11 Best Altcoins to Invest In for 2024

Will altcoins surge in 2024? If so, these alternatives to bitcoin (BTC) may lead the pack: Ether (ETH), Solana (SOL), Avalanche (AVAX), Cardano (ADA), Chainlink (LINK), Polkadot (DOT), and more!

Written by: Anatol Antonovici   |  Updated January 31, 2024

Reviewed by: Mike Martin

Fact checked by: Ryan Grace

altcoins

Altcoins refer to all cryptocurrencies that are not bitcoin (BTC). In this article, we review the top 11 altcoins to watch in 2024.

Table of Contents

🍒 tasty takeaways

  • Altcoins are all cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin. Together, they account for 48% of the crypto market cap.

  • Ethereum is the largest and most important altcoin, as it powers many tokens and decentralized applications and dominates the decentralized finance space (DeFi).

  • Altcoins tend to follow the price of Bitcoin – when altcoins outperform BTC, this is commonly referred to as an ‘altcoin season.’

  • To invest in many of the tokens on our list, you’ll need a self-custody crypto wallet. tastycrypto offers self-custody wallets in the form of mobile apps and a browser extension.

Summary

Full Name Symbol Market Cap TVL
Ethereum ETH $282 B $32.7 B
Solana SOL $44 B $1.15 B
Avalanche AVAX $13 B $938 M
Cardano ADA $18 B $379 M
Chainlink LINK $8.85 B $18 B
Polkadot DOT $8.67 B N/A
Polygon MATIC $7.70 B $923 M
Dogecoin DOGE $11 B $3.6 M
Cosmos ATOM $3.54 B N/A
Near Protocol NEAR $2.95 B $55 M
ORDI ORDI $1.29 B N/A

Altcoins in 2024: Overview

  • Altcoins are currently strong but may follow Bitcoin’s lead into 2024.
  • Bitcoin’s gains and upcoming events are central to crypto market trends.
  • Binance’s settlement and the Altcoin Season Index at 39 suggest a softer altcoin season.

     

Altcoins have shown significant strength this year and seem poised to extend their gains into 2024. However, it’s worth noting that Bitcoin’s surge has been a key factor in the latest cryptocurrency rally. As Bitcoin (BTC) continues to lead by market cap, it’s expected to sustain its market dominance into the next year, potentially influencing the trajectory of altcoins.

Altcoin Season

An altcoin season is typically identified when 75% of the top 50 altcoins by market cap outperform Bitcoin over a 90-day period. This scenario is becoming less likely. 

Bitcoin’s upcoming halving event and the anticipation of a potential first Bitcoin spot ETF approval by the SEC are major focuses for its investors. Additionally, the situation with Binance agreeing to a settlement over money laundering charges could also affect market dynamics, potentially diverting attention and investment back toward Bitcoin.

As of today, the Altcoin Season Index is at 39. The closest the index came to reaching the 75 mark was at the end of September.

What Altcoins Should You Watch in 2024?

The altcoin spectrum is very diverse. Here are a few significant categories to pay attention to:

  • Smart contract projectsblockchains offering the smart contract feature will continue to be in high demand as they host decentralized applications (dapps) and empower the Web3 revolution. Think about Ethereum, Solana, and Avalanche here. 

  • DeFi projects – while the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector has corrected from its 2021 peak, it’s still a $55 billion market and has matured. While we don’t list many DeFi coins here, you should still watch the native tokens of Uniswap (UNI), Aave (AAVE), and Lido (LIDO).  Read about the best DeFi tokens for 2024.

  • Scalability and interoperability projects – the transition to Web3 is intensifying, driving the demand for scalability and cross-chain communication. Polygon, Polkadot, and Arbitrum may be winners next year.

  • Specialized projects – there are specialized projects with a narrow niche, which means less competition. For example, Chainlink (LINK) is the largest oracle network and Bitcoin ordinals underpin Ordi (ORDI).

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Top Altcoins: Chart Comparison

The below chart compares the 11 altcoins on our list. Click to enlarge. 

Source: TradingView

Best Crypto Altcoins for 2024

Here are the best crypto altcoins that may continue to thrive well into 2024:

1. Ethereum (ETH)

  • Symbol: ETH
  • Total Value Locked: $32.7 billion
  • Market Cap Rank:  2

Ether (ETH) is still the king of altcoins, as it dominates the DeFi ecosystem and acts as the underlying blockchain network for thousands of tokens. Here’s how coins differ from tokens

After transitioning from its Proof of Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to the more scalable Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm, Ethereum can support a higher throughput without risking congestion and increasing fees.

Today, ether is a $270 billion market. If Web3 continues to grow, so will the value of this #1 altcoin. 

🍒 How To Stake Ethereum (ETH): 5 Best Ways

2. Solana (SOL)

  • Symbol: SOL
  • Total Value Locked: $1.15 billion 
  • Market Cap Rank: 6

Solana is a popular PoS chain that has been built for scalability and high-speed transactions. Similar to Ethereum and other PoS chains, Solana provides support for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and DeFi.

Solana’s transactions per second (tps) figure peaked at 65,000 during testing, and the average cost per transaction is only $0.00025.

SOL is currently the sixth-largest cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of $27 billion.

3. Avalanche (AVAX)

  • Symbol: AVAX
  • Total Value Locked: $938 million
  • Market Cap Rank: 10

Avalanche is another popular layer 1 chain offering the smart contract feature. To achieve compatibility with Ethereum, it uses the same programming language – Solidity.

