The Top 10 Cryptocurrencies of 2023: A Yearly Review

Amidst holiday cheer, delve into a festive recap of 2023’s top cryptocurrencies, each a unique gift to the industry.

Elf on the shelf going through the wrapped up crypto coins.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin

DailyCoin’s 12 Days of Cryptomas series is reaching a fever pitch! Our true love is meant to deliver 10 lords leaping on this tenth day, but we think it’s time to bring the sentiment forward to the modern age and beyond.

By now, crypto has established its own manner of lords. Ten giants dominate the market, influencing all within their realm. Like those ten nimble lords of yore, let’s look back at a year when the market’s cryptocurrency lords gracefully leaped back to their former heights. Indeed, the top ten cryptocurrencies in 2023 have moved gracefully despite a rocky start, leading to a daring ballet on the blockchain.


These digital treasures encapsulate smart contracts, liquidity, blockchain technology, decentralized finance (DeFi), and the magical functionality of the metaverse. Join us in unwrapping the top ten cryptos of 2023 by market cap, each a unique gift to the industry, brimming with potential and captivating opportunities.

Cryptocurrency’s Festive Recovery: A Tale of Resilience

As we gather around the tree, exchanging gifts and sharing laughter, the cryptocurrency landscape has experienced its own transformation, mirroring the season’s spirit. While 2022 dealt a blow to the crypto community, 2023 has unfolded like a heartwarming tale of resilience and redemption.

The year began with the haunting echoes of 2022’s crypto crash, casting a shadow over the festive spirit. FTX, once a formidable crypto exchange, crumbled, and the industry’s one-time darling, Sam Bankman-Fried, found himself in a challenging position. Yet, amidst the gloom, a glimmer of hope emerged.

Like the spirit of Christmas, the crypto market embarked on a recovery journey, rekindled with hope after the winter solstice. Then, as the year progressed, the anticipation of a U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) fueled investor enthusiasm, injecting much-needed momentum into the market.


As we conclude this chapter and embark on a new one, let’s take a moment to reflect on the performance of the top cryptocurrencies this year. Although a couple of fan favorites like Polygon (Matic) and Polkadot (DOT) might have narrowly missed the ranking due to the inclusion of stablecoins, omitting stablecoins from this list would undermine the utility they offer.

The Top 10 Cryptocurrencies of 2023

Now that you’ve delved into the general cryptocurrency landscape, let’s look at the top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap for 2023 and how they fared this year.

10. Dogecoin (DOGE)

Doge on the clouds with his doge coin.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin

It’s fair to say that it wouldn’t be a best crypto list without at least one meme coin, am I right? This cryptocurrency, inspired by the Shiba Inu dog meme, has had an extraordinary journey, demonstrating the power of hype and the volatility of the crypto market. Its meteoric rise in 2021, fueled by celebrity endorsements and social media fervor, propelled it into the limelight, making it one of the most talked-about cryptocurrencies.

Despite the crypto winter pulling down DOGE’s price, it has retained a substantial valuation, currently hovering around $13.26 billion at a price point of $0.09315. This marks the second smallest gain compared to the rest of the list at 32.11% since last year. While it may not wield the same level of influence as it did in the past, it continues to secure a place in the crypto top 10 list.

Opened the year at: $0.07022
Closing the year at: $0.09315
Percentage change: 32.52%

Key Takeaways

Born from a meme, DOGE has defied expectations, holding a notable position in the crypto market despite its recent price decline.

  • Dogecoin’s popularity skyrocketed in 2021.
  • Dogecoin has maintained a valuation of around $13.2 billion.
  • Dogecoin’s price has increased by 32.52% since last year.
  • Dogecoin is not as influential as it once was. However, it remains a prominent figure in the crypto industry.

9. Avalanche (AVAX) 

A large jar of coins with and Avalanche logo on it, standing in a red desert.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin

As the crypto market experiences its ups and downs, Avalanche (AVAX) remains a strong contender in the landscape. Despite experiencing a sharp decline of 69% from its all-time high of $146.22 in November 2021, AVAX still holds a respectable market capitalization of over $16.71 billion.

