Bitcoin‘s (CRYPTO:BTC) growth during the past decade has started to attract more interest from institutions and big asset managers as a long-term investment. Despite the growth of other cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum and Dogecoin, Bitcoin is still the largest by value, commanding 40% of the market.
But other cryptocurrencies have much greater utility than Bitcoin, especially in the realm of decentralized finance (DeFi), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and much more. This is causing other coins to outpace Bitcoin, and 2022 could see that trend continue.
For those reasons and others, Avalanche (CRYPTO:AVAX) and Solana (CRYPTO:SOL) are two fast-growing cryptocurrencies that are worth buying.
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Avalanche was developed by Ava Labs, a crack team of experts in computer science, economics, finance, and law. It launched in 2020 with a market cap of about $100 million. The price of AVAX soared more than 3,000% during the past year and now ranks as the 11th most valuable cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $25 billion. Based on recent developments, AVAX, which is the native cryptocurrency of Avalanche, could see more gains next year.
Recently, Deloitte announced a partnership with Ava Labs to use the Avalanche blockchain to support a new disaster-recovery platform for state and local governments. The platform is called Close As You Go and helps local governments “simplify and streamline disaster reimbursement applications to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).” The Avalanche blockchain would help improve the accuracy of federal claims and reduce instances of fraud.
Avalanche ranks as the third most active cryptocurrency on Github, according to CryptoMiso, which indicates strong interest from project developers. Avalanche is getting more attention from developers and investors, primarily because Avalanche is much faster, less expensive, and more energy-efficient than Bitcoin.
More deals like Deloitte’s could fuel positive sentiment and push AVAX’s value higher, so consider adding a small position to your crypto wallet.
The price of SOL has risen even faster than AVAX, up 12,000% over the past year, giving it a market value of $54 billion, fifth most among cryptos. Cryptocurrencies are risky. It’s possible to lose all your money, but if you invest what you’re willing to lose, Solana’s performance shows it’s worth the risk of a small investment.
Solana was designed to be fast. It was developed using an innovative blockchain architecture known as proof of history, allowing Solana to potentially process as many as 710,000 transactions per second using today’s hardware. That is many times faster than the biggest credit card networks, such as Visa and Mastercard. Solana currently processes about 2,000 per second, whereas Bitcoin typically handles around three transactions per second.
Given its speed, energy efficiency, and relatively lower transaction cost, Solana is quickly gaining interest from developers working on DeFi and NFT applications.
Solana is a good cryptocurrency to consider if you’re interested in investing in the NFT boom. In case you’re wondering, NFTs are basically virtual collectibles sold as digital tokens and can be traded like any cryptocurrency. Solanart and Solsea are two NFT marketplaces based on Solana, and there will likely be more.
The growing popularity of NFTs is one factor contributing to investor interest in Solana. It’s a hot market that doesn’t show signs of slowing down. Total NFT sales reached an estimated $26.9 billion in 2021. Several top brands, including Nike and toy company Mattel, have expressed interest in offering virtual collectibles for sale to NFT collectors. This doesn’t necessarily benefit Solana directly, but it leads to positive sentiment around SOL, which could support its value.
Think like an investor with cryptocurrency
Both Solana and Avalanche check all the right boxes of what to look for when investing in altcoins or any cryptocurrency besides Bitcoin. They have growing utility value, something that Bitcoin lacks — beyond being the most widely held digital currency.
Keep in mind that no amount of analysis can guarantee which cryptocurrencies will go up in value. The right cryptocurrency could make you a millionaire, but be aware of the risks. The best way to proceed is to stay alert to recent developments that could benefit or hurt the adoption of any given cryptocurrency, invest what you can afford to lose, and focus on the long term.
This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.