11 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies of 2024

Written by: Anatol Antonovici   |  Updated April 25, 2024

Reviewed by: Mike Martin

Fact checked by: Ryan Grace

In 2024, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other popular cryptocurrencies like Solana, Fetch.ai, and Near have pushed the crypto market to an almost $3 trillion industry.

crypto charts computers

Table of Contents

🍒 tasty takeaways

  • Large-cap layer 1 coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum remain the most popular cryptocurrencies as they dominate the blockchain industry.

  • Meme coins and AI coins have been some of the best-performing crypto assets in 2024.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) reached a new all-time high of $73,000 in mid-March of 2024, while FET and BRETT have been some of the best performers in terms of percentage gains

Summary

Coin Details
Bitcoin (BTC) Reached a new all-time high of $73,000 in March.
Ethereum (ETH) Dominates DeFi and NFT sectors with its smart contract capabilities.
Solana (SOL) Offers high speed and low transaction costs, popular for meme coins.
Fetch.ai (FET) AI platform with substantial market cap growth; part of the AI sector expansion.
Near (NEAR) Known for scalability and user-friendliness, increasing role in DeFi.
Shiba Inu (SHIB) Leading meme coin with a massive increase in market cap.
Ethena (ENA) Stablecoin protocol known for its unique price peg mechanism.
Render (RNDR) Utilizes idle GPUs for AI processes, leading AI coin by market cap.
Brett (BRETT) Largest meme coin on the Base layer 2 network, rapid growth in market cap.
Toncoin (TON) Decentralized network supported by independent contributors after regulatory challenges.
Ether.fi (ETHFI) Liquid restaking platform leveraging Ethereum, aimed at maximizing staking rewards.

Popular Crypto Criteria

2024 is shaping to be a thrilling year for the crypto community as Bitcoin and numerous other cryptocurrencies reach their all-time highs. The crypto market is nearing the $3 trillion milestone.

This article discusses trending digital assets on everyone’s lips in 2024. We’ll exclude stablecoins and popular layer 1 coins like Binance Coin (BNB), Cardano (ADA), Avalanche (AVAX), Ripple (XRP), and Litecoin (LTC). While they deserve to be on this list due to their popularity, nothing is exciting about them in 2024.

Instead, we compiled a mix of relevant large-cap coins, several top coins by trading volume, and some of the most viewed digital assets on Coinmarketcap.

Trending Coins in 2024

Bitcoin reached a new record high of over $73,000 on March 14, but many altcoins have outperformed it in terms of percentage gains.

Some of the biggest trends this year are:

  • Meme coinsDogecoin (DOGE) continues to dominate this sector, but the best-performing meme tokens are on Solana, Ethereum, and Base.

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) coins – the launch of ChatGPT stimulated an entire AI sector within the blockchain space.

  • Layer 2 chainsEthereum is great, but newer digital assets choose layer 2 networks with lower gas fees and higher throughput. Polygon (MATIC), Base, Arbitrum, Linea, and other L2s have experienced a surge in active users. Many meme coins and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are on L2s.

  • Decentralized finance (DeFi)DeFi apps are popular in 2024, with the total value locked (TVL) currently hovering above $90 billion. Stablecoins like Tether’s USDT and Circle’s USD Coin (USDC) continue to lead the DeFi space.

That being said, here are some of the most popular cryptocurrencies in 2024:

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

  • Name: Bitcoin
  • Ticker: BTC
  • Type: Layer 1
  • Q1 Performance: +68.7%

What Is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is the oldest and the largest cryptocurrency by market cap. It was launched in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous entity. Bitcoin currently accounts for over 53% of the entire crypto market! 😲

 

Why Is BTC Popular?

Bitcoin caught investors’ attention this year for two main reasons:

  • In mid-January, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the first batch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), triggering a significant bull run.

     

  • On April 19, Bitcoin’s Proof of Work (PoW) network completed the fourth halving event, reducing the mining reward by 50% and therefore reducing future supply. 

     

🍒 Bitcoin (BTC) Price Prediction: 2025, 2030, 2040 & 2050

2. Ethereum (ETH)

  • Name: Ethereum
  • Ticker: ETH
  • Type: Smart contract chain
  • Q1 Performance: +59.8%

What Is Ethereum?

The Ethereum blockchain is the largest decentralized network that offers the smart contract feature. The blockchain can, therefore, support decentralized applications (dapps). Dapps are behind all of Web3, a decentralized version of the internet. 

Why Is ETH Popular?

Ethereum continues to dominate the DeFi and NFT sectors, but it has received increased attention after adopting the Proof of Stake (PoS) algorithm, offering passive income opportunities for stakers. 

Liquid staking protocols like Lido and restaking platforms like EigenLayer have made ETH staking more profitable and accessible.

🍒 Ethereum (ETH) Price Prediction: 2025, 2030, 2040 & 2050

3. Solana (SOL)

  • Name: Solana
  • Ticker: SOL
  • Type: Smart contract chain
  • Q1 Performance: +99.3%

What Is Solana?

