Cryptos in 2021 became the best performing asset class, of which Bitcoin, having posted almost 50% gain year-to-date, although being most frequently quoted by mass media, wasn’t the actual yield monster.

With 14,522 cryptocurrencies in existence and counting, there are more than triple the number of crypto coins than there are U.S. public stocks. Only time will tell if it’s good or bad. But that enormous amount makes it nearly impossible to keep track of all the big movers in the crypto sector outside of well-known altcoins like Cardano, Dogecoin, Ripple, and the likes.

Nevertheless, some most respected databases do keep records of a wider variety of the alts. Shiba Inu, Axie Infinity, Terra, Solana, Polygon, and Dogecoin are among the better-known top-performing cryptos according to CoinGecko and CoinDesk. Records at both sources show that Shiba Inu garnered a 53.35mil% increase over the past year. Axie Infinity had a 32077.3% annual increase, while Terra recorded a 9625.3% return. Similarly, Solana has seen an 8905% increase over the year while Polygon and Dogecoin reached 9573% and 4441% increases respectively.

One of the latest rapid ascension stories was the Avalanche cryptocurrency that surged in November, taking it briefly into the top 10 by market cap and surpassing Dogecoin and Shiba Inu, after a deal related to the improvement of U.S. disaster-relief fund efforts. The Avalanche token, AVAX, reached a record $144.96 on November 20 before paring some gains, and now sits at number 11 in market-value ranking at about $28 billion – between Dogecoin and Coin.

The surge in new crypto coins has come amid a massive bull market for the asset class, with October rallies in Bitcoin and Ether helping boost the sector to a near-$3 trillion market valuation. Once again, the fact remains that cryptos have outperformed stocks this year by a wide margin. For example, year-to-date the S&P 500 index is up just shy of 22%, according to Yahoo! Finance. But the top five cryptos, in terms of market cap, are up higher in order of magnitude, according to GSPC index fund.

Source: CoinGecko

Let’s make a brief retrospect of the most memorable and rewarding coins. We list them in the same succession as Forbes Advisor does in its popular article.

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

  • Market cap: Over $1.09 trillion

Created in 2009 by a legendary avatar Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin (BTC) is the godfather of all cryptocurrencies. As with most crypto tokens, BTC runs on a blockchain, a process called proof of work, Bitcoin is safeguarded and locked from fraudsters and hackers.

Although 2021 was a rocky year for the best-known cryptoasset, Bitcoin price rose almost 50% YTD. Five years ago, you could buy a Bitcoin for about $500. As of Nov. 25, 2021, Bitcoin price stood at $57,800. That’s the growth of about 11,500%.

2. Ethereum (ETH)

  • Market cap: $508 billion

Both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, Ethereum is a favorite of DevOps because of its enormous potential applications, like smart contracts that automatically execute when sought conditions are met, as well as countless DeFis and NFTs.

Ethereum has also experienced tremendous growth. In just over five years, its price went from about $11 to over $4,300, increasingly nearly 40,000%. The recent ETH price hiccup followed U.S. president Joe Biden’s signing a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill into law, which contained provisions that had material tax implications for local crypto investors. Before this latest drop in price, Ethereum set a new all-time high when its price went over $4,865 on Nov. 10.

3. Binance Coin (BNB)

  • Market cap: Over $88 billion

The Binance Coin is a form of cryptocurrency used to trade and pay fees on Binance, the largest crypto exchange in the world. Since its launch in 2017, Binance Coin has expanded past purely a service token facilitating trades on Binance’s exchange platform. Now, it can be used for trading, payment processing or booking travel arrangements. It can also be traded or exchanged for most major cryptos, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.

Its price in 2017 was just $0.10; by November 25, 2021, it had risen to over $633, a gain of more than 630,000%.

4. Cardano (ADA)

  • Market cap: Over $66 billion

Somewhat later to the crypto scene, Cardano is notable for its early embrace of proof-of-stake validation. This method expedites transaction time and decreases energy usage and environmental impact by removing the competitive, problem-solving aspect of transaction verification present in earlier Bitcoin algorithms. Cardano also works like Ethereum to enable smart contracts and decentralized applications, which are powered by ADA, its native coin.

