17 Best Cryptos for 2024: AI, DeFi, NFT & Gaming Coins

The cryptocurrency market is experiencing a bull market at the beginning of 2024. In this article, we reveal our 17 best crypto picks for 2024.

Written by: Anatol Antonovici   |  Updated April 18, 2024

Reviewed by: Mike Martin

Fact checked by: Ryan Grace

crypto coins

In this article, we highlight large-cap cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, BNB Chain, and Solana, which constitute more than 80% of the total cryptocurrency market cap. Additionally, we explore the AI, DeFi, NFT, and gaming sectors, which are currently the fastest-growing areas within the blockchain industry. 

The best way to invest in crypto is to build a diversified crypto asset portfolio that includes investments in both Bitcoin and various altcoins. Now, here are the best cryptos for 2024!

Table of Contents

🍒 tasty takeaways

  • Layer 1 Coins: BTC, ETH, BNB, SOL
  • DeFi Coins: UNI, STX, INJ
  • AI Coins: GRT, RNDR, ROSE, TAO
  • NFT Coins: IMX, ORDI, FLOW
  • Gaming Coins: SAND, AXS, ILV

Summary

Coin Market Cap Sector
BTC$1.3tBase Layer
ETH$370.1bSmart Contracts
SOL$63bDeFi/Gaming
BNB$82.7bSmart Contracts
GRT$2.4bData Indexing
RNDR$3.1bGraphics Rendering
ROSE$634.4m Privacy/AI
TAO$3.1bDecentralized Network
UNI$4.3bDecentralized Exchange
STX$3.5bDeFi/Smart Contracts
INJ$2.7bDeFi
IMX$2.9bNFT/Gaming
ORDI$927mBitcoin NFTs
FLOW$1.3bNFT/Gaming
SAND$993bVirtual World
AXS$1bBlockchain Game
ILV$347.9mBlockchain Game

Best Layer 1 Coins

Large-cap cryptocurrencies are leading the trend in the crypto industry and are the driving force behind the current bull market. The top five coins collectively represent 84% of the total cryptocurrency market capitalization, with Bitcoin alone accounting for more than a 50% share.

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

  • Name: Bitcoin
  • Token: BTC
  • Blockchain: Bitcoin
  • Type: Layer 1

After the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the first Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETF) in 2024, Bitcoin (BTC), the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is trading at its highest level since March 2022. It is now awaiting the next halving event, which could potentially support a return to its all-time high (ATH). 

This crypto is a favorite for first time crypto investors.

🍒 Bitcoin Halving: Price Prediction, Dates, History & Charts

2. Ethereum (ETH)

  • Name: Ethereum
  • Token: ETH
  • Blockchain: Ethereum
  • Type: Layer 1

Ethereum (ETH), the second largest crypto by market cap, remains the leading player in decentralized finance (DeFi)

Since Ethereum serves as the foundational layer for numerous decentralzied applications, it benefits from the growth in all sectors gaining traction, such as NFTs, AI coins, meme coins, and GameFi.

Unlike bitcoin (BTC), ether is a proof-of-stake coin. This allows investors to earn an extra yield on their ETH coins. 

🍒 How To Stake Ethereum (ETH): 5 Best

🍒 ETH vs SOL Vs BTC: Which is Best?

3. Solana (SOL)

  • Name: Solana
  • Token: SOL
  • Blockchain: Solana
  • Type: Layer 1

Solana was the fastest-growing blockchain in 2023, and it will likely continue to compete with Ethereum throughout 2024. The rapid growth of the decentralized network has been driven by DeFi, gaming apps, and the recent launch of Jupiter DEX. 

Though not as developed as Ethereum, Solana does lower transaction fees and faster transaction speeds when compared to Ethereum. 

🍒 Ethereum vs Solana: Is ETH or SOL Better?

4. BNB Chain

  • Name: BNB Chain
  • Token: BNB
  • Blockchain: BNB Chain
  • Type: Layer 1

Binance’s BNB Chain has a vibrant ecosystem of Web3 dapps, benefiting from the rising trends in AI and NFTs. Under the “One BNB” initiative, the decentralized network has set major goals for this year, targeting DeFi, AI, and gaming. The Binance coin, BNB, is poised to benefit from the growing ecosystem.

Level 1 Coins Comparison

Source: TradingView

Best AI Coins

AI coins have outperformed the crypto market, with leading projects gaining over 200% (such as GRT and OCEAN) and even 600% (FET and AGIX) in 2023.

The rapid adoption of OpenAI’s ChatGPT app highlighted the huge demand for AI tools, including blockchain-based democratic solutions.

