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Cryptocurrencies had a huge year in 2021.Digital assets are gaining mainstream exposure, and crypto has earned investors tons of gains… if they looked in the right places.From Bitcoin (CCC: BTC-USD ) gaining nearly $40,000 this year and Shiba Inu (CCC: SHIB-USD ) proving that pupcoins are more than a meme, there hasn’t been a dull moment.But things are just getting started.Investors are seeking out cryptos to buy for an equally busy 2022.
So where should you be looking?
In the past year, several different themes have come in waves in the crypto world.Store-of-value coins like Bitcoin ruled early 2021.Pupcoins became a point of interest in the wake of Dogecoin’s (CCC: DOGE-USD ) growth, followed by tokens like Shiba Inu.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) saw great intrigue — and great confusion — from those looking to cash out on digital art.
And now, as we cap off the year, the metaverse has taken a position in the spotlight, grabbing interest in the wake of Facebook’s rebrand to Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: FB ).
What does this mean in practice? If you want to have a really strong crypto portfolio, you must diversify the coins and tokens you hold.Choosing leaders in each of these spaces is sure to help bolster your holdings throughout the next year.
Without further ado, here are some of the best cryptos to buy for 2022:
Ethereum (CCC: ETH-USD ) Decentraland (CCC: MANA-USD ) Solana (CCC: SOL-USD ) Uniswap (CCC: UNI-USD ) Bitcoin (CCC: BTC-USD )
Best Cryptos to Buy in 2022: Ethereum (ETH-USD) Source: Shutterstock
Ethereum is an easy bet for success in 2022 for so many reasons.
To begin with, it’s got a massive market capitalization, making it one of the safer investments in the space.In other words, its high market cap means it’s reputable and has a lot of money to work with.
And given the road map for Ethereum for the next year, it’s hard to say ETH isn’t one of the best cryptos to buy for 2022.
As far as NFT cryptos go, Ethereum is the cream of the crop.The network serves as home base to nearly the entire NFT industry, with 97% of total NFT sales occurring on its network.In a market of dozens of large blockchain networks with smart contract capabilities, that market share is jaw-dropping.And seeing as the NFT industry is only getting hotter, Ethereum is an easy pick to turn to in order to cash in.
Beyond what’s trendy, there’s also the fact that Ethereum is so robust.
It has thousands of decentralized applications (DApps), and an increasing amount of developers are looking to launch their projects on Ethereum.That’s because in addition to the massive web of products, it also has the largest active user base of any blockchain network.
Even more so, the Ethereum network is pushing forward on a huge overhaul over the next year.
The Merge upgrade will see many changes which users have been begging for, and it’s set to launch in 2022.The Merge will combine Ethereum with its so-called beacon chain.The beacon is a side chain which holds all of the upgrades developers want to make.Among other big updates, the Merge will see the network shift its consensus algorithm from proof of work to proof of stake, vastly cutting down on energy consumption.
As ubiquitous as Ethereum is, you don’t have to worry about looking hard to find where to buy it.The coin is available on any exchange worth its salt.Some of the most popular exchanges for it are Binance (CCC: BNB-USD ), FTX , Coinbase (NASDAQ: COIN ) and KuCoin (CCC: KCS-USD ).
Decentraland (MANA-USD) Source: shutterstock.com/Piotr Swat
Decentraland’s MANA token is already having a great 2021.
The metaverse is finally coming into mainstream interest after the project spent four years building out its product.
Now, 2022 looks like it will be the year of virtual reality, and Decentraland is set to lead the pack.
The metaverse is certainly not a new thing.Virtual reality hangouts are becoming a serious interest in the wake of Facebook’s Meta rebrand.With one of the largest tech companies in the world going all in on this niche, investors figure there must really be some substance and potential there.
However, some consumers (and investors) are fed up with Meta’s handling of private information.As such, those perking up at the idea of the metaverse are turning to decentralized options that promise a product driven by the user.
With a decentralized metaverse, users are given governance power; they can vote on the changes which they would like to see and control the rules and regulations of the space themselves.
Decentraland is a place where these users can keep their personal freedoms and have a space that’s truly theirs.Users can go anywhere they want in the metaverse, play games, hang out with friends and even go to virtual live events.They can also passively earn income by minting NFTs on the network and selling them.As the metaverse continues to grow in 2022, Decentraland’s MANA will be at the front of the pack, already in the top 25 cryptos by market cap.
If you’d like to get in on MANA before it heats up even more, there are plenty of options.
Most popularly, users trade the token on Binance, Coinbase, Huobi Global and KuCoin.
Best Cryptos to Buy in 2022: Solana (SOL-USD) Source: Shutterstock
Solana is a hit among investors who are looking for the next big thing.The network is considered a rival to Ethereum and it is making a case to be a worthy opponent of the monolithic project.Its foray into NFTs and its massive gains have helped prove its worth.And, as more users come to blockchain tech, its scalability will be quite appealing.