Cardano’s ADA token has had relatively modest growth compared to other major crypto coins. In 2017, ADA’s price was $0.02. As of November 25, 2021, its price was at $1.74. This is an increase of almost 9,000%. ADA, the native cryptocurrency on the Cardano blockchain, reached an all-time high of $3.10 on 2 September, up by 26% from its previous-all time high of $2.46 on 16 May during the broader cryptocurrency rally. The price jumped as developers InputOutput (IOHK) announced on 1 September that the Cardano testnet supported smart contracts. The launch on the live network followed on 12 September, with the implementation of the Alonzo hard fork. Of ADA’s $70.88bn market capitalization, a total of around $51bn has been staked, accounting for 72% of the coin’s total supply, according to data aggregated by PoolTool. That could support the ADA price, as only 28.03% of the supply has not been locked.

5. Solana (SOL)

  • Market cap: Over $60 billion

Developed to help power decentralized finance (DeFi) uses, decentralized apps (DApps) and smart contracts, Solana runs on a unique hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history mechanisms that help it process transactions quickly and securely. SOL, Solana’s native token, powers the platform.

Launched in 2020, SOL’s price started at $0.77. By November 25, 2021, its price was almost $213, a gain of more than 27,500%.

7. Ripple (XRP)

  • Market cap: Over $50 billion

Created by some of the same founders as Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing company, XRP can be used on that network to facilitate exchanges of different currency types, including fiat currencies and other major cryptocurrencies.

At the beginning of 2017, the price of XRP was $0.006. As of November 25, 2021, its price reached $1.055, equal to a rise of 17,600%.

8. Polkadot (DOT)

  • Market cap: Over $43 billion

Polkadot is an open source, blockchain-based distributed computing platform that enables the blockchains built on top of it, known as “parachains”, to execute atomic inter-chain transactions between themselves in a trust-minimized way, thereby creating an interconnected internet of blockchains. Polkadot aims to integrate them by creating a cryptocurrency network that connects the various blockchains so they can work together. This integration may create a future breakthrough of the entire cryptocurrencies management, the idea that has always seemed so brilliant to many, that investors staged an impressive growth since Polkadot’s launch in 2020. Between September 2020 and November 25, 2021, its price grew about 1,360%, from $2.93 to $40.

9. Shiba Inu (SHIB)

  • Market cap: Over $41 billion

Created in mid 2020, Shiba Inu is one of the latest so-called “meme” coins that managed to compete with its predecessor Dogecoin. Siba Inu is a DeFi and runs on the Ethereum network. With an initial price of $0.0000000014, SHIB still trades way below a single cent but has risen tremendously in its market value reaching $0.00004, a 2,860,000% increase.

10. Dogecoin (DOGE)

  • Market cap: Over $38 billion

Dogecoin has been a hot topic thanks to celebrities and billionaires like Elon Musk. Famously created by software engineers Billy Markus and Jackson Palmer, who decided to introduce a mocking payment system, or a “joke” as many refer to its phenomenon nowadays, it started in 2013. Dogecoin rapidly became recognized as a prominent cryptocurrency, thanks to its dedicated community. Unlike many other cryptos, such as Bitcoin, there is no cap on the number of Dogecoins that can be created, which leaves the currency susceptible to devaluation as supply increases.

Dogecoin’s price in 2017 was $0.0002. By November 25, 2021, its price was at $0.22 — a 110,000% increase.

Final Word

We recommend keeping up with new trends and finding a place for cryptoassets in all private portfolios, trying to minimize visits through indirect tools – in particular, through ETFs and stocks of crypto exchanges, and giving preference to the coins themselves. Among the latter, it seems that a special role as its dominance rate (dominance) in comparison with Bitcoin is growing, Ethereum becomes truly a specialty dish.