The top five cryptocurrencies to invest in for 2022

• Updated

From the metaverse to governance tokens, here are five coins that show potential for this year

Cryptocurrency logos on physical coins                                 
We pick five top contenders for the best cryptocurrency to invest in this year – Photo: Shutterstock
                                

As always, there were winners and losers in the cryptocurrency space last year. The winners celebrated their latest all-time highs, but do their successes offer any clues to the top cryptocurrency to invest in during 2022?

The celebrations from November’s flurry of all-time highs have not lasted long, as the market has recently taken a turn for the worse. When looking to the future, there are many factors that can influence a coin’s success, whether that’s the scalability of its blockchain or its circulating supply – yet wider economic factors have proved to be most influential this year.

In Currency.com’s video, we look at the best cryptocurrencies to invest in across 2022 – those that have the potential to be the next big hit.

John Dough, Currency.com’s own crypto expert and YouTube presenter, said: “The deciding factor for the list was mostly utility for the cryptos. I figured giving people a list of cryptocurrencies that have use cases is best, because it’s been proven that utility is one of the most important factors in crypto.”

From powering domain names to a metaverse, here are the top five cryptocurrencies to watch in 2022, all of which have demonstrated utility to the crypto community.

Solana

The Solana blockchain and cryptocurrency logo
With its low fees and high transaction speeds, Solana was designed to be a scalable blockchain – Photo: Shutterstock

Solana was launched in 2020, and is designed to solve the problems facing its rival Ethereum. The new blockchain was built as a scalable, user-friendly alternative for app creation, and its low fees and high transaction speeds appear to be making it a compelling project for investors and developers.

As crypto users and developers discovered Solana’s blockchain, the adoption grew quickly. It was called the best-performing blockchain in 2021, and John Dough suggests it might be a top cryptocurrency to invest in as many are migrating to it. “I think mostly people migrated to Solana because they were looking for faster and cheaper transactions,” he said.

Although Solana was built to be scalable, it did suffer a major hiccup: in September 2021, the Solana blockchain went down for 17 hours. An official statement said the cause of this was a “denial of service attack”.

The attack saw bots flood the network, which was too much for Solana to handle and it was unable to create new blocks. After 17 hours, Solana was back up and running, with transactions continuing to be processed as normal.

Despite the outage, the price of Solana (SOL) saw a bullish trend between August and December 2021. SOL, the native cryptocurrency, launched last year below $1. It started climbing in 2021, passing above $100 in August. It hit its all-time high of $260 on 6 November, but has since proven vulnerable to the bearish market and as of 5 May 2022 is sitting at $87. 

Dough suggested that as the blockchain continues to build its user base, the price would see another rally. He said if the crypto markets were healthy, SOL could push up to 10 times its current price, bringing it towards the $2,000 mark.

However, SOL has already experienced seven outages in 2022, according to FTX Street. This constant unreliability may halt its adoption by crypto users. The blockchain has recently undergone a major update, the primary purpose of which is to stop these outages. While this has seen a minor rally for SOL, it still has plenty of trust to regain.

Solana has the potential to be a widely used blockchain and cryptocurrency, with its app-creation capabilities, low fees and high transaction speeds a compelling reason to buy. But as Dough points out, the blockchain still has a lot of bugs and it does not have what it takes to compete fully with Ethereum’s secure network just yet.

Ethereum Name Service

Ethereum Name Service (ENS) is a utility and governance token that was launched only last month. As its name suggests, it is a protocol and token that runs on the Ethereum blockchain.

Currently, wallet addresses are long strings of numbers, which are difficult to remember, let alone share with other users. ENS enables users to name their wallets, to make this process easier. For example, you could register the ENS domain cryptotrader.eth or currency.eth. Users will be able to send crypto to that address or vice versa. The aim of ENS is to make the transaction process much easier.

Dough has already encountered the problem ENS is solving. He said: “I’ve seen a lot of people make mistakes with their wallet address and end up losing quite a bit of money. Now, with ENS domain as your wallet, you can avoid that.”

This has the potential to flourish in our social media-driven society. We use customised usernames for most platforms, whether that is an email address, Instagram login or Amazon account. Platforms such as Venmo and PayPal already offer the ability to send people money using just a username – ENS is bringing this solution to the crypto community.

We’ve already seen the boom in the website domain market, and Dough argues such utility could bring value to the token. The ENS is a governance token, which will allow holders to make decisions on the network’s protocol. This “translates to a bullish outlook,” according to Dough, as those decisions will evolve the crypto space.

The token peaked at $85.69 on 11 November and is currently in a correction phase, hovering at the $21 level. Dough predicted last year that ENS could skyrocket to $500 in 2022 and reach the top 20 cryptocurrencies.

However, the bear market has taken a toll on the ENS token. It stooped to its all-time low of $7.40 on 14 June 2022.

The future of the token depends on the adoption of ENS domains. If the market is not as developed as it is for website domains, the price of ENS could struggle next year.

Mana

The Mana logo with an astronaut
Mana is a utility token for the Decentraland metaverse – Photo: Alamy

Mana shot up in popularity and price in 2021. Many technology companies have announced plans to enter the metaverse industry, providing a form of virtual reality for their users. While companies like Microsoft and Facebook are developing the software, Ethereum-based project Decentraland has already created a functioning metaverse, making its native coin Mana a contender for the top cryptocurrency to invest in.

Decentraland is a virtual reality platform that has created an online world for its users, where they can buy land and avatars, and show off non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This project is truly innovative, as it has included many of the features that other potential metaverses are looking to include. Users can play games, create items and socialise in the virtual reality world.

Mana is mainly used for the transactions involved in the virtual world. The token launched in 2017 at $0.02, and it only passed the $1 mark at the beginning of 2021. Since Facebook’s rebrand to Meta, the price of mana saw a bullish trend and came close to $6 in November 2021. The hype seemed to crumble in 2022 as it has fallen below $1.

