Cryptocurrencies are all the rage these days, particularly with speculative investors. What used to be a “fringe” investment is now front and center in the financial press. Even financial networks like CNBC talk about Bitcoin daily and even keep a ticker up on the screen showing the current price.
Put this all together and now even the average investor is well aware of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency movement. However, many people are likely still unaware that Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency out there. In fact, there are plenty of other options if you want to get your crypto fix away from the big names, including the 10 on this list. Just be aware that each cryptocurrency is unique, and that you should consult your financial advisor before you invest in any of these speculative products.
Last updated: May 7, 2021
If you’re really looking for a cheap cryptocurrency, VeChain might tickle your fancy. VeChain trades at just $0.20 per coin, even after an amazing one-year gain of 4,500%.
VeChain, which is the currency for the impressively named VeChain Thor Blockchain, is used to transfer value across the network. The VeChain Thor Blockchain was designed specifically for supply chain management and business processes through the use of distributed ledger technology.
Dogecoin originated as something of a joke, but it’s become quite real for all of those who are now profiting from it. The coin is certainly still “cheap,” at $0.59 per coin as of May 5, 2021, but that’s up from less than half a cent at the beginning of the year.
Unlike many other cryptocurrencies which serve actual functions, Dogecoin was created as a satirical take on Bitcoin. The crypto has been rising solely on hype on message boards and from the same type of speculators that drove GameStop up by more than 400% in a single week earlier this year. Of course, that likely doesn’t matter to those who are generating real profits and who are still searching for “cheap” cryptocurrencies.
EOS is considered a competitor to Ethereum, but both seem to coexist in the crypto world. EOS is the token that lives on the EOSIO blockchain. Like many of its brethren, the EOSIO blockchain is designed to facilitate large transactions rapidly and securely. The platform is fast and scalable, highly configurable, developer-friendly and security- and compliance-focused, according to its developers. EOS is an affordable coin at just above $8.
According to Coinbase, Chainlink is another Ethereum token that powers the Chainlink decentralized oracle network. This network is used to securely connect to external data sources, APIs and payment systems.
Chainlink describes itself as enabling real-world data and off-chain computation to expand the capabilities of smart contracts while maintaining the upsides of blockchain technology, namely its security and reliability guarantees. The Chainlink price moves in fits and starts but currently sits above $48 per coin.
Litecoin is one of the most venerable cryptocurrencies, created in 2011, just two years after Bitcoin. According to its developers, Litecoin is a peer-to-peer internet currency that allows for nearly instant, zero-cost payments to anyone anywhere in the world. As with blockchain technology in general, mathematics secures the Litecoin network. However, one thing that differentiates Litecoin from Bitcoin is that the Litecoin blockchain is capable of handling higher transaction volume due to more frequent block generation.
At less than $1.50, Cardano remains a very cheap cryptocurrency for most investors, even after its 2,800% one-year gain.
According to Coinbase, Cardano is a blockchain platform built on a proof-of-stake consensus protocol called Ouroboros, which can validate transactions without high energy costs. Development on Cardano uses the Haskell programming language. The symbol for the Cardano token, ADA, comes from the 19th-century mathematician, Ada Lovelace. According to its developers, Ouroboros allows the Cardano network’s decentralization and provides the ability to sustainably scale to global requirements without compromising security.
Polkadot carries one of the more interesting cryptocurrency names, and it serves as the token on the Polkadot network. According to its developers, the Polkadot token serves three main purposes: providing governance for the network, operating the network and creating parachains by bonding Polkadot tokens. While this may be a foreign language to investors who are not familiar with the field, the 1,300% gain in the Polkadot token since August 2020 is something anyone can understand. Still, Polkadot remains affordable at just over $38 per token.
Stellar is its own payment network, and it uses Stellar Lumens as its currency on that network. While the network can be used by anyone, it was envisioned to connect financial institutions making large transactions. On the Stellar network, these types of transactions can be done nearly instantaneously at little-to-no cost, unlike with traditional or even competitor blockchain networks. The price of Stellar Lumens has been steadily rising but it still trades well below $1 per coin.
Explained: Breaking Down the Basics of Cryptocurrency
Tether is an Ethereum token that is pegged to the value of a U.S. dollar, according to Coinbase. At $1 per token, Tether is still one of the more inexpensive cryptocurrencies available. However, that price is not likely to move like many of the other cryptocurrencies out there, because a Tether token is tied 1-to-1 to the value of the U.S. Dollar.
Monero is a type of cryptocurrency known as a “privacy coin,” as the focus of Monero is on user privacy. To that end, transactions on the Monero blockchain cannot be traced or tracked by anyone. As the Monero website puts it, when you use Monero as your cryptocurrency, you are your own bank, and no one can see your balances or track your activity.
To issue new coins and secure transactions, Monero uses a proof-of-work consensus algorithm, according to Coinbase. At about $404 per coin, Monero is still quite affordable compared with the tens of thousands of dollars it costs to buy a single Bitcoin.
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