It’s common to think of phenomena like Bitcoin and blockchain as being new ideas but we’re well over a decade in and the pace has so far been breakneck. In a short time, cryptocurrencies have gone from a niche internet curiosity to a widely accepted and internationally recognized option for payments and investments.
Over those years we’ve seen dozens of other crypto coins rise up. Some have managed to stand the test of time while others have floundered and dropped off the map for a number of reasons. We have now reached something of a stable period with the most popular coins, so the question now is where there’s room for any more new players.
The Current Big Names
Aside from Bitcoin which needs little introduction at this stage, the main names in the crypto scene are Ethereum, Tether, and BNB, although depending on how you’re using it, Dogecoin and Litecoin could be also up there. The difference comes in the form of acceptance by retailers and the favor each has as pure investment opportunities.
For example, the first cases above are more commonly tied to investors than retail usage, and so are less likely to be accepted for regular online transactions. Meanwhile, while the half-jokey Dogecoin and one of the original ‘spinoffs’ Litecoin may have faded somewhat in the eyes of hardcore traders, thanks to being more established in the eyes of retailers they are far more widely accepted for everyday use.
This isn’t to say that the first options aren’t used for transactions at all. Certain industries, particularly around Web3 projects and online casinos, have opened their arms to crypto of all kinds. You’re far more likely to see people using Ethereum to play at a no deposit bonus casino, for example, than at retailers such as Amazon or Alibaba. The global nature of these businesses means that crypto suits their needs well thanks to the hassles of currency exchange, although this is the exact reason local industries generally limit themselves to the most commonly used coins.
Is There Space For Another Big Player?
The numbers involved in cryptocurrency are already mind-boggling. Putting aside the literal trillions of dollars worldwide invested in some coin or another, the number of coin options has already surpassed 22,000 as of this year. This is because, for each of the biggest and most secure coins available, there are thousands of small, quickly established coins that may come and go in a very short time.
In some cases, these could be created by influencers or entrepreneurs looking to get in on the trend. In other cases, they are ‘meme coins’ made primarily as a joke much in the way that Dogecoin started out. In reality, there aren’t many hurdles to creating a new coin, although getting it officially recognized by state authorities is an entirely different issue. It’s an extremely crowded market.
What’s The Next Big Coin?
Finding the ‘next big thing’ is the goal of all crypto investors but the reality is that far more than the stock market, cryptocurrency is inherently volatile and unpredictable in terms of value. The only coins that have shown stability are those already backed by states or big companies such as BinanceUSD or TrueUSD, and even as countries start adopting crypto payments more and more, Bitcoin is the number one focus.
Many are now watching plans, such as in the UK, for the introduction of virtual state currencies that are controlled by individual countries as digital alternatives. While these currencies are unlikely to have the investment potential of regular crypto, the ability to use local currency digitally will no doubt impact the wider market.
With all that said, one of the most fascinating things about crypto is how it can completely surprise people again and again, even those who have spent years studying the industry. The next big coin could always be just a week away and hit the top 10 charts in a matter of hours. It’s unlikely but sometimes you get a perfect storm of circumstances that all line up just right.