Avalanche has a more complex architecture that comprises three separate chains:

  • X-Chain is the mainnet, and it hosts the native AVAX coin.
  • C-Chain supports smart contracts and is compatible with the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM).
  • P-Chain coordinates validators and enables the development of subnets.

     

Solana and Avalanche are competitors of Ethereum as they offer many of the same features.

Source: Defillama

4. Cardano (ADA)

  • Symbol: ADA
  • Total Value Locked: $379 million
  • Market Cap Rank: 8

Cardano has been touted as the Ethereum killer, although it has failed to secure a significant share in DeFi. However, it has an extensive roadmap structured in eras, and 2024 will see the final phase – Voltaire – improving its governance and self-sustainability.

ADA has had a difficult 2023, but it may revive next year if it manages to expand its ecosystem.

🍒 Earn extra income on your ADA by staking it! Here’s how.

5. Chainlink (LINK)

  • Symbol: LINK
  • Total Value Locked: $18 billion
  • Market Cap Rank: 12

Chainlink remains the largest decentralized oracle network. Oracles play a crucial role in facilitating communication between blockchains and the real world, as well as among different blockchains. This helps reduce fragmentation in the cryptocurrency market and allows for a more precise use of data.

The LINK market cap currently stands at over $8 billion, and it hasn’t displayed the same bullish momentum as Bitcoin did at the start of December. This suggests the potential for a delayed rally in the coming year.

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6. Polkadot (DOT)

  • Symbol: DOT
  • Total Value Locked: N/A
  • Market Cap Rank: 13

Polkadot aims to bring interoperability to the blockchain industry. It enables users to build other chains on top of it, acting as a decentralized blockchain-as-a-service platform. The so-called parachains are customizable and can be used for many use cases.

DOT has a market cap of $7.5 billion.

7. Polygon (MATIC)

  • Symbol: MATIC
  • Total Value Locked: $923 million
  • Market Cap Rank: 14

Polygon is a layer 2 scaling solution for the Ethereum blockchain. It helps Ethereum become more scalable and efficient by settling transactions outside its mainnet. The network hosts many DeFi protocols that were originally launched on Ethereum, including Aave, Uniswap, Curve, Balancer, and Convex Finance.

Polygon’s native token, MATIC, relies on Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard. It is currently the 14th largest digital asset, with a valuation of $7.6 billion.

8. Dogecoin (DOGE)

  • Symbol: DOGE
  • Total Value Locked: $3.6 million
  • Market Cap Rank: 9

Dogecoin, while lacking specific functionalities, is included in this list due to its popularity as the leading memecoin. It leverages a genuine PoW network to secure decentralization.

DOGE has underperformed BTC, ETH, ADA, LINK, and many other altcoins in 2023, but its active social media community may drive its price next year whenever Bitcoin demonstrates bullish potential.  

🍒Shiba Inu vs Dogecoin vs Pepe: Which Meme is Best in 2024?

9. Cosmos (ATOM)

  • Symbol: ATOM
  • Total Value Locked: NA
  • Market Cap Rank: 20

Like Polkadot, Cosmos aims to make the blockchain ecosystem more interoperable. It represents a decentralized network of independent chains that support DeFi and Web3 use cases.

Through its Cosmos SDK tools, it provides an open-source framework to developer layer 1 chains. For example, Injective, which has surged over 1,100% this year, uses Cosmos as its underlying infrastructure.

With a market cap of $3.6 billion, Cosmos’ ATOM is a top 20 coin.

10. Near (NEAR)

  • Symbol: NEAR
  • Total Value Locked: $55 million
  • Market Cap Rank: 34

Near Protocol is a less popular smart contract blockchain, but it has some great features and it’s more user-friendly than its counterparts. Near relies on a sharded architecture to achieve greater performance. This means consensus is enforced by separate groups of validators.

Remarkably, since the November launch of NEAT, Near’s protocol for directly recording inscriptions on layer 1 and generating NFT-like assets, daily transactions on Near have surged by 12-fold.

NEAR coins can be staked to earn extra yield on your coins.

near transactions

Source: NearBlocks

11. ORDI (ORDI)

  • Symbol: ORDI
  • Total Value Locked: NA
  • Market Cap Rank: 59

ORDI is a unique cryptocurrency that has been around for less than a year. While Bitcoin cannot support other tokens on top of it, ORDI leverages the Bitcoin-based BRC-20 token standard.

ORDI tokens operate on the Ordinals Protocol, which allows users to embed data on satoshisBitcoin’s smallest denomination. You can read more about Bitcoin ordinals in our dedicated article.

The price of ORDI surged 1,000% at the end of 2023, propelling it to the top 60 largest coins by market cap

Top Altcoins: Brief Comparison

Here is a quick comparison of the top altcoins:

FAQs

Altcoins, from alternative coins, are all cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.

The best altcoins to watch in 2024 are those related to smart contract chains (Ethereum, Solana, Avalanche), scalability projects (Polygon, Arbitrum, Optimism), DeFi projects (Uniswap, Aave), and specialized projects (Chainlink, Filecoin).

While cryptocurrencies are highly volatile and unpredictable, altcoins associated with scalability and interoperability may do well this year.

Some altcoins are available for trading on centralized crypto exchanges like Coinbase. All of them can be bought and sold on decentralized exchanges (DEXs) through self-custody wallets like tastycrypto.

🍒 tasty reads

Anatol Antonovici

Anatol Antonovici

6+ years of experience writing for crypto brands and blockchain firms, including Coindesk, Cointelegraph, Bitcoinist, CryptoPotato, Algorand, and OTCTrade.com

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