7 Best Bitcoin Alternatives to Buy in 2024

Why Trust Techopedia Crypto
Why Trust Techopedia Crypto

Beyond Bitcoin, there is an array of digital alternative assets that offer unique features and investment opportunities that can bring potential growth to investors.

For that purpose, we reviewed the best Bitcoin alternatives, as well as a comprehensive guide on why should people invest in them.

Best Bitcoin Competitors to Look Out for in 2024

  1. XRP – Fast, low-cost Bitcoin alternative, using a private interledger for quick transactions.
  2. Cardano – A UTxO-based, 3rd generation blockchain created by a co-founder of Ethereum.
  3. Kaspa – A decentralized distributed ledger combining proof-of-work mining with direct acrylic graph technology.
  4. Avalanche – A popular and open-source blockchain platform that utilizes a 3-chain system.
  5. Ethereum – Second most popular cryptocurrency by market cap and the top smart contracting platform.
  6. IOTA – Designed for the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and based on its own Tangle protocol.

Best Bitcoin Alternatives with 10x Upside Potential – Full Analysis

1. XRP – Promising Bitcoin Alternative With A Quick Transaction Speed

XRP, developed by Ripple, is one of the best Bitcoin alternatives with unique features and use cases. Unlike Bitcoin’s decentralized model, XRP operates on a privately owned interledger protocol, offering faster and cheaper transaction capabilities. 

XRP transactions are exceptionally quick, taking about 3-5 seconds to confirm, compared to Bitcoin’s average of 10 minutes. The cost per transaction is also significantly lower, making XRP an efficient option for crypto users.

In terms of circulation, XRP’s release is managed through a smart contract. Plans are to release up to 1 billion XRP monthly, and any unused tokens are returned to an escrow account. This contrasts with Bitcoin’s mining-based release mechanism.

XRP’s design integrates existing financial systems, especially for cross-border payments, making it appealing to banks and financial institutions. This contrasts Bitcoin’s principles of operating outside traditional financial systems. XRP has faced its share of controversies, including a legal battle with the SEC over its classification and concerns about security compared to Bitcoin’s more established model. 

Cryptocurrency XRP
Ticker Symbol XRP
Rank #6
Price $0.5388
Market Cap $38.36B
Circulating Supply 54.74B
Max Supply 100,000,000,000
All Time High $3.84
All Time Low $0.002802

2. Cardano ($ADA) – 3rd Generation Blockchain, Created by a Cofounder of Ethereum

As a staple member of the top 10 on CoinMarketCap throughout history, Cardano is, by many, considered to be the new Bitcoin alternative. It is a layer 1 cryptocurrency founded by Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of Ethereum, and developed by his blockchain development company IOHK.

After launching in 2017, Cardano has evolved along a predetermined roadmap that includes smart contracting capabilities, decentralization through a revolutionary proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, improvements in scaling (which are still ongoing), and finally, the current stage, decentralized governance.

Cardano is based on the same UTxO model as Bitcoin, and its design solves many of the problems top blockchains face today.

More can be learned about Cardano by visiting the Cardano website or the Cardano Foundation reading the official documentation, and by joining the extensive Cardano community on Twitter. To ask any questions or to keep up with development updates for Cardano you can join the IOHK Technical Discord and follow them, @InputOutputHK, on Twitter.

Cryptocurrency Cardano
Ticker Symbol ADA
Rank #8
Price $0.7374
Market Cap $26,210,471,139
Circulating Supply 35,550,799,480 ADA
Max Supply 45,000,000,000 ADA
All Time High $3.10
All Time Low $0.01735

3. Kaspa ($KAS) – Fully Decentralized Blockchain Solution Using Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work Model

Kaspa was released in November 2021 but really made its entrance in February 2024 when its token price rocketed to $0.1894, reaching an ATH. Like Bitcoin, Kaspa has no centralized governance or development team, runs using a proof-of-work consensus algorithm, allowing for alternative crypto mining, and was issued through a fair launch process.

The Kaspa network mints one block every second and boasts an average transaction confirmation time of 10 seconds. It aims to increase block times to 32 blocks per second and significantly reduce transaction confirmation times, making Kaspa the next Bitcoin like investment.

Kaspa is yet to have smart contracting capabilities, but these are coming after a rewrite of the protocol’s codebase in Rust is completed and implemented.

To learn more about Kaspa, you can read the Kaspa documentation, join the welcoming Discord community to ask any questions and follow the Kaspa X account.

Cryptocurrency Kaspa
Ticker Symbol KAS
Rank #28
Price $0.1482
Market Cap $3,417,272,219
Circulating Supply 22,989,575,250 KAS
Max Supply 28,700,000,000 KAS
All Time High $0.1894
All Time Low $0.0001699

4. Avalanche ($AVAX) – Open Source Protocol Consisting of 3 Different, Purpose-Built Chains

Avalanche was developed by researchers from Cornell University, and it often receives acclaim for its consensus algorithm, Avalanche Consensus—which, while being complex, facilitates sub-3 second transaction finality.

