We thought last year was a big year for crypto, but 2021 has turned out to be even wilder. From heightened bull runs to celebrity tweets to upgrade launches, 2021 has already proven to be one for the books (and we’re only halfway through). In this article, we’re exploring the top 5 fastest growing cryptocurrencies in 2021 that are definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Cardano (ADA) - 1,600% Gains

Considered by many to be a rival to the Ethereum network, Cardano is a proof of stake platform on which developers can create blockchain-based applications. The platform is described as being an “evidence-based blockchain” due to it going through rigorous academic testing before any upgrades are made to the network.

While Cardano offers similar functionality to Ethereum, it operates differently and has the central goal of changing the world for the better. Shortly after launching in 2017, the cryptocurrency’s market cap grew from $600 million to $10 billion in a matter of months. Today the company is valued at $44 billion and has edged its way into the top 5 biggest cryptocurrencies based on market cap.

Opening the year at $0.17, ADA is now worth $2.90 (at the time of writing), showing growth so far this year of 16x. The cryptocurrency’s all time high is $3.80, recorded on the 2 September, after breaking through several all time highs throughout the year.

Ethereum (ETH) - 440% gains

A predictable addition to the list, Ethereum has earned its spot here due to several network upgrades and a continuously booming DeFi industry. The second largest cryptocurrency has seen several all time highs achieved this year, and we’re only half way through. With the goal of decentralizing the internet, Ethereum continues to provide developers with a platform on which many successful dapps have been built.

As Ethereum transitions from a proof of work consensus to a proof of stake consensus, the network upgrades that are implemented along the way have caused not only price increases but far-reaching media attention. Bitcoin might be the biggest cryptocurrency but Ethereum might end up being the most versatile.

Reaching a high of $4,362.35 on 12 May 2021, Ethereum is now trading just above $3,939. Opening the year trading at $730, the network illustrates a 440% gain since the beginning of the year.

Polkadot (DOT) - 275% Gains

Coming in behind Ethereum, Polkadot is a network built to enable the cross-chain transfer of assets and data, allowing blockchain networks to become interoperable with each other. The platform is designed to create a fully decentralized and private web that allows each network to be controlled individually but able to exchange information easily, simplifying the process of creating new applications, services and even institutions.

The platform is sharded multichain network, which means that it is able to process numerous transactions on several parallel chains at once, allowing for large amounts of scalability. Created by an Ethereum co-founder, Polkadot also empowers developers in the creation of dapps, however, with Polkadot these dapps can communicate with other blockchains.

Opening trade at the beginning of 2021 at $9.14, the cryptocurrency hit its all time high of $49.69 on 15 May, before correcting to $34.31 at the time of writing. From the beginning of the year, DOT has increased 275% in value.

Chainlink has been poised to be the bridge between the blockchain and the “outside” world due to its ability to connect real world data with smart contracts. Through an oracle network, the platform facilitates the integrations of external data feeds, events and payment methods with complex smart contracts. Chainlink is a pioneer in this space and remains one of the first platforms to do this.

The network is used widely across DeFi applications as it sources data that feeds information to the apps. It was also integrated with Google’s data analytics platform, BigQuery.

Opening this year at $11.87 and now trading at $34.46 (at the time of writing), the platform has seen considerable growth. LINK achieved its all time high in May this year when it hit $52.88 (showing 345% gains in just 5 months). The cryptocurrency has increased 190% in 2021 so far.

Bitcoin (BTC) - 144% Gains

Last but not least, and by far the most reported on, Bitcoin has seen unprecedented growth this year. As the first cryptocurrency to come into existence, Bitcoin still dominates the markets and holds the largest value. The cryptocurrency is still a firm favourite amongst new and seasoned investors and is by far the most widely accepted digital currency. While 2020 saw Bitcoin undergo a wave of institutional investment, 2021 saw the cryptocurrency rise to higher highs than ever seen before.

Opening the year at $21,148, Bitcoin steadily increased (with several falls along the way) to its new all-time high of $64,863.10 on 14 April. After a massive sell-off, the cryptocurrency is now trading at $51,779 (at the time of writing). This year the cryptocurrency has increased 144% in value, 400% year-to-date.

As the face of cryptocurrency, Bitcoin remains one of the fastest growing digital assets of 2021, and the most popular.

Crypto Innovation Meets Crypto Growth

As the blockchain world continues developing and these cryptocurrencies above come (more) into their power, the limitless potential of a decentralized becomes more evident. These top 5 fastest growing cryptocurrencies all possess highly beneficial use cases and have proven to become valuable parts of the ecosystem as a whole. If you’d like to tap into their potential you can onboard them via credit or debit card through the Oobit platform, a streamlined and secure crypto exchange that allows for short and long term storage.