Investing in cryptocurrency has been gaining popularity ever since Bitcoin’s genesis back in 2009. While initially, the cryptocurrency sector was flooded with people trying to make a quick buck through a few speculative trades, the time frame of most crypto investments has been gradually shifting toward the long term as the sector matures.
In fact, many investors today consider cryptocurrency a viable long-term investment asset class. Those investors that believe that crypto will appreciate in the long run and therefore keep their coins and tokens safely stashed in their digital wallets are referred to as “HODLers” in the crypto jargon.
Which crypto to buy today for long-term HODLing?
In this article, we will explore the best long-term cryptocurrency investments, based on factors such as market capitalization, adoption rate, and the technology behind the project. Whether you are already a seasoned investor or new to the world of cryptocurrency, this guide will provide valuable insights into which crypto to buy today for the best long-term returns.
In our opinion, the best long-term crypto investments are:
- Bitcoin – The world’s first and most renowned cryptocurrency
- Ethereum – The largest smart contract and dApp environment
- BNB – The native token of the BNB Chain and Binance ecosystem
- Cardano – A proof-of-stake blockchain with a vibrant community
- Polygon – A leading layer 2 scaling solution for faster transactions
- Polkadot – A blockchain network specialized in cross-chain transfers
- Uniswap – A decentralized exchange with an automated market maker
- XRP – A cryptocurrency for cross-border payments and settlement
- Filecoin – A decentralized file storage network
- Chainlink – The leading decentralized oracle network for secure data feeds
1. Bitcoin – The world’s first and most renowned cryptocurrency
Bitcoin is the world’s first truly decentralized digital cryptocurrency. It was launched on the 3rd of January 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity has remained a mystery to this day. The Bitcoin blockchain is a public ledger that is secured by a proof-of-work consensus algorithm. This requires miners to put in computational work to solve complex cryptographic problems and process transactions. For their work, miners can be rewarded with transaction fees and block rewards. The block reward decreases every four years in an event called “Bitcoin Halving”. This caps the total Bitcoin supply at 21 million coins and generates deflationary pressure.
While Bitcoin started out as a niche project that mainly interested cryptography enthusiasts and “cypherpunks”, it didn’t take long for a wider audience to recognize the distinctive features of Bitcoin, leading to the emergence of a lively global market for BTC by 2012. The all-time high price for 1 BTC, which sits at $ 68,770, was reached in November 2021. 2021 is also the year when Bitcoin’s market capitalization surpassed the historic $1 trillion level.
Why is Bitcoin a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
As already mentioned, Bitcoin is the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, and it has a decentralized structure, meaning that no single entity controls it. This feature can make it more resistant to government interference or third-party manipulation. In addition, the integrated deflationary mechanisms may potentially drive demand for Bitcoin and increase its value over time.
Bitcoin has also gained acceptance from mainstream financial institutions and is now being traded on several stock exchanges. Many businesses also now accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. These factors have helped increase the legitimacy of Bitcoin and may lead to wider adoption in the future.
In addition, Bitcoin is often seen as a barometer for the whole cryptocurrency space. While some cryptos will outperform Bitcoin at times, the crypto market, in general, will mostly move in accordance with Bitcoin’s price performance. So even though Bitcoin is just a single cryptocurrency, it in some way represents the whole cryptocurrency sector.
These are just a few reasons why most investors are leaning towards Bitcoin as their go-to crypto for long-term investment.
2. Ethereum – The largest smart contract and dApp environment
Ethereum is an open-source blockchain that pioneered smart contract functionality in 2015. While the Ethereum network can also facilitate transfers of value between different Ethereum addresses, its key added value is in the execution of various smart contracts. Throughout their existence, Ethereum’s smart contract capabilities have facilitated numerous blockchain-powered innovations such as ICOs, DeFi, NFTs, and DAOs.
Ethereum’s native asset, Ether (ETH), currently holds the position of the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. In addition, the Ethereum network hosts numerous ERC20 tokens (from exchange tokens to DeFi tokens and stablecoins), which further extend the Ethereum environment’s reach, liquidity, and utility.
Why is Ethereum a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
Ethereum is another established cryptocurrency. It is the cryptocurrency with the second-largest market capitalization. In addition, Ethereum is right behind Bitcoin in terms of institutional involvement and availability on traditional markets.
The project has a large and active community of developers and users who are constantly working to improve the network and its capabilities. It is also because of this, that Ethereum has sparked and facilitated many cryptocurrency-related innovations in the past (and may continue to do so in the future).
