Top 10 Cryptocurrencies In December 2022 – Forbes Advisor UK – Forbes

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Published: Dec 12, 2022, 10:45am
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From Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, making it overwhelming when you’re first getting started in the world of crypto. 
To help you get your bearings, these are the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on their market capitalisation – the total value of all the coins currently in circulation.
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset that can circulate without the centralised authority of a bank or government.  
To date, there are 21,910 cryptocurrency projects out there that represent the entire £697 billion crypto market.
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Cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.
Created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin (BTC) is the original cryptocurrency. As with most cryptocurrencies, BTC runs on a blockchain, or a ledger logging transactions distributed across a network of thousands of computers. Because additions to the distributed ledgers must be verified by solving a cryptographic puzzle, a process called proof of work, Bitcoin is kept secure and safe from fraudsters.
Bitcoin’s price has skyrocketed as it’s become a household name. In May 2016, you could buy one Bitcoin for about £370. As of 2 December 2022, a single Bitcoin’s price was around £13,820. That’s a growth of 3,635%.
Both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, Ethereum is a favorite of program developers because of its potential applications, like so-called smart contracts that automatically execute when conditions are met and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ethereum has also experienced tremendous growth. From April 2016 to the end of December 2022, its price went from about £8 to around £1,045, increasing approximately 12,963%.
Unlike some other forms of cryptocurrency, Tether (USDT) is a stablecoin, meaning it’s backed by fiat currencies like U.S. dollars and the Euro and hypothetically keeps a value equal to one of those denominations. In theory, this means Tether’s value is supposed to be more consistent than other cryptocurrencies, and it’s favored by investors who are wary of the extreme volatility of other coins.
Binance Coin (BNB) is a form of cryptocurrency that you can use to trade and pay fees on Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world. Since its launch in 2017, Binance Coin has expanded past merely facilitating trades on Binance’s exchange platform. Now, it can be used for trading, payment processing or even booking travel arrangements. It can also be traded or exchanged for other forms of cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.
In 2017 it was priced under 10p. By December 2022, its price had risen to around £236.
Like Tether, USD Coin (USDC) is a stablecoin, meaning it’s backed by U.S. dollars and aims for a 1 USD to 1 USDC ratio. USDC is powered by Ethereum, and you can use USD Coin to complete global transactions.
Binance USD (BUSD) is a stablecoin that Paxos and Binance founded to create a cryptocurrency backed by the U.S. dollar. To maintain this value, Paxos holds an amount of U.S. dollars equal to the total supply of BUSD. As with other stablecoins, BUSD gives traders and crypto users the ability to engage in transactions with other crypto assets while minimising the risk of volatility.
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 £0.004. As of 2 December 2022, its price reached around £0.32, equal to a rise of approximately 7,900%.
Dogecoin was famously started as a joke in 2013 but rapidly evolved into a prominent cryptocurrency thanks to a dedicated community and creative memes. Unlike many other cryptos, there is no limit 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 £0.00016. By December 2022, its price was at £0.08, up approximately 50,000%.
Somewhat later to the crypto scene, Cardano (ADA) 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 in platforms like Bitcoin. Cardano also works like Ethereum to enable smart contracts and decentralised applications, which ADA, its native coin, powers.
Cardano’s ADA token has had relatively modest growth compared to other major crypto coins. In 2017, ADA’s price was about 1.5p. As of 2 December 2022, its price was at £0.26. This is an increase of around 73%.
Founded in 2017, Polygon—formerly known as Matic Network—is a relatively popular crypto. It’s dubbed “Ethereum’s internet of blockchains.” Maybe that’s why MATIC supports more than 7,000 decentralised applications (dApps).
Polygon has also experienced tremendous growth since its first launch. Today MATIC trades at £0.75.
*Market caps and pricing sourced from coinmarketcap.com, current as of 2 December, 2022.
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Cryptoassets are highly volatile and unregulated in the UK. No consumer protection. Tax on profits may apply.
Cryptocurrency is a form of currency that exists solely in digital form. Cryptocurrency can be used to pay for purchases online without going through an intermediary, such as a bank, or it can be held as an investment.
While you can invest in cryptocurrencies, they differ a great deal from traditional investments, such as stocks and shares. When you buy stock, you are buying a share of ownership of a company, which means you’re entitled to do things like vote on the direction of the company. If that company goes bankrupt, you also may receive some compensation once its creditors have been paid from its liquidated assets.
Buying cryptocurrency doesn’t grant you ownership over anything except the token itself; it’s more like exchanging one form of currency for another. If the crypto loses its value, you won’t receive anything after the fact.
There are several other key differences to keep in mind:
If you buy and sell coins, it’s important to pay attention to cryptocurrency tax rules.
Cryptocurrency is treated as a capital asset, like stocks, rather than cash. That means if you sell cryptocurrency at a profit, you’ll have to pay capital gains taxes. This is the case even if you use your crypto to pay for a purchase. If you receive a greater value for it than you paid, you’ll owe taxes on the difference.
Given the thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence (and the high volatility associated with most of them), it’s understandable you might want to take a diversified approach to investing in crypto to minimise the risk you lose money.
Cryptocurrency ETFs started to make an appearance at the end of 2021.
You can buy cryptocurrencies through crypto exchanges, such as Coinbase, Kraken or Gemini.
Staff writer Mark Hooson has been a journalist within the personal finance, consumer affairs and fraud sectors for more than 10 years. He is also Forbes Advisor UK’s resident tech expert. Mark says he thrives on making ‘complicated and dry topics easier to digest’.
I am the UK editor for Forbes Advisor. I have been writing about all aspects of household finance for over 30 years, aiming to provide information that will help readers make good choices with their money. The financial world can be complex and challenging, so I’m always striving to make it as accessible, manageable and rewarding as possible.

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