Dough suggested that last year’s breakout was just the beginning, and that mana could reach $100 in 2022. If it passes this milestone, mana could climb even further, potentially reaching the cryptocurrency top 10, according to Dough.

Mana does come with its risks as well. There was a lot of hype around metaverse projects in November 2021 after the Facebook rebrand. But the novelty of the exciting new technology looks as if it’s wearing off, with the price of mana being pulled down.

If it proves to be more than just a trend, Decentraland will face another problem: stiff competition. With giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Disney and Epic Games investing in the space, Decentraland could struggle to stand out from the crowd and its cryptocurrency could plunge as a result.

YooShi

Unlike Decentraland, YooShi is a relatively unknown project in the crypto sphere. But the blockchain-based project incorporates many of the key trends in the crypto industry right now, including NFTs, gaming and staking.

Its native cryptocurrency is not a meme coin, as its logo might suggest. The token is based on the Binance Smart Chain and has many uses on the YooShi platform. Users can purchase NFTs with it, or invest it in liquidity pools. Currently, there are more than 400,000 holders of YooShi.

YooShi has made a lot of announcements recently, including hiring Chikyu Bae, former chief executive of Samsung Games. Bae will be the chief executive of YooShi Labs. In a tweet, YooShi said: “Labs is an independent game incubator in the WEB3.0 era, providing game developers with completed game design system and technical support.”

Yooshi only launched last May at $0.00000006. Although it struggled to get past its launch price for most of the year, the last few months of the year saw it climb significantly, and it reached its all-time high on 30 October 2021 at $0.000004. It has since fallen slightly, and as of 27 June 2022, the yooshi coin has fallen back to $0.00000009. 

Dough expects YooShi’s user base and community to grow in 2022. He says the project is one to keep an eye out for and could be the top cryptocurrency to invest in this year. But YooShi is prone to similar problems to Decentraland.

There is already a lot of competition in the crypto gaming and NFT space: Axie Infinity, for instance, is a play-to-earn NFT game that has seen much success this year. Only time will tell if YooShi can reach similar heights.

Ethereum

The Ethereum logo in blue and purple
Ethereum is changing its protocol to proof of stake next year – Photo: Shutterstock

No top cryptocurrency list would be complete without Ethereum, one of the first and largest coins out there. It has proven its relevance time and time again in the crypto sphere.

The Ethereum blockchain was designed to be a supercomputer of sorts, allowing developers to create apps and smart contracts. Dough argues that, as adoption of cryptocurrencies continues to grow, so will Ethereum adoption.

He said: “If you look at the utility of crypto, DeFi, NFTs, metaverse – all of that is mostly built around Ethereum. That shows you just how powerful the Ethereum network is, and the potential it has for a mass adoption.”

2022 is set to be an eventful year for Ethereum, as it plans on changing from a proof-of-work protocol to proof-of-stake. The network is hoping this will solve the problems of high fees, scalability problems and environmental impact that the blockchain has right now.

Ethereum’s native cryptocurrency ether (ETH) launched below $1 in August 2015, and within 12 months it had passed $10. Despite bumps along the way, Ethereum continued this bullish trend and hit its all-time high of $4,891 in November 2021. Ethereum was extremely vulnerable to the recent crypto crash and  has since lost almost half of these gains, with ether priced at $1,215 at the time of writing on 27 June 2022. 

Dough predicts adoption rates of the Ethereum blockchain will grow, along with the cryptocurrency’s price. He says we could see ether reach $10,000 in 2022, a level which could potentially see it surpass bitcoin’s market capitalisation.

The recent bearish market has not been kind to either cryptocurrency, however, so Ethereum could struggle to reach that level this year.

None of the alternatives to Ethereum have proved to be as secure or reliable. But other blockchains have popped up offering a more scalable network, such as Solana. Ethereum’s new update could change this, but that’s something that remains to be seen.

What’s in store for 2022?

The bearish market we’ve seen so far this year has not dampened every investor’s spirits, with some experts still giving optimistic forecasts. This year is also set to be an exciting one for cryptocurrency, with many key trends taking centre-stage in the blockchain world right now.

Although we have highlighted our top cryptocurrencies to invest in for 2022, there are many other coins that could see success next year. Dogecoin and litecoin were top contenders but did not make Dough’s list. He said litecoin was “slacking in 2021” and will redeem itself in the new year. He also argued that the meme industry will continue to grow, potentially reaching the same heights as decentralised finance.

All of the above coins may show promise of being the best cryptocurrency to invest in, but do remember that none of them is guaranteed to see success this year. The crypto market is volatile and has recently proven that a crash or two is always possible. 

Remember, you should always do your own research before investing any money, and never put in more than you can afford to lose.

FAQs

It could be. The cryptocurrency market is very volatile, and some coins might see bullish runs that flip into bearish trends.

For example, the price of bitcoin has almost doubled in 2021. But it is still prone to volatility, as bitcoin has recently crashed in price. Remember, you should never invest more than you can afford to lose.

You can invest in a range of cryptocurrencies along with tokenised assets on Currency.com’s trading platform. Investors can also purchase cryptocurrencies using exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase and Crypto.com.

Remember, you should always do your own research before choosing an exchange and investing.

Further reading

The material provided on this website is for information purposes only and should not be regarded as investment research or investment advice. Any opinion that may be provided on this page is a subjective point of view of the author and does not constitute a recommendation by Currency Com Bel LLC or its partners. We do not make any endorsements or warranty on the accuracy or completeness of the information that is provided on this page. By relying on the information on this page, you acknowledge that you are acting knowingly and independently and that you accept all the risks involved.
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