In September 2022, Ethereum completed the transition from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake blockchain. This made Ethereum more scalable, efficient, and more environmentally friendly, which may help increase its appeal to investors and users alike.
Furthermore, Ethereum implemented EIP-1559 in August 2021, which includes a real-time burning mechanism. The EIP that forever destroys a small amount of ETH with every transaction has burned over 3.2 million ETH since its inception, making ETH’s total supply slightly lower with every transaction.
3. BNB – The native token of the BNB Chain and Binance ecosystem
BNB is a cryptocurrency that was launched by Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Initially called the Binance Coin, this ERC-20 standard token was used to pay for trading fees and other services on the Binance exchange with a discount. However, Binance launched its own blockchain, the Binance Chain, in April 2019, and BNB was migrated from the Ethereum blockchain to the Binance Chain shortly thereafter.
This is how BNB became the native asset of the BNB chain and was granted a whole new range of utility. The BNB chain is a smart chain that facilitates fast transactions and lower fees compared to the Ethereum network, which made it a popular choice among users and developers. BNB has a limited supply of 200 million coins.
Why is BNB a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
As the native cryptocurrency of the Binance exchange, BNB’s success is largely tied to the success of this international cryptocurrency conglomerate, which operates one of the largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. While Binance has a large and active user base and a strong track record of innovation and development, you should be aware that, despite being decentralized on paper, BNB is, in fact, quite centralized because of its strong ties to Binance. To invest in BNB for the long term, you should therefore trust in the success of Binance in the long run.
The price of BNB is predicted to surpass $1,300 in early 2024, according to the algorithm.
Binance offers plenty of bonuses for BNB holders, such as reduced trading fees, the ability to participate in Binance Launchpad, BNB staking, and even earning cashback when paying with the Binance VISA Card.
Binance also regularly conducts buybacks and burns of BNB tokens using a portion of its profits, thereby reducing the total supply, and potentially increasing the value of each coin. In addition to the quarterly BNB burns, the BNB chain also employs a real-time burning mechanism introduced by BEP95 (BNB Chain equivalent of EIP-1559 on Ethereum). These reasons grant BNB a spot in the top 3 long-term cryptos.
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4. Cardano – A proof-of-stake blockchain with a vibrant community
Cardano is a decentralized blockchain platform created to provide secure, transparent, and sustainable infrastructure for decentralized applications and transactions. Founded by Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of Ethereum, Cardano uses a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism to validate transactions on its network. The blockchain was designed with a rigorous academic approach and features a layered architecture and built-in treasury system for easy maintenance and future upgrades.
Its native cryptocurrency is ADA, which is used to pay for transaction fees and as a store of value. Cardano’s potential for faster, scalable, and cost-effective transactions, as well as its commitment to sustainability, has gained attention from investors and traders for various use cases, including DeFi and NFTs.
Why is Cardano a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
Cardano has a rather large developer community and a very (pro)active user base. Perhaps also because of this, the blockchain is steadily receiving upgrades to improve its scalability and smart contract capabilities. The high scalability, ultimate efficiency, and continued improvement of the protocol make Cardano one of the top contenders among the smart contract-enabled chains.
Cardano is famous for its commitment to rigorous scientific research and development principles. While such a methodical approach allows Cardano to avoid the pitfalls encountered by projects with rushed development, it also has its drawbacks. For example, Cardano has been rather slow at capitalizing on important trends such as DeFi and NFTs. Nevertheless, this could suggest that the growth of Cardano is more sustainable and less hype-driven than that of other comparable projects.
As the platform’s smart contract functionality evolves further, we will likely see a growing number of interesting decentralized applications launch on this incredibly scalable platform. To conclude, Cardano remains a promising blockchain platform with strong potential for growth in the long term.
5. Polygon – A leading layer 2 scaling solution for faster transactions
Polygon is a Layer 2 scaling solution for Ethereum, designed to solve the blockchain’s scalability limitations. Previously known as Matic Network, Polygon uses multiple proof-of-stake sidechains to regularly push data to Ethereum for network checkpoints. With two bridges facilitating seamless asset transfers between Ethereum and Polygon, users benefit from supersonic speeds and high throughput, as well as easy and swift exits to the Ethereum mainnet.
Polygon’s features have made it an attractive option for DeFi projects, establishing it as a leading player in the DeFi sector. Developers and businesses are taking note of its solutions to Ethereum’s scalability challenges, making Polygon a promising platform for innovation.