Its three chains, P, C, and X, are all optimized for different purposes:

  • P-Chain – Can be used to create “subnet blockchains” capable of up to 4,500TPS.
  • C-Chain – Allows for the easy porting of EVM-based dApps to the Avalanche network.
  • X-Chain – Designed for the fast transfer of AVAX with rapid finality and very low fees of 0.001 AVAX.

Avalanche is an open-source project creating a secure, scalable, and interoperable ecosystem, which is why it is one of the best Bitcoin alternatives. It is also currently being used by J.P. Morgan in a portfolio automation experiment using blockchain technology.

To learn more about Avalanche and the Avalanche protocol, read the numerous whitepapers. You can also follow @avax and @AvaLabs to keep up with updates around Avalanche and the growing Avalanche ecosystem.

Cryptocurrency Avalanche
Ticker Symbol AVAX
Rank #13
Price $55.39
Market Cap $20,897,864,305
Circulating Supply 377,311,063 AVAX
Max Supply 720,000,000 AVAX
All Time High $146.22
All Time Low $2.79

5. Ethereum ($ETH) – 2nd Most Popular Crypto, Offering Smart Contracting Capabilities

Like Bitcoin, Ethereum has been used as the basis for many other cryptocurrencies on the market today. It is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency, that migrated from a proof-of-work consensus mechanism in September 2022.

It has long been considered the next Bitcoin like investment; however, with so many other layers 1 blockchain now out there, some think Ethereum has reached its limits.

Ethereum offers smart contracting capabilities and hosts some of the world’s biggest and most famous dApps. However, its 14-minute transaction confirmation times are what keep many who believe Ethereum cannot become quick enough in a decentralized manner looking over the fence to greener (faster) pastures elsewhere.

To learn more about Ethereum you can read the Ethereum whitepaper, checkout the Ethereum Learn Hub, and follow the Ethereum Foundation on Twitter.

Cryptocurrency Ethereum
Ticker Symbol ETH
Rank #2
Price $4,074.55
Market Cap $489,591,917,437
Circulating Supply 120,089,623 ETH
Max Supply
All Time High $4,891.70
All Time Low $0.4209

6. IOTA ($IOTA) – Best Bitcoin Alternative Based on Direct Acrylic Graph Technology

Designed to service the growing Internet of Things (IoT), the IOTA protocol uses Direct Acrylic Graph (DAG) technology to deliver a decentralized ledger that is feeless and allows for the fast exchange of data and value.

When you send a transaction on IOTA, you must first confirm two other transactions, and this feature is what allows the network to overcome the cost and scalability limitations of blockchains.

Being constructed on DAG technology allows IOTA to offer a highly scalable network with zero transaction fees and transaction finality within seconds. This is all achieved on a low energy, low memory network that allows users to secure it using mobile phones, sensors, and the like.

To discover more about IOTA, you can join the official IOTA Discord channel, visit the IOTA Foundation’s website, and follow the IOTA Foundation on X.

Cryptocurrency IOTA
Ticker Symbol IOTA
Rank #95
Price $0.3897
Market Cap $1,236,237,182
Circulating Supply 3,172,092,163 IOTA
Max Supply
All Time High $5.69
All Time Low $0.07962

What is a Bitcoin Alternative?

Alternatives to Bitcoin come in all guises. Every other cryptocurrency on the market is considered a Bitcoin alternative, and they are typically labeled as altcoins. There are numerous ways Bitcoin alternatives can be divided up, and the main ones are:

  • Price – Does the BTC alternative offer the same amount of gains that BTC has seen in its lifetime?
  • Technology – Are these alternatives to Bitcoin built on the same or different, better or worse, technology?
  • Utility – What is the utility of these Bitcoin alternatives, and how does it square up to Bitcoin’s “digital gold” utility?

Tokens vs Coins

While these terms seem very similar, they mean two different things.

  • Coins – A coin is the native currency of an independent blockchain, e.g., Cardano, Kaspa, Ethereum, Bitcoin, etc.
  • Tokens – Digital assets created on top of an existing blockchain, such as the token of a specific dApp, e.g., $UNI (Uniswap).

As Bitcoin is an independent blockchain some think that tokens are not Bitcoin alternative coins. However, others argue they can offer the same price appreciation, utility, and even technology as Bitcoin.

Why Invest in BTC Alternatives?