While it may not be nearing its all-time highs, AVAX has gained 319.33% this year and currently sits at $45.72 as of writing. Its potential to revolutionize the dApp ecosystem and its commitment to innovation position it as one of the industry’s leading providers of game-changing technology, attracting attention from developers and investors alike.

Opened the year at: $10.87
Closing the year at: $45.72
Percentage change: 319.33%

Key Takeaways

Despite experiencing significant price fluctuations, AVAX remains a promising blockchain project with strong fundamentals, a growing ecosystem, and a commitment to innovation.

  • AVAX is an extremely fast and scalable blockchain.
  • They are the second highest gainer on this list sitting at 313.58% for the year.
  • Avalanche is attracting attention from developers and investors alike.

8. Cardano (ADA)

Cardano coin (ADA) floating in space surrounded by water.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin

Throughout its history, Cardano has consistently maintained a top-three position among blockchain ecosystems in terms of development activity, owing to its high scalability, low costs, and significant growth potential. This year follows suit, again securing the number one spot.

After battling accusations of being a security by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the platform struggled to gain solid footing. Meanwhile, its rivals enjoyed relatively smooth sailing and outpaced Cardano throughout most of 2023.

However, the tide turned dramatically towards the end of the year. Fueled by bullish market sentiment and inspired by the successful lawsuit victory of fellow blockchain platform XRP, Cardano roared back to life. The platform’s native token, ADA, surged in value, outperforming its competitors in the year’s final months.

Cardano’s resurgence can be attributed to several key factors beyond the market shift. The highly anticipated Hydra protocol launch, designed to increase the network’s transaction capacity significantly, provided a major boost. Additionally, implementing the Midnight chain, aimed at enhancing privacy and security on the platform, further fueled investor confidence.

While its native token, ADA, didn’t reach its all-time high of $3.10, it made a commendable effort to recover from previous losses. At this time last year, ADA was at $0.316 before dropping to $0.2391 in January of this year and then declining even further in June to a value of $0.2304. Currently, it stands at $0.605. ADA currently boasts an impressive 145% year-to-date increase, fueled by a surge of activity from its network of dedicated validators.

Opened the year at: $0.2498
Closing the year at: $0.6056
Percentage change: 145.78%

Key Takeaways

Cardano’s robust development activity, scalability, and low costs continue to make it a compelling blockchain ecosystem despite the price fluctuation of its native token, ADA.

  • Cardano consistently ranks among the top 3 blockchain ecosystems regarding development activity.
  • ADA’s price has recovered significantly from its previous lows, with a year-to-date increase of 145.78%.
  • Cardano’s network of dedicated validators fosters growth and activity on the platform.

7. USD Coin (USDC)

Blue Circle USDC coin inside of a golden ring

Managed by the consortium Centre, founded by Coinbase and Circle, USDC stands among the world’s top stablecoins. However, 2023 has presented challenges for USDC, witnessing a major decline in its market capitalization compared to its primary rival, Tether’s USDT. This decline has been attributed to several factors, including increasing scrutiny from regulators and investors shifting towards more speculative crypto investments.

Last year, the coin’s market cap hovered around $42 billion. Presently, it holds a market capitalization of $25.05 billion. Despite this shift, the coin’s value remains pegged at $1, mirroring its position from last year, and we hope it stays that way.

Opened the year at: $0.9999
Closing the year at: $1
Percentage change: 0.01%

Key Takeaways

Despite facing challenges in 2023, USDC has maintained its dollar peg, but its market capitalization has declined significantly.

  • USDC’s market capitalization has shrunk by over half compared to 2022.
  • Regulatory scrutiny and investor preferences have contributed to USDC’s decline.
  • USDC’s price peg has remained stable despite market fluctuations.
  • USDC’s future outlook hinges on regulatory developments and market dynamics.