Why is Polygon a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
The largest fear of investors in Polygon has been that the project will become obsolete as the Ethereum mainnet receives additional scalability-focused upgrades. Nevertheless, even after more than a year following Ethereum’s transition to PoS, Polygon continues to complement Ethereum by further amplifying its scalability and facilitating interoperability with other blockchain networks. Even after Ethereum developers deploy sharding, it is far more likely that Polygon will shift its focus to other use cases than straight up disappear, causing MATIC’s price to crash.
Polygon has lately achieved considerable success and adoption in the NFT sector. The popular Layer 2 solution has secured partnerships with several mainstream companies including Reddit, Starbucks, DraftKings, and Robinhood, indicating its potential as a significant beneficiary if blockchain-based applications and NFT-based collectibles gain mainstream popularity.
In addition, the Polygon network has maintained a high level of activity even during past bear market conditions. This is a significantly positive sign that reflects the network’s utility and the project’s long-term vision, which are independent of current market conditions.
6. Polkadot – A blockchain network specialized in cross-chain transfers
Polkadot is a next-generation blockchain platform that addresses issues of interoperability and scalability through the use of parallelly-run chains, also called parachains. Similarly to Cardano, the Polkadot project was created by one of the developers initially involved with Ethereum; the founder of Polkadot is Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. The platform is designed to allow different blockchains to connect and communicate with each other, creating a seamless network of various blockchain ecosystems.
Polkadot uses a unique consensus mechanism known as nominated proof-of-stake (NPoS) and allows for cross-chain communication, enabling the creation of decentralized applications that can leverage the features and functionalities of multiple blockchains. The platform utilizes a native currency called DOT.
Why is Polkadot a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
Polkadot’s unique value proposition as a platform for cross-chain communication and interoperability has attracted significant attention from developers and investors.
The platform’s modular design allows for not only flexibility and upgradability but also virtually unlimited room for growth. In addition, each parachain can be customized to best accommodate the specific needs of each project. The use of parachains will allow Polkadot to capitalize on any new trends that will emerge in the crypto space in the future.
Last but not least, Polkadot has repeatedly stayed within the Top 20 highest market cap cryptocurrencies and already has a vibrant ecosystem of developers and projects building on the platform. This could indicate that the ecosystem has a potential for continued growth and innovation in the long term, making Polkadot one of the most promising blockchain platforms currently available.
7. Uniswap – A decentralized exchange with an automated market maker
Uniswap is an automated market maker (AMM) protocol that enables quick and easy swaps between different Ethereum-based tokens. Its governance token, UNI, is an ERC-20 token that allows holders to vote on proposals that determine the future of the platform.
In the past, Uniswap has been struggling with high fees on the Ethereum network, which have caused a decline in its user base and market share. Rather than giving up, the project answered by implementing upgrades that improved its services and reduced fees. Two major milestones were the release of Uniswap V3 in March 2021, which implemented an improved version of the AMM protocol, and the launch of the Uniswap protocol on two Ethereum Layer 2 networks in July 2021.
Why is Uniswap a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
Uniswap is a decentralized exchange protocol that allows users to trade cryptocurrencies without the need for intermediaries. With over $4.1 billion locked across six different blockchains, Uniswap is already an established player in the DeFi space. Continued demand for decentralized finance (DeFi) and decentralized trading has been a significant driver of Uniswap’s growth in the past and will likely continue to fuel Uniswap’s development and UNI’s appreciation in the future.
In the future, Uniswap could benefit from the influx of new investors. As more people become interested in cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance, they will discover Uniswap and likely start using its services. Furthermore, Uniswap could benefit a lot in case more centralized exchanges get into trouble or are struck by negative publicity, as was the case in November 2022, when FTX collapsed.
For the long-term success of a project, it is also crucial that the developers continue to introduce new features and improve the existing ones. Since Uniswap regularly introduces new features and deploys improved and more efficient iterations of its protocol, such as Uniswap v3, UNI could be a good crypto to hold for the long term.
8. XRP – A cryptocurrency for cross-border payments and settlement
XRP is the native cryptocurrency of the Ripple blockchain, which was launched in 2012 by Chris Larsen, Jed McCaleb, and Arthur Britto. It was designed to enable fast and inexpensive cross-border payments, with the goal of improving the traditional banking system. The Ripple network uses a unique Ripple Protocol consensus algorithm (RPCA), which is neither proof-of-work nor proof-of-stake. Instead, it relies on a distributed agreement protocol to validate transactions, allowing for faster and more efficient processing.
One of the unique features of Ripple is its maximum supply of 100 billion coins, all of which were minted at launch. At that time, 80% of the total XRP supply was given to fintech firm Opencoin, which later rebranded as Ripple Labs in 2015. As of today, Ripple Labs still holds more than half of the total XRP supply. However, most of the company’s XRP holdings are locked in escrow, with a small portion released each month.
