmos features its native asset called ATOM. Users have the option to stake their ATOM tokens, contributing to the network’s security while earning staking rewards and a share of collected transaction fees. The Cosmos community has endorsed a proposal to limit the inflation rate of the ATOM token to 10%.
Presently, the inflation rate hovers around 14%, with the cap established at 20%. Upon implementation, the proposal will decrease the influx of new ATOM tokens into circulation. However, it will also lead to a reduction in the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for staking ATOM tokens, decreasing from approximately 19% to around 13.4%.
As per the proposal, research findings suggest that the Cosmos Hub blockchain is currently overspending on its security measures. The proposal further contends that diminishing the inflation of ATOM could yield favorable impacts on decentralized finance protocols and money markets within the Cosmos ecosystem. All these positive developments make ATOM one of the best crypto to buy now.
8. Litecoin (LTC)
Litecoin, an established cryptocurrency, made its debut in October 2011, ranking among the earliest “altcoins” in the market. Initially, Litecoin closely mirrored Bitcoin, essentially emerging as a modified version of Bitcoin’s codebase. With a maximum coin supply of 84 million, Litecoin’s cap is four times larger than that of Bitcoin. Notably, it targets a block time of 2.5 minutes, making it four times faster than Bitcoin’s block time.
Similar to Bitcoin, Litecoin employs Proof-of-Work to achieve consensus on its ledger state, but it distinguishes itself by utilizing the scrypt hash function instead of Bitcoin’s SHA-256 hash function. In the preceding months, Litecoin has demonstrated robust performance, with traders strategically amassing LTC holdings in anticipation of new developments.
Since the beginning of the year, LTC has witnessed a remarkable increase of 38% and presently holds the position of the 11th largest digital currency by market capitalization, emerging as one of the best crypto to buy now. In addition, there’s a notable surge in the institutional investor narrative within the crypto sphere.
In recent weeks, prominent firms like Blackrock and Fidelity, among others, have submitted applications for Bitcoin spot ETFs, indicating a recognition of cryptocurrencies as integral to their long-term strategies. Amid this growing institutional interest, LTC has gained further visibility by being listed on the EDX Markets exchange, one of four cryptocurrencies featured on the platform.
9. Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Shiba Inu, a meme cryptocurrency introduced in 2020 by an individual using the pseudonym “Ryoshi,” draws significant inspiration from the Dogecoin (DOGE) cryptocurrency and incorporates the Shiba Inu dog breed in its branding. Diverging from Dogecoin, which operates on its own blockchain, Shiba Inu is created as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain.
Where to Buy Shiba Inu (SHIB)
In 2021, SHIB experienced a notable surge in popularity, securing the position of the second-largest meme coin by market capitalization, surpassed only by Dogecoin. Furthermore, SHIB has gained prominence as one of the leading penny cryptocurrencies currently. The Shiba Inu project’s team is actively pursuing the acquisition of the .shib Top-Level Domain (TLD).
TLDs, like .com, .org, .net, and .io, play a crucial role in categorizing websites based on factors such as use case and geographical location. Collaborating with the Web3 domain project D3, the Shiba Inu team is actively working towards securing the .shib TLD. The significance of incorporating .shib into the global Domain Name System extends beyond aesthetic website appearances.
Successfully acquiring the .shib domain could pave the way for websites, personalized usernames, and even email addresses culminating in .shib. In addition, the SHIB team has been consistently enhancing the Shiba Inu token burning mechanism. This development is expected to inject positive momentum into the SHIB price, making it one of the best crypto to buy now.
10. Uniswap (UNI)
Uniswap, a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, pioneered the AMM (automated market maker) model, revolutionizing the traditional exchange process. By eliminating the requirement for order books, this distinctive design offers a seamless method for directly swapping various tokens on the blockchain without dependence on intermediaries.
The governance of Uniswap lies in the hands of UNI token holders, enabling them to propose and vote on various matters. UNI tokens were distributed to previous users of the Uniswap protocol through an airdrop in 2020, and currently, the token is accessible for acquisition on numerous decentralized and centralized trading platforms.
The Uniswap protocol achieved a new milestone with a record daily trading volume of $11.84 billion, nearly doubling its previous highest daily volume. This surge occurred as users flocked to trade USDC, the prominent stablecoin that faced challenges following the weekend’s Silicon Valley Bank failure. The significance of this failure to USDC lies in Circle, a major issuer of the stablecoin, revealing that approximately $3.3 billion of the total $40 billion supporting USDC is held at Silicon Valley Bank.
The substantial increase in trading volume highlights the Uniswap protocol as a vital component of the crypto market infrastructure, demonstrating its capability to efficiently manage significant volumes even in times of market turbulence. All in all, UNI is expected to grow in terms of price and emerge as one of the best crypto to buy now.
As we navigate through January 2024, the crypto market presents a dynamic landscape with various promising options. From established leaders like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) to emerging players such as Arbitrum (ARB) and Solana (SOL), each cryptocurrency discussed in this article has its unique strengths and potential for growth.
However, it’s essential to note that the crypto market is inherently volatile. In navigating this diverse crypto landscape, investors should conduct thorough research, stay abreast of market developments, and align their decisions with individual risk preferences. The volatility inherent in the crypto market underscores the importance of a cautious and informed approach as we explore the opportunities of 2024.