Given Bitcoin’s familiarity and history of significant returns, many might be skeptical about investing in Bitcoin alternatives—but there are multiple reasons why doing so is a good idea:

  • Diversify your portfolio: A portfolio based on a single asset is exceptionally vulnerable to any factors affecting that particular asset, and if that asset flops, so does that portfolio and all the money invested in it. By adding a Bitcoin alternative investment to their portfolio, investors can ensure that their financial position is guarded against anything that might have a major negative impact on the price of Bitcoin.
  • Earlier point of entry: Bitcoin was launched in 2009. However, the vast majority of altcoins have been launched in the past 5 years. This means that an investor could get in earlier on an altcoin, increasing the potential size of the upsides should the altcoin they choose follow the same trajectory as Bitcoin.
  • Greater utility: One of the biggest critiques leveled against Bitcoin is that it lacks the utility brought by the leading altcoins, e.g., Ethereum, Cardano, and Avalanche, which all offer smart contracting capabilities. If cryptocurrency adoption and Bitcoin development continue at their relative pace, it is impossible to think that the Bitcoin network will be able to support the people who want to use it. Bitcoin alternatives will plug these gaping expanses.
  • Bitcoin was 1st: First-mover advantage is often touted as a benefit. However, history tells us that it is usually what comes after—the 2.0 version—that tends to dominate the market. By investing in the best Bitcoin alternatives, investors can ensure that they’re not left out when the market turns to the alternatives because they’re more appealing than the first version.

How we Ranked the Best Bitcoin Alternatives in 2024

Investors researching what is the next Bitcoin have many points to consider, each of which will rank differently depending on the outlook. These are some of the most common ones we used when ranking these alternatives.

  • Decentralization: One of Bitcoin’s main selling points is that it is a decentralized solution, and any alternative to Bitcoin should also be considered through this lens.
  • Scalability: If considering another layer 1 blockchain, can they scale to meet the demand that the global adoption of cryptocurrencies would require? Those that do will survive adoption.
  • Utility: Bitcoin is described as digital gold, and this use case is what many say gives it its valuation. But, Bitcoin alternatives are often designed to fulfill particular or multiple functions. Is its utility a necessary and viable one? And how well-used might it become?
  • Technology: Bitcoin pioneered mainstream blockchain technology, and many iterations have been deployed since. Are these Bitcoin alternatives built on a solid technological basis? If so, how does this compare to Bitcoin and its altcoin competitors?
  • Room for Growth: Leading new coins will have far more room for price appreciation than already established coins. This is a big consideration for many investors looking to build highly profitable portfolios.
  • Popularity: This plays a role in room for growth, as the more popular a BTC alternative, the less room for growth there might be. Conversely, the backing of a strong community can help an altcoin to stabilize and climb even higher up the price charts.

Potential Risks of Investing in BTC Alternatives

All investing involves risks, and you should never invest more than you can afford to lose. The below points focus on the potential risks of investing in Bitcoin alternatives:

  • Lack of regulation: In many places around the world, cryptocurrencies are unregulated, which is why Coinbase urged clarity and filed a lawsuit against the SEC. It is generally expected that Bitcoin, with its anonymous creator, will escape some or many of the punishments that regulators might issue to the coins that emerged in its wake.
  • Volatility and low liquidity: There is a lot of speculation in the cryptocurrency markets, leading to a lot of wild price swings in the price of lesser-known cryptocurrencies. Some of these lesser-known cryptocurrencies can also suffer from low liquidity on the markets, meaning that it might be difficult to exit a position should liquidity dry up.
  • Potential scams: Currently, cryptocurrency fraud stands as the riskiest scam for consumers. The only way to mitigate these is to Do Your Own Research (DYOR) and know that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Methodology

How We Analyze and Review Cryptocurrencies

1000+ Crypto Assets Reviewed

300+ Research Hours

14 Key Variables Evaluated

50+ Expert Opinions Examined

To ensure our readers receive unbiased, thorough, and reliable information, we conduct extensive research and analysis of a wide range of cryptocurrencies. We assess each crypto asset based on 14 distinct criteria, some of which include:

  • Market Potential: We evaluate the likelihood of future growth and the overall potential within the crypto market.
  • Liquidity and Trading Volume: We analyze the ease of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and their trading activity.
  • Community and Support: We examine the level of community engagement and the quality of support available to users.
  • Price History and Market Sentiment: We review historical price data and current market sentiment.
  • Security Measures and Past Breaches: We check for strong security protocols and any history of security breaches

By following this thorough approach, we provide comprehensive and reliable reviews tailored to the needs of crypto enthusiasts and investors alike.

Conclusion

From well-established rivals to innovative newcomers, Bitcoin competitors put forward their distinctive and futuristic features and most definitely have potential for growth beyond Bitcoin.

One of the best Bitcoin alternatives today is the Bitcoin Minetrix, and investors can get it at one of the lowest prices possible by entering the Bitcoin Minetrix presale. It offers a unique stake-to-mine model and offers passive income-earning opportunities.

References

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Sam Cooling
Crypto & Blockchain Writer
Sam Cooling
Crypto & Blockchain Writer

Sam Cooling is a crypto, financial, and business journalist based in London. Along with Techopedia, his work has been published in Yahoo Finance, Coin Rivet, and other leading publications in the financial space. His interest in cryptocurrency is driven by a passion for leveraging decentralized blockchain technologies to empower marginalized communities worldwide. This includes enhancing financial transparency, providing banking services to the unbanked, and improving agricultural supply chains. Sam has a Master’s Degree in Development Management from the London School of Economics and has worked as a Junior Research Fellow for the UK Defence Academy.