7 Cryptos You’ll Wish You Bought in 2021 as Bitcoin Surges

There’s a very compelling case to be made that cryptocurrency will move even higher in 2022. In short, that means now is the time to buy. Overall demand for cryptos will rise, bringing prices up for the entire market.

Although that suggests prices will move up for most individual cryptocurrencies, there will obviously be winners and losers. I’ll get to what I believe will separate one from the other in a moment. But first, I want to note that momentum in the most dominant force in the sector should bolster your confidence in cryptos moving into next year.

I’m of course talking about Bitcoin (CCC:BTC-USD), which reached an all-time high on Oct. 20 when it approached $67,000. Prices dropped to levels just below $59,000 following a selloff as holders took profits off the table.

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That said, the selloff looks unlikely to continue. The crypto Fear and Greed Index is firmly in the “greed” range. That suggests bullishness has only slightly abated. Further, many large, traditionally conservative investment houses are openly stating their bullishness on crypto. In short, things are only looking better for this asset class.

While Bitcoin will certainly anchor the crypto space, let’s look at others that are very much worth buying now:

Cryptos: Cardano (ADA)

A concept coin for Cardano (ADA).

Source: Shutterstock

Cardano has increased in price by a massive 1,980% over the last year. But at the same time, Cardano has dropped from $3.10 in the beginning of September to $2.14 now. That might worry some, but it shouldn’t. Cardano is entering a new phase — the Goguen Era — following its smart contract update.

As the updates pass, investors have little to immediately excite them, thus ADA prices have come down. But investors should be excited because Cardano is being developed at present in ways we can’t know about.

Cardano’s application building platform, Marlowe, allows non-programmers to build financial smart contracts. In fact, given that it added the functionality in September, there’s a good chance ground-breaking financial smart contracts are being written as you read this.

These are the types of contracts that are going to ultimately bring cryptocurrency to the forefront of finance. In other words, the more connected crypto becomes to the day-to-day financial settlement contracts utilized millions of times daily, the more money is connected to it. Therefore, the most important use cases for Cardano, in terms of moving its price upward, are likely being written at present.

Cardano’s smart contracts and utility in the world of finance are compelling enough. But the Goguen Era of the firm’s road map also denotes the ability to create natively-supported tokens. That means users will be able to create new cryptocurrencies using Cardano, as well as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and fungible tokens.

WazirX (WRX)

WazirX (WRX-USD) logo on a website with a price chart in the background

WazirX (WRX-USD) logo on a website with a price chart in the background

Source: Dennis Diatel / Shutterstock

The reason to buy WazirX is relatively straightforward: it is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in India. WRX is the native token of the exchange.

India is particularly interesting as a crypto hotspot for several reasons. First of all, the country has a massive population base. That doesn’t mean every service and product will perform well there, but in the case of crypto, there is a massive market in the country.

In fact, India is home to the greatest number of crypto holders in the world. The rub comes in the fact that the Reserve Bank of India has wavered on the legality of crypto within its borders, directly affecting WRX.

The central bank’s ban on crypto was lifted in March. It was then no coincidence that WazirX went from 40 cents to $4 between March and April.

However, months later, it seemed there was less clarity on the legality of crypto. Sources were unclear, with some referring to the central bank’s dictate that banks themselves were forbidden from facilitating crypto transactions. The country’s Supreme Court later struck down that law.

More recently, taxation laws outlined in an important cryptocurrency bill look to facilitate higher demand. That should lead to a surge of usage for the WRX coin in trading crypto pairs on India’s largest exchange.

Cryptos: Polkadot (DOT)

the icon for the Polkadot (DOT) cryptocurrency

the icon for the Polkadot (DOT) cryptocurrency

Source: Zeedign.com / Shutterstock.com

The next two cryptos on this list appear for the same reason: Both act as intermediaries in the world of blockchain and smart contracts.

All of the data contained within a given blockchain is essentially useless if it remains non-transferrable and impossible to share. The utility of Polkadot is that it facilitates the transfer of any data or asset from blockchain to blockchain.

Therefore, the overall sales pitch for investing in Polkadot is its position as a relatively mundane middleman of the Web 3.0 era. Dress it down to what it is and it sounds somewhat unappealing, but it’s very powerful nonetheless.

There are a number of data transfer protocols and networks which brought the internet to its current level of utility. With Web 3.0, these cryptos don’t have the wide appeal of a coin like Shiba Inu (CCC:SHIB-USD). In my estimation, that’s because they’re difficult to understand. But distill Polkadot down to its essence, and you have a data hub for blockchain assets.

Polkadot is racing to build its network of blockchain partners, and recently that has meant the incorporation of parachains in its network. Parachains allow users to optimize the underlying blockchain rather than simply build decentralized apps (dApps) using smart contracts. That should lead to a larger network moving forward.

Chainlink (LINK)

a digital representation of the chainlink (LINK) cryptocurrency

a digital representation of the chainlink (LINK) cryptocurrency

Source: Stanslavs / Shutterstock.com

Chainlink might not pique your interest in the fast-moving world of crypto. After all, it trades at levels more akin to traditional stocks than cryptos, where we see coins like SHIB increase in value exponentially.

Case in point, Chainlink traded at $12 a year ago and now trades at $29. Don’t get me wrong, those are great returns, but they just don’t stack up to other cryptos by and large.

That’s fine, though, because utility and steady growth is the name of the game for the purposes of this article. These are cryptos you’ll wish you bought in 2021, meaning they have long-term staying power.

The staying power of LINK lies in what it refers to as decentralization oracles. These are essentially functional units that act to transfer data on or off the Chainlink network to any other oracle, or node, within the network.

This is analogous to what already happens on the internet, but it’s also the evolution of the internet. Blockchains introduce a greater degree of consensus to decision making. That gets transferred in the data on a given blockchain, and Chainlink is the intermediary making this possible as it increases the connections within its network.

Blockchain projects will come and go. But Chainlink and Polkadot will remain because of their utility in connecting disparate blockchains and the data contained therein.

Cryptos: Solana (SOL)

Concept art of the Solana (SOL) blockchain.

Concept art of the Solana (SOL) blockchain.

Source: Shutterstock

As Solana’s website notes, it is “a decentralized blockchain built to enable scalable, user-friendly apps for the world.” If that sounds a lot like Ethereum (CCC:ETH-USD), it isn’t by chance.

Solana is absolutely looking to become the next Ethereum. It is one of the fastest blockchains in the world.

A big aspect of the bullish case for Solana has to do with NFTs. A glance at Reddit conversations on the matter indicates that users feel Ethereum has a cost problem. Solana is squarely positioned to benefit from that issue.

Generally, complaints about Ethereum revolve around its gas fees. In the rapidly-evolving crypto world, this has become especially evident in NFT creation. Using the previously mentioned thread as an example, this means Solana is a more appealing platform for the creation of 3D NFTs and NFT games.

Problems like this are bound to crop up again and again as Ethereum progresses toward its 2.0 update. But by the time that occurs, Solana and others could erode a significant portion of ETH’s lead.

Terra (LUNA)

A digital rendering of the Terra (LUNA-USD) crypto on top of a circuit board.

A digital rendering of the Terra (LUNA-USD) crypto on top of a circuit board.

Source: Shutterstock

The appeal of