5. The Graph (GRT)

  • Name: The Graph
  • Token: GRT
  • Blockchain: Ethereum
  • Type: Data indexing 

The Graph is a decentralized protocol for blockchain data indexing and querying, dubbed the ‘Google of Web3’. In November 2023, it announced AI-assisted querying, triggering a massive bull run.

6. Render (RNDR)

  • Name: Render
  • Token: RNDR
  • Blockchain: Ethereum
  • Type: Infrastructure

Render is a decentralized ecosystem that incentivizes crypto miners willing to rent out their GPUs. Creators can use the GPU cycles for different tasks, such as rendering and streaming digital content. Last year, Render implemented a proposal to use the network’s computation power for AI and machine learning tasks.

7. Oasis (ROSE)

  • Name: Oasis
  • Token: ROSE
  • Blockchain: Oasis
  • Type: Layer 1

Oasis is a leading player in AI. This layer 1 chain supports open finance and responsible data economy, hosting finance decentralized applications (dapps) that empower communities through privacy and data control.

Oasis has been collaborating with AI industry leaders to promote the “Responsible AI” initiative. 

8. Bittensor (TAO)

  • Name: Bittensor
  • Token: TAO
  • Blockchain: Ethereum
  • Type: AI

Bittensor is a rapidly growing AI platform. It represents a marketplace where users trade machine intelligence. On one side, miners earn TAO by providing computational resources, and on the other, users spend TAO to ask questions and get tasks done.

TAO’s market cap has surged from less than $10 million last November to about $3 billion in the middle of April.

🍒 11 Best AI Crypto Coins

AI Coins Comparison

Source: TradingView

Best DeFi Coins

The DeFi market was diversifying in 2023, with many leading crypto projects expanding to multiple chains, including layer 2 solutions like Arbitrum, Optimism, and Polygon.

After Ethereum’s transition from Proof of Work (PoW) to Proof of Stake (PoS), liquid staking projects like Lido have made waves in DeFi. Here are a few of our favorite DeFi coins! 👇

9. Uniswap (UNI)

  • Name: Uniswap
  • Token: UNI
  • Blockchain: 13 chains
  • Type: DEX

Uniswap is the largest decentralized exchange (DEX) by trading volume, overcoming many traditional crypto exchanges. It allows users to swap digital assets and become market makers by adding liquidity to pools. Traders can connect their self-custody wallets (like tastycrypto) to swap thousands of supported tokens, including USD stablecoins.

🍒 5 Best Crypto Decentralized Exchanges (DEXs)

10. Stacks (STX)

  • Name: Stacks
  • Token: STX
  • Blockchain: Bitcoin
  • Type: Layer 2

Stacks is a decentralized layer 2 solution for Bitcoin. Stacks not only enhances Bitcoin’s throughput but also introduces smart contract capabilities to the world’s largest proof-of-work blockchain. This opens the door to DeFi apps benefiting from the security of Bitcoin.

STX has been surging since the end of 2023, partially driven by Bitcoin ordinals.

11. Injective (INJ)

  • Name: Injective
  • Token: INJ
  • Blockchain: Cosmos
  • Type: Layer 1

Injective is a layer 1 chain that supports finance-oriented dapps for a democratic Web3 world. In addition to its growing influence in DeFi, Injective is also part of the emerging AI crypto sector, as it leverages AI technology along with high-performance DEX infrastructure, bridges, Chainlink-like oracles, and a smart contract layer.

Injective supports traditional token swaps, margin crypto trading, and forex futures trading across multiple PoS blockchains.

DeFi Coins Comparison

Source: TradingView

Best NFT coins

After a painful ‘crypto winter’ that affected tens of thousands of non-fungible token (NFT) collections with prices declining to zero, the NFT market is recovering, benefiting from Solana’s expanding ecosystem and Bitcoin ordinals.

Today, NFTs aren’t only about art and collectibles, as they are implemented for use cases across gaming, real-world assets (RWAs), the metaverse, and marketing. 

12. ImmutableX (IMX)

  • Name: ImmutableX
  • Token: IMX
  • Blockchain: Ethereum
  • Type: Infrastructure, Layer 2

ImmutableX is a layer 2 solution for Ethereum. It focuses particularly on NFTs and Web3 gaming, offering support for developers and creators. Users can mint millions of carbon-neutral NFTs at a low cost.

13. ORDI (ORDI)

  • Name: Ordi
  • Token: ORDI
  • Blockchain: Bitcoin
  • Type: Bitcoin ordinals

ORDI is the native token of the Ordinals Protocol, which enables the creation of Bitcoin NFTs. It highlights the potential of Bitcoin-based assets. ORDI outperformed the crypto market at the end of 2023, surging from $65 million in November to $1.68 billion at the end of the year.

14. Flow (FLOW)

  • Name: Flow
  • Token: FLOW
  • Blockchain: Flow
  • Type: Infras