Solana is a blockchain platform that offers features similar to Ethereum’s, but it stands out for its speed and low transaction costs. Read our head-to-head comparison of Solana and Ethereum to see how the two differ.

 

Why Is SOL Popular?

Since 2023, SOL has been one of the best-performing digital assets, outperforming BTC and ETH.

It has been the go-to network for many meme coins and NFTs.

🍒 Solana (SOL) Price Prediction: 2025, 2030, 2040 & 2050

4. Ethena (ENA)

  • Name: Ethena
  • Ticker: ENA
  • Type: Stablecoin protocol
  • Q1 Performance: N/A

What Is Ethena?

Ethena is a stablecoin protocol on Ethereum. Its flagship product is USDe, which is backed by the US dollar. Ethena’s native token, ENA, is used for governance. The token was launched earlier in April.

 

Why Is ENA Popular?

Ethena’s stablecoin has grown in popularity due to its unique price peg mechanism that uses short derivative positions to mitigate the risk of collateral price change. ENA launched with a market cap of $900 million and is now one of the most traded coins.

5. Fetch.ai (FET)

  • Name: Fetch.ai
  • Ticker: FET
  • Type: AI coin
  • Q1 Performance: +353.5%

What Is Fetch.ai?

Fetch ai is an AI platform that offers a wide range of AI agents that can automate transactions and perform multiple tasks.

 

Why Is FET Popular?

To create a unified ecosystem, Fetch.ai joined forces with two other AI crypto projects, SingularityNET and Ocean Protocol. Their tokens will migrate to a new digital asset called the Superintelligence Alliance Token (ASI).

6. Near (NEAR)

  • Name: Near Protocol
  • Ticker: NEAR
  • Type: smart contract chain
  • Q1 Performance: +99.7%

What Is Near?

Near is a layer 1 chain focused on scalability and user-friendliness.

 

Why Is NEAR Popular?

Activity on Near has been surging due to its growing role in DeFi and support for AI solutions. Burrow Finance is the most popular lending protocol on Near, enabling users to earn up to 27% APY on USDC and USDT deposits.

Source: Near Blocks

7. Shiba Inu (SHIB)

  • Name: Shiba Inu
  • Ticker: SHIB
  • Type: Meme coin
  • Q1 Performance: +199.4%

What Is Shiba Inu?

Shiba Inu is an Ethereum-based meme coin inspired by a Japanese dog breed with the same name.

Why Is SHIB Popular?

SHIB is the largest meme coin on Ethereum. At the beginning of March, its market cap surged from $5 billion to $25 billion in days. Two other popular Ethereum meme coins, PEPE and FLOKI, performed even better.

Source: TradingView

8. Ether.fi (ETHFI)

  • Name: Ether.fi
  • Ticker: ETHFI
  • Type: Liquid restaking
  • Q1 Performance: +54.6%

What Is Ether.fi?

Ether.fi is a liquid restaking protocol that leverages the new restaking concept introduced by EigenLayer. It enables ETH holders to aim for maximum staking rewards and DeFi yield opportunities.

 

Why Is ETHFI Popular?

Restaking has become a big trend in 2024 as stakers seek bigger rewards. ETHFI launched in mid-March as the governance token of Ether.fi.

🍒 9 Best Cryptos for Staking

9. Render (RNDR)

  • Name: Render
  • Ticker: RNDR
  • Type: AI coin
  • Q1 Performance: +138.3%

What Is Render?

Render network is a decentralized blockchain that leverages unused computing power from crypto miners willing to rent out graphics processing units (GPUs). 

 

Why Is RNDR Popular?

The AI crypto hype has driven Render’s growth. It is currently the largest AI coin by market cap.

10. Brett (BRETT)

  • Name: Brett
  • Ticker: BRETT
  • Type: Meme coin
  • Q1 Performance: +94.7%

What Is Brett?

Brett is a meme coin on Base, a fast-growing layer 2 chain developed by Coinbase.

 

Why Is BRETT Popular?

Brett launched in February and has quickly become the largest meme coin on Base, with a market capitalization of over $600 million as of this writing. It is regarded as Base’s mascot, inspired by a character in Matt Furie’s Boys’ Club comic.

🍒 7 Best Base Meme Coins

11. Toncoin (TON)

  • Name: Toncoin
  • Ticker: TON
  • Type: Layer 1 chain
  • Q1 Performance: +131.8%

What Is Toncoin?

Toncoin is the native cryptocurrency of the TON network, a decentralized open internet with multiple components. TON was initially developed by Telegram, but it failed to launch due to regulatory pressure, and independent contributors have embraced it.

 

Why Is TON Popular?

While Telegram is not officially participating in the TON project, it has integrated the TON crypto wallet. The coin’s market cap has tripled since the beginning of the year, ranking among the top 10 coins by market cap.

Comparing Popular Cryptocurrencies

Here is the performance of all the listed coins since the beginning of 2024:

Source: TradingView

FAQs

What are the most popular cryptocurrencies in 2024?