Indeed, Solana prides itself on its massive scalability.This scalability draws a glaring difference between Solana and Ethereum.As of right now, Ethereum can only process a few dozens transactions per second .While it works to remedy this with its Merge overhaul, Solana is presenting an immediate alternative.According to developers, Solana is capable of handling 50,000 transactions per second .
There are a whopping 68 million crypto hardware wallets right now — a number which helps to pin down the number of network users.
Additionally, developers expect this figure to grow massively through the next year and beyond.Indeed, more and more networks are making their services mobile friendly, which will drive more widespread adoption.
If this holds true, transactions will spike in volume and networks like Solana will be crucial to accommodating the growth.
Solana is also a dark horse contender in the struggle for NFT market share.But, it’s showing itself to be a suitable adversary of Ethereum.The launch of the Solana Apes NFTs in August saw 10,000 tokens sell out in mere minutes.The event put Solana on the map.More importantly, it helped Solana start to slowly lift market share from Ethereum .
Those looking to buy SOL needn’t look outside of the biggest exchanges.The coin is for sale on Huobi, Binance, Coinbase and FTX.
Uniswap (UNI-USD) Source: Shutterstock
Uniswap is a candidate for the next crypto to blow in 2022 due in large part to increasing interest in DeFi.
Finance can be a very tricky thing; many people want to passively earn income on their existing assets, but they want access to those assets in the process.
Some people can’t even open a bank account due to personal circumstances, keeping them from having a chance to earn.And some people simply don’t like the red tape and fees associated with traditional banking.
Well, Uniswap is presenting investors with a way to circumvent traditional banking in favor of something more independent — and oftentimes even more lucrative.As a DeFi protocol, Uniswap allows users to earn passive income on their crypto assets.When one loads their assets onto the Uniswap protocol, they can stake their coins and tokens for passive rewards; these oftentimes garner a higher annual percentage yield than a traditional savings account.Moreover, users can withdraw their funds any time they want.This allows the protocol to work with the user’s schedule, not the other way around.
The Uniswap decentralized exchange (DEX) is what the protocol is best known for.It is an automated market maker (AMM), meaning it algorithmically matches buyers and sellers to ensure liquidity.It also doesn’t need a custodian like a centralized exchange would require to facilitate trades.
This is a nice feature for those who focus on the security of their assets, as storing crypto with a custodian can come with risks.
One of the most appealing factors driving investors toward Uniswap is the protocol’s willingness to change and adapt to the desires of its users.Since its exchange’s launch in 2018, the protocol has upgraded twice.The Uniswap v3 launch occurred in May 2021, and saw implementation of a concentrated liquidity offering, which both increases the efficiency of trade execution while also minting unique NFTs for liquidity providers.
Of course, you can buy the UNI token on the Uniswap DEX itself.However, if you don’t have any existing crypto holdings, you’ll need to first buy a stablecoin somewhere else.
This is because DEXs don’t allow fiat trading.As an alternative, you can also buy UNI on Binance, Huobi, Coinbase or FTX.
Best Cryptos to Buy in 2022: Bitcoin (BTC-USD) Source: Momentum Fotograh / Shutterstock.com
Did you really think Bitcoin wouldn’t be on the list of the best cryptos to buy for 2022? Of course it is.Although it’s been around for over a decade, it’s just getting started with some of the most unprecedented gains.Indeed, the demand for Bitcoin alone is enough to warrant adding the currency to your portfolio.
Even more importantly, the crypto is a gauge of the industry as a whole, making or breaking nearly every other asset on the market.
BTC is far and away the largest asset at the disposal of a crypto investor.Bitcoin’s market cap actually accounts for about 40% of the entire industry’s .
As such, it’s not so much a weather vane for the market, but rather a steering wheel.If Bitcoin is on the rise, one can count on the crypto class being relatively bullish.But if Bitcoin is down, all bets are off.We’ve seen just that over the summer, when Bitcoin values tanked and brought almost every digital currency down with it.
When you put money in Bitcoin, you are putting money on the success of the entire industry.Not to mention, Bitcoin has delivered wild gains.
This year alone, the coin rocketed from under $30,000 to just under $70,000.It doesn’t look like it’s slowing down, either.
In fact, many analysts are expecting BTC to rise to astonishing levels .
Bitcoin is available anywhere and everywhere, you can even buy it at a physical Bitcoin ATM.Less adventurous options include Binance, Huobi, FTX, Coinbase or KuCoin.
On the date of publication, Brenden Rearick did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines .
The post The Top 5 Cryptos to Buy for 2022… And Where to Buy Them appeared first on InvestorPlace .
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc..