2020 has been an exciting year for crypto. We’ve seen new coins get released. We’ve seen significant improvements in blockchain technology.
There should be even more excitement by the end of 2020. DeFi coins are emerging and becoming more useful than ever. We may see Ethereum 2.0, and bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies are suddenly surging.
Which major cryptocurrencies have made the biggest gains of 2020? Which coins could continue rising over the next few months? Today, we’re highlighting the top 20 cryptocurrencies of mid-2020, including the best cryptocurrencies, the fastest risers, and the newly-released coins with the biggest potential.
Bitcoin has been the best coin to buy in 2020 for safe, steady growth. After surging in mid-2020, bitcoin neared prices as high as $12,000. Some are calling for bitcoin to double in price by the end of the year. Some even believe a $100,000 BTC is possible by the end of the year – especially if economic turmoil continues. Ultimately, bitcoin continues to be the king of crypto, and it’s an easy pick as our best cryptocurrency of 2020. It’s unlikely to provide the stratospheric rise as some of the lower-ranked coins on our list, but it’s also unlikely to lead to total investment losses either.
Ether (ETH) has faced its own surge in 2020, doubling from $200 to around $400 in just a few weeks in July. Investors are piling back into ETH after excitement surrounding the launch of Ethereum 2.0 – including the potential of decentralized finance (DeFi) coins. Since launching in 2015, Ethereum has been the blockchain with the biggest potential. Could 2020 be the year Ethereum lives up to its potential and makes blockchain mainstream? It’s possible. Today, ETH remains a popular cryptocurrency for investors seeking alternatives to bitcoin.
XRP, created by FinTech company Ripple, is a fast and secure way to transfer value around the world. It’s a dream for global banks and financial institutions. Institutions around the world have continued to adopt XRP – or at least test Ripple’s financial products. With the ability to settle cross-border payments in real time, end-to-end transparency, and cheaper costs, XRP has the potential to revolutionize the banking world. Despite all this potential, however, XRP has been just average for investors over the last few months. XRP has spent most of the year bouncing between $0.25 and $0.30, although it briefly dipped as low as $0.14 in March 2020. As cryptocurrencies surge in summer 2020, XRP sits around $0.30, well below its all time high – but still offering an enticing option for fintech investors.
Chainlink is a decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem built on the Ethereum blockchain. The LINK token powers the Chainlink decentralized oracle network, which allows Ethereum smart contracts to securely connect to external data sources. In other words, LINK and Chainlink play a crucial role in how many Ethereum smart contracts operate without a central authority. Chainlink’s development team continues to solve challenges, and investors continue to be impressed. While other cryptocurrencies dropped in the ‘Crypto Winter’ of 2018 to 2019, LINK surged, rising while bitcoin fell. Today, LINK sits close to $10, up approximately 5x since starting the year at $2 in January 2020. While other cryptocurrencies hit their all time high in January 2018 and never recovered, LINK is at its all time high in 2020 – and the future could be even brighter for the coin with the biggest market cap in DeFi.
As the second largest coin in the DeFi space (behind Chainlink / LINK), Maker garners significant attention for its low total supply and strong growth potential. There are just 1 million MKR tokens in the Maker ecosystem, leading to an unusually high price per token. Today, MKR sits at a price of around $600, still down from its all time high of $1,687.86 in January 2018 – but strong days could lay ahead as development continues on Maker’s digital ecosystem. As a smart contract platform on the Ethereum blockchain, Maker plays a crucial role in countless Ethereum functions. It backs the value of the stablecoin DAI using a series of collateralized debt positions (CDPs), autonomous feedback mechanisms, and incentivization systems. Maker sits in the top 30 cryptocurrencies by market cap – but it could see its strongest growth towards the end of 2020 as DeFi takes off.
A few years ago, everyone was talking about Monero (XMR) for privacy. Today, ZCash seems to be the preferred privacy-focused coin – although both ZEC and XMR continue to be popular for those who want the benefits of cryptocurrency with extra anonymity. ZEC is a decentralized, open source cryptocurrency launched in 2016. It’s like the ‘HTTPS’ to bitcoin’s ‘HTTP’, offering a more privacy-focused option for those who want extra anonymity. As any bitcoin user will tell you, bitcoin isn’t nearly as anonymous as people think. ZEC may be the better option. ZEC started the year in the $50 to $60 range before gradually dropping towards the $40 range. In the middle of 2020, ZEC is surging along with other top cryptocurrencies, rising as high as $100 in early August 2020.
Aave is an open source, non-custodial protocol enabling the creation of money markets. Users can earn interest on deposits and borrow assets through Aave and the LEND token. Aave and its LEND token aren’t as well-known as other top-ranked options on our list, but LEND is swiftly becoming a mainstream token. With a market cap nearing $500 million USD, LEND sits just outside the top 30 cryptocurrencies by market cap. After reaching its all time high in January 2018, LEND dwindled to near-obscurity during the Crypto Winter. Things changed sharply in 2020 for LEND, however, when the value surged from $0.009 (in January 2020) to $0.36 (in August 2020), making it one of the most impressive coins of 2020.
VeChain is another cryptocurrency that has been repeatedly making headlines throughout 2020. VeChain is an enterprise-level crypto platform backed by exciting blockchain technology. Perhaps the biggest draw to investors, however, is that VeChain has a surprisingly low correlation with bitcoin. Most other cryptocurrencies rise and fall simultaneously with bitcoin. VeChain works differently, rising and falling on its own with less correlation. That could make VET a valuable hedge against bitcoin volatility.
TRX is the digital currency used on the TRON blockchain. Developers aim to create a decentralized version of the internet based on the TRON blockchain, with TRX the digital currency used on that blockchain. TRON is already one of the largest blockchain-based operating systems in the world today, and it continues to scale to meet demand. As TRON usage rises, the value of TRX increases as well. TRX isn’t the best-known cryptocurrency or platform on this list, but it could provide powerful benefits to investors looking for a high-risk, high-reward pick. TRX has fluctuated between $0.15 and $0.25 throughout 2020.
Cardano is similar to Ethereum. Created in 2017 by one of the co-founders of Ethereum, Cardano lets developers create decentralized apps and smart contracts. Cardano is particularly focused on scalability and interoperability, two key concerns for any blockchain. Like ETH, ADA is the token used to access the Cardano platform. Banks can use ADA to reduce international payment times from a few days – to a few seconds. There’s potential for growth with Cardano, and investors are starting to realize that potential in 2020. ADA entered the year at a price of around $0.037 and now sits at $0.15 in August 2020.
Monero (XMR) has been a steady cryptocurrency for those who prize anonymity. It’s popular among lesser-regulated marketplaces on the internet (you know the ones I’m talking about). It continues to be nearly impossible to track. XMR, like most cryptocurrencies, has fallen since its all time high in January 2018. However, XMR hasn’t quite experienced the surge other cryptocurrencies have seen in summer 2020. XMR entered the year at a price of around $94 USD in January 2020 and currently sits around that same price in August 2020. That could mean significant future growth for Monero (XMR) hodlers.
Tezos is an open source platform offering secure, institutional-grade smart contracts. The goal of Tezos is to create an open source platform for assets and applications, securing that platform using an internationally distributed community of validators, researchers, and builders. For blockchain to take off, institutions need security and dependability. Tezos aims to offer that. As a Tezos token (XTZ) holder, you can participate in network upgrades by evaluating, proposing, or approving amendments. You can also bake or delegate XTZ tokens to help secure the network. Entering January 2020, XTZ was available for around $1.30. It rose as high as $3.53 in March 2020, sunk for the next few months, then rose again in summer 2020, nearing its year-over-year high in August 2020. It’s possible XTZ could enter the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap in the near future, making it one of the most exciting coins for investors.
Synthetix Network Token (SNX)
The Synthetix Network Token (SNX) has experienced a 2020 rise similar to Aave and its LEND token, suddenly skyrocketing to record highs after months of obscurity. With a market cap of $400 million USD, this DeFi superstar could have its brightest days ahead for investors. Synthetix is a derivatives liquidity protocol on Ethereum enabling the issuance and trading of synthetic assets. Those ‘synthetic assets’, also known as ‘Synths’, are ERC20 tokens that trace the price of an external asset. There’s an sUSD token to track the price of the USD, for example. Overall, it’s a smart contract infrastructure with incentivization systems built in, and it has huge potential for trading features like binary options, futures, and more. Psst: if you haven’t heard of SNX, then it’s okay: the project was formerly known as Havven.