6. XRP

Gold hand holding a treasure chest with XRP coins flying out.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin

Like a surprise gift during the holiday season, XRP’s significant securities ruling has brought hope to the community. In a landmark decision, a U.S. judge ruled that Ripple Labs’ sales of XRP on public exchanges did not breach securities laws. This ruling easily stands as the biggest legal victory for the crypto industry in 2023.

However, the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its executives, Brad Garlinghouse and Chris Larsen, casts a shadow over XRP. Despite these legal setbacks, XRP’s price has climbed steadily, boasting an impressive 82% year-to-date increase to a current price of $0.6189, driven by its numerous partnerships and real-world utility as a cross-border payment system.

Opened the year at: $0.3388
Closing the year at: $0.6189
Percentage change: 82%

Key Takeaways

XRP has gained significant momentum in 2023, marked by a landmark securities ruling and substantial price appreciation. However, the ongoing SEC lawsuit remains a potential headwind.

  • A U.S. judge ruled that Ripple Labs’ sales of XRP did not breach securities laws.
  • Numerous partnerships and real-world utility as a cross-border payment system have driven XRP’s growth.
  • The SEC lawsuit against Ripple Labs and its executives is still ongoing.

5. BNB

Cyborg robot lady looking at the Binance tokens.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin

Binance Coin (BNB) has exhibited a rather unremarkable performance in 2023, posting a YTD growth of just 9.89%, trailing behind every other non-stablecoin cryptocurrency on the list. While the year started promisingly, BNB has failed to keep pace with the market’s upward trajectory. Surprisingly, even negative press surrounding Binance could not dent BNB’s price.

Currently priced at $270.65, BNB has slightly risen from its $246.1516 valuation at the same time last year. It’s possible that Binance, still the leading cryptocurrency exchange, detaching itself from the token is what helps BNB evade the volatility often associated with the news.

Opened the year at: $244.14
Closing the year at: $270.65
Percentage change: 9.89%

Key Takeaways

BNB has underperformed the broader cryptocurrency market in 2023, posting a lackluster YTD growth of just 9.89%.

  • BNB has trailed behind all other major non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies in 2023.
  • Despite a promising start to the year, BNB has failed to keep pace with the market’s pace.
  • Negative press surrounding Binance has not significantly impacted BNB’s price.
  • BNB’s price has fallen from its valuation at the same time last year.

4. Solana (SOL)

Hand moving solana coins down a technology portal.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin

By almost all accounts, the top performer of 2023, Solana (SOL), was absent from the top 10 Cryptocurrencies around the same time last year. However, after posting an impressive year-to-date increase of 932.67%, 

Although still a distance from its all-time high of $260.06, SOL is presently valued at $102.88 and has emerged as a standout gainer in the latter part of 2023. This popular cryptocurrency not only holds the position as the highest gainer among this top 10 list but also ranks as the 5th highest crypto gainer within the top 100.

Solana’s Community Efforts and High Transaction Speed

Similar to Ethereum, Solana’s success is not solely attributed to its own merits but rather reflects the collective efforts of its thriving community. This success is also attributed to its cheaper transaction fees and quicker speeds than most other networks. 

While there have been concerns that it is not an entirely decentralized exchange, Solana has demonstrated its potential to become one of the top crypto projects despite this skepticism. The Proof-of-History consensus mechanism it employs has been considered the potential ‘secret sauce,’ allowing it to wield extremely high transaction speeds. This cryptocurrency currently surpasses any credit card transaction speed per second.

Opened the year at: $9.9822
Closing the year at: $102.88
Percentage change: 932.67%

Key Takeaways

SOL has emerged as the top performer of 2023, thanks to its thriving community, high transaction speeds, and the Proof-of-History consensus mechanism.

  • Solana was absent from the top 10 Cryptocurrencies in 2022.
  • Solana was the highest gainer in the top 10 and the 5th highest gainer in the top 100.
  • Solana’s success is attributed to its thriving community, cheaper transaction fees, and quicker transaction speeds.

3. Tether (USDT)

Robot looking at Tether jumping up and up.
Robot looking at Tether jumping up and up.

