Cryptocurrencies with Highest Trading Volume in 2021
When it was created in January 2009, Bitcoin ushered in a new era of decentralized finance, allowing for swifter, safer, and cheaper cross-border transactions. It paved the way for a whole wave of new cryptocurrencies whose number currently exceeds 1,600 across large, medium-sized, and specialist exchanges.
With that said, the number of truly significant cryptos runs down to a double-digit figure that comprises a small group of the most traded digital currencies with the highest liquidity. The easiest way to distinguish the top cryptocurrencies is by looking at their market capitalization and the level of investor interest they attract. Here are some of the cryptocurrencies that boasted the highest trading volumes in 2021.
Being the first crypto to emerge on the market, Bitcoin (BTC) continues to top the list of the most valued and broadly traded digital currencies in the world. Investors continue to prefer it despite its great volatility. Many even consider it a great hedge against inflation because there is a cap on the maximum number of Bitcoin tokens in circulation.
Bitcoin was originally intended as a digital payment system, although many financial specialists still consider it too volatile to be used for this purpose. Nonetheless, it remains the most traded and popular cryptocurrency on exchanges. There are different types of Bitcoin markets and Bitcoin price fluctuations continue to have a pronounced impact on the cryptomarket as a whole. It currently has a market cap of $937 billion and a total exchange volume of $1.12 billion.
Initially known as Realcoin, the stablecoin Tether (USDT) is unique in that it was the first cryptocurrency to bind its market value to that of a regular fiat currency, the USD. All Tether tokens that circulate on the market at any given moment are backed by the same amount of dollars, hence the name “stablecoin”. Tether is preferred by investors looking to avoid the huge volatility of other cryptocurrencies.
Its value reached an all-time high in the summer of 2018 when the USDT price reached $1.32. Despite this, Tether is not subject to great swings and its price has largely remained close to $1. This makes it popular among crypto investors. Tether was one of the largest cryptocurrencies this year, reaching a market cap of $79 billion and a total exchange volume of $59 billion in December 2021.
Created in 2012, Ripple (XRP) is unlike many other cryptocurrencies because it relies on consensus protocols rather than on the traditional blockchain mining process. It confirms transactions with the help of bank-owned servers, which makes it less energy-demanding and more cost-efficient than Bitcoin, for example.
Additionally, the consensus mechanisms behind this cryptocurrency facilitate near-instant transactions, with confirmation taking a few seconds only. Throw the lower transaction costs into the mix and you will see why Ripple is so popular among traders and investors. As of December 2021, Ripple has a market capitalization of $85 billion and an overall exchange volume of $3.6 billion.
The Ethereum open-source network launched in the summer of 2015 and is home to the cryptocurrency Ether, abbreviated as ETH. Ether’s price has increased dramatically since it originally appeared, although it still is miles away from Bitcoin when it comes to value. Unlike Bitcoin, however, Ether was not intended as a substitute for standard fiat currencies.
Apart from trading it as an asset, people rely on it to pay for using the Ethereum platform, which is why Ether is often called a utility cryptocurrency. Since Ether is a comparatively young cryptocurrency, it experiences far greater price fluctuations.
Such gyrations in value give rise to various opportunities for investors, especially those who seek to capitalize on future price movements through speculation. Ether remains one of the most popular cryptocurrencies of 2021, with a market cap of $504 billion and an overall exchange volume of $1.2 billion.
We round out the list of the most traded cryptocurrencies with Solana, a new blockchain platform initially launched in the spring of 2019 that uses SOL as its native cryptocurrency. Seasoned investors commonly consider Solana as an alternative to Ethereum – the biggest similarity between the two is that they both allow for smart contracts.
However, Solana has several advantages over its rival, starting with the fact it ensures significantly quicker processing speeds. Transaction costs are also smaller than those for Ethereum. In September 2021, Solana’s native currency SOL reached an all-time high after its value jumped by 12% to $145.
The SOL token consequently knocked off Dogecoin from its position as the seventh-biggest altcoin in terms of market value. With a market cap of $96.1 billion and a total exchange volume of $1.92 billion, Solana ranked as one of the most widely traded cryptocurrencies in 2021.