Dai is a stablecoin built on the Maker protocol. It’s a decentralized, collateralized coin that could be the best and most secure stablecoin on the market. The Maker Protocol allows anyone, anywhere in the world to generate Dai. As long as you have collateral to stake, you can create Dai tokens. That gives the Dai stablecoin a greater level of security, transparency, and trust compared to other less transparent stablecoins (looking at you, Tether). Dai isn’t a coin that will skyrocket in value in a short timeframe. However, if you want to hedge your crypto portfolio, then the Dai stablecoin should hold its value with the USD.
Compound and its COMP token are among the rising superstars of the DeFi space. With a market cap around $350 million, COMP is ranked among the top 40 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Each COMP token is worth about $140 after launching at a price around $65 in June 2020. COMP is an ERC20 asset powering the governance of the Compound protocol. As a COMP token holder, you can debate, propose, and vote on changes to the Compound protocol. Compound is one of the most democratic ecosystems in the crypto space, and some argue it has the best governance mechanisms in a community that frequently struggles with governance issues.
Kyber Network (KNC)
Kyber Network and its KNC token have long been popular investments for those interested in the DeFi space. Today, KNC remains well below its January 2018 all time highs, although it has experienced significant growth in 2020 along with most other DeFi tokens on this list. KNC started the year at a price around $0.20 and now sits at $1.65 in August 2020, making it one of the fastest growing major cryptocurrencies of 2020. Kyber Network differentiates itself from others with an on-chain liquidity protocol that allows decentralized token swaps to be integrated into any application, enabling all parties in the ecosystem to exchange value.
0x (ZRX) is an open source protocol providing smart contract infrastructure and liquidity, allowing the on-chain, peer-to-peer exchange of Ethereum blockchain tokens. ZRX token holders can vote on improvements and features on the 0x protocol. As a ZRX token holder, you can also delegate ZRX to market maker staking pools, then earn protocol liquidity rewards (via ETH). That means you can earn a ROI on your ZRX stake while the coin increases in value. ZRX started 2020 at a price of around $0.20, rising to $0.40 in August 2020. It’s not the fastest rising token on this list, but it remains one of the most popular and best-known tokens in the DeFi space and crypto ecosystem.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
Bitcoin Cash has stabilized since its tumultuous early days, solidifying its position as a more transaction-friendly, scalable version of the bitcoin protocol. As of mid-2020, BCH has a market cap of around $5 billion USD, making it the 5th largest cryptocurrency in the world. While other cryptocurrencies listed here have experienced huge gains in 2020, BCH has had lackluster performance, which is why it sits so far down this list. Bitcoin Cash entered the year at a price around $200, rising as high as $500 in February 2020 before sinking to its current range around $300 in August 2020.
Bitcoin SV (BSV)
Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) started life as a controversial, hostile competitor to BCH. Today, the two coins have learned to live with each other, with each branching to achieve a different vision for bitcoin. Bitcoin SV remains slightly less valuable than BCH, although the two have occasionally switched positions since splitting in the November 2018 hard fork. As Bitcoin SV development continues, BSV becomes more and more usable – and that’s great news for BSV hodlers in 2020. BSV has had a similar 2020 to BCH, starting the year with a surge before settling into its current value around $240 in summer 2020.
EOS is one of the top 15 largest cryptocurrencies in the world today, currently sitting at a market cap of around $3 billion USD. The EOS token powers the EOSIO blockchain, a decentralized system designed for enterprise use. Launched in May 2017 amidst significant hype, EOS has settled into its position and smoothed out development hiccups along the way. Like many other blockchains on this list, EOS’s brightest days could lie ahead. EOS entered the year at a price of around $2.50 in January 2020 and sits just slightly above that range at $3 in August 2020.
Final Word: Where Does Crypto Go Next in 2020?
2020 has already been an exciting year for cryptocurrency – and yet much of this development has been outside of mainstream media attention.
While the crypto community is excited for DeFi coins and Ethereum 2.0, we haven’t seen 2017 levels of hype among traditional media. Once mainstream media jumps on board, we could see record-breaking highs for some of the hottest cryptocurrencies of 2020 listed above.