As the crypto world gained momentum in the 2010s, stablecoins remained a niche concept. However, amidst the volatile swings of bull and bear markets, the appeal of a coin that maintained its value consistently grew stronger.

Tether, one of the earliest stablecoins, emerged in 2014. Pegged to fiat currencies, Tether maintained a fixed exchange rate of one Tether to one U.S. dollar. This stability was achieved by maintaining a reserve of U.S. dollars for every Tether minted.

Unlike other cryptocurrencies, the price of Tether remained unwavering. One Tether was worth one dollar in January and still holds that value today. Despite concerns about its perceived “lesser value,” Tether boasts a market cap of over $91.26 billion and claims most of the daily trading volume among the top cryptocurrencies. Therefore, while USDT may not be a utility token in the traditional sense, it has easily witnessed the highest level of utility out of any coin on this list.

Opened the year at: $0.9997
Closing the year at: $1
Percentage change: 0.1%

Key Takeaways

Amidst the volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, USDT has emerged as the number 1 stablecoin, offering consistent value and gaining significant traction in the market.

  • Tether’s fixed exchange rate of one Tether to one U.S. dollar has remained stable.
  • Tether holds a market cap of over $91.26 billion and accounts for most of the daily trading volume.
  • Tether has demonstrated the highest level of utility among top cryptocurrencies.

2. Ethereum

Man on top of the world in space celebrating Ethereum.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin

While Bitcoin remains the reigning king of crypto, Ethereum holds the crown among the altcoins and has carved out its niche as the second most important digital asset in the ecosystem; the Ethereum blockchain offers a unique and versatile platform for innovation despite having its fair share of issues regarding trading fees.

Unlike Bitcoin, which focuses on being digital gold, Ethereum is a proof-of-stake cryptocurrency that embraces a broader vision akin to a Christmas stocking overflowing with presents. This blockchain platform, often called an ‘everything network,’ can represent stocks, store non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and even power web3 tokenomics, expanding its reach beyond being just a crypto asset.

At the start of 2023, ETH was valued at $1,200.96. Since then, it has consistently outperformed many of its peers, currently trading at $2,291.59 with a market capitalization of $275.43 billion. This remarkable 91% year-to-date increase highlights Its position as the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, and there seems to be little threat of that changing anytime soon. We hope to witness continued growth in the Ethereum network in 2024.

Opened the year at: $1,200.96
Closing the year at: $2,291.59
Percentage change: 91.47%

Key Takeaways

ETH continues to be a top contender in the cryptocurrency space, offering a unique and versatile platform for innovation while experiencing some challenges with trading fees.

  • Ethereum’s market capitalization is second only to Bitcoin.
  • Ethereum is often referred to as an ‘everything network.’
  • Ethereum has a unique and versatile platform for innovation but has also faced challenges with trading fees.

1. Bitcoin

Santa holding a present that is a big Bitcoin.
Created by Kornelija Poderskytė from DailyCoin

As the festive season approaches, so does the luster of Bitcoin, the pioneer of a new cryptographic algorithm era. Much like the jolly old elf himself, Bitcoin stands as the undisputed ‘Father of Crypto,’ bringing the gift of the digital currency era in 2009, much to the delight of crypto investors worldwide.

Currently, one BTC holds a value of around $43,800.39, boasting a market capitalization of approximately $857.5 billion. Despite its lack of use cases, this proof-of-work crypto has witnessed a year-to-date increase of 164.69%, establishing itself as highly regarded for use as a store of value and as an entry point for beginners into the cryptocurrency market. Therefore, it maintains its status as the best cryptocurrency on this list.

Opened the year at: $16,625.08
Closing the year at: $43,800.39
Percentage change: 164.69%

Key Takeaways

BTC is widely recognized as the most valuable and widely held crypto asset. Its strong performance, store of value potential, and ease of entry for beginners make it an attractive investment option.

  • Bitcoin is the most valuable cryptocurrency, with a market capitalization of around $857.5 billion.
  • Bitcoin is considered a store of value due to its limited supply and increasing adoption.
  • Bitcoin is a good entry point for beginners due to its ease of use and established infrastructure.