Why is XRP a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
Despite its potential benefits, Ripple has faced regulatory challenges. In December 2020, Ripple became entangled in a lawsuit with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which accuses the company of selling unregistered securities. To this day, the legal battle remains one of the key factors influencing XRP’s price, and if the lawsuit ends with Ripple Labs’ victory, XRP could go on a bull run.
Nevertheless, Ripple’s value goes far beyond its legal and regulatory status. First, Ripple’s technology aims to address some of the key challenges in the traditional banking system, such as slow transaction speeds and high fees. By offering fast and low-cost payments, Ripple has the potential to disrupt traditional payment systems.
Second, Ripple has already established partnerships with several financial institutions, such as Santander and American Express. These partnerships indicate that Ripple’s technology is being recognized by the traditional banking industry, which could lead to wider adoption and increased demand for XRP.
Third, Ripple’s total supply of XRP is fixed, with all coins already minted. This means that the supply cannot be increased, which could potentially make XRP more valuable over time if demand continues to grow.
9. Filecoin – A decentralized file storage network
Filecoin is a decentralized storage network that allows users to rent out their unused hard drive space in exchange for the platform’s native cryptocurrency, FIL. The project raised $205 million worth of crypto in a 2017 ICO and launched its highly anticipated mainnet on October 15, 2020.
Filecoin uses a proof-of-replication consensus mechanism to ensure that data is stored correctly and securely. By incentivizing users to contribute storage space, Filecoin creates a decentralized network that allows for more efficient and cost-effective data storage compared to centralized cloud storage providers.
Why is Filecoin a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
Filecoin network’s decentralized storage service eliminates dependence on centralized cloud storage providers and offers a highly competitive storage marketplace that results in improved consumer pricing. With the wider adoption of cryptocurrency, blockchain, and decentralized protocols, projects like Filecoin are poised to enjoy increased demand for their services. In fact, decentralized storage will likely be critical for supporting the migration to Web3 solutions.
An excellent example of the network’s potential application is in storing media linked to NFTs, ensuring that it remains accessible and unaltered over an extended period. If the need for decentralized storage expands, Filecoin could certainly emerge as one of the major cryptocurrency powerhouses in the near future.
10. Chainlink – The leading decentralized oracle network for secure data feeds
Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that connects smart contracts to off-chain data sources and APIs. It enables smart contracts to access external data securely and reliably, thus providing a bridge between the blockchain and the real world. As of today, Chainlink is one of the most widely used oracle solutions in the blockchain ecosystem, with a growing number of integrations with various blockchain platforms and projects.
The network is powered by LINK, its native token, which is used to pay node operators for providing reliable data and to secure the network through staking. Furthermore, LINK is also used as a governance token for the project, allowing token holders to vote on proposals to improve the network.
Why is Chainlink a good crypto to buy today for the long term?
Since its launch in 2017, Chainlink’s decentralized oracle network has quickly grown to become a cornerstone of the crypto ecosystem. The network plays an almost irreplaceable role in many decentralized applications on several different blockchains, including major projects like Aave, Synthetic, Compound, and Ethereum Name Service.
Chainlink’s services have an immense number of potential applications. A particularly interesting one is that Chainlink’s secure and reliable access to off-chain data makes it a valuable tool for verifying the solvency of cryptocurrency exchanges and other financial institutions. These entities could generate and display their proof of reserves using Chainlink in the future.
Furthermore, Chainlink is currently in the process of transitioning towards Economics 2.0, which will feature LINK staking along with the BUILD and SCALE programs designed to expand the Chainlink ecosystem and make the network more accessible for developers. With these developments, Chainlink’s potential for growth over the long term is substantial.
The bottom line – Long-term investing is about looking at the big picture
We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable insights and ideas to consider in your quest to find the most promising and ultimately best crypto for long-term holding. In general, all the featured cryptocurrencies are already established projects with a clear vision for future development, a growing user base, and active developers. This is why these projects are poised to thrive regardless of the ups and downs of the volatile cryptocurrency markets. Therefore, they present excellent investment opportunities for those seeking long-term growth.
Nevertheless, the best cryptocurrency to invest in widely varies between investors, as the pick greatly depends on your investment goals, risk tolerance, skill, knowledge, and the amount of time you are prepared to put into research and portfolio management.If you decide to get into the HODL game, make sure to do your own research and take all the necessary precautions to keep your assets safe. Our guides on the best hardware wallets and best metal wallets can help you choose a secure storage setup catered to your needs.