A Christmas Salute to Cryptocurrency’s Success

As the year draws to a close and the festive spirit fills the air, we take a moment to reflect on the remarkable journey of cryptocurrencies throughout 2023. Despite the prevailing economic uncertainties and market fluctuations, the decentralized digital currency sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience and a steadfast commitment to transforming the financial landscape.

From its humble beginnings as a niche concept, cryptocurrency has gained mainstream recognition and acceptance, with its underlying blockchain technology poised to revolutionize various industries. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies has fostered a sense of innovation and empowered individuals to take control of their financial lives.

This year, we witnessed the expansion of cryptocurrency adoption, with increasing institutional involvement and growing investor interest. Major financial institutions, such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, have embraced cryptocurrencies, acknowledging their potential to disrupt traditional financial systems.

On the Flipside

  • Cryptocurrency prices are notoriously volatile, meaning they can fluctuate wildly quickly. This can lead to significant losses for traders, who may buy or sell coins at the wrong time.
  • The regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies is still evolving, making it difficult for traders to know the rules and how they will be enforced.
  • Past price action does not guarantee future results. Always conduct thorough research and evaluate the risks before investing in cryptocurrencies.

Why This Matters

The 10th day of Cryptomas echoes the lightheartedness and unconventional nature of the cryptocurrency space, making it an ideal occasion to curate a top 10 list.


What is the safest crypto to invest in?

No single “safest” cryptocurrency exists, as all digital assets are subject to market volatility. However, some cryptocurrencies are generally considered to be less volatile than others due to their established reputation.

What crypto does not fluctuate?

No cryptocurrency is completely immune to price fluctuations. However, stablecoins aim to maintain a stable value by being pegged to a fiat currency (e.g., USD, EUR) or a basket of assets. The most popular stablecoin is Tether (USDT), generally pegged to the US dollar.

What is the best crypto to invest and hold?

Selecting the “best” cryptocurrency to invest and hold depends on individual risk tolerance, investment goals, and time horizon. Cryptocurrencies with a proven track record and strong development teams may be more attractive for long-term holding.

Which cryptocurrencies are DailyCoin’s favorites?

After polling everyone in the office for their top three favorite cryptocurrencies, a few stood out among us at DailyCoin. Some choices had more reasoning behind them than others, while some were based purely on vibes. However, three particular cryptos—XRP, SHIB, and, due to a tiebreaker and writer bias, Solana—emerged as the most supported. 

Notable survey responses included statements like “Uniswap cause it’s pretty, XRP cause it looks like Brad is a nice guy, and PEPE because they seem like fun.” Our resident memecoin expert, Tadas, selected SHIB, DOGE, and XRP, emphatically asserting that Shiba Inu reigns as the Ultimate Crypto Champ. 

Senior Journalist Lord Insha, First of His Name, Reader of Charts (Self-Proclaimed), provided a comprehensive response, delving into topics such as AI, Oracles, Decentralizing Data, and an analysis of exchanges, only to forget to include his top three. However, after being prompted again, he settled on ADA, PYTH, and Woo. 

Our all-knowing overseer, Ciaran, favored LINK, AVAX, and ROSE due to their, in his words, “🔥” use cases, while Samuel posted a video reminder that Bitcoin is the best without a second place.

The opinions expressed by our team members at DailyCoin are solely based on personal preferences and do not constitute financial advice.

Check out Day 9 in our 12 Days of Cryptomas Series where we shine a spotlight on crypto’s shining women:
Celebrating Women in Crypto: 6 Iconic Leaders from 2023

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Kyle Calvert

Kyle Calvert is a cryptocurrency news reporter for DailyCoin, specializing in Ripple, stablecoins, as well as price and market analysis news. Before his current role, Kyle worked as a student researcher in the cryptocurrency industry, gaining an understanding of how digital currencies work, their potential uses, and their impact on the economy and society. He completed his Masters and Honors degrees in Blockchain Technology within Esports and Business and Event management within Esports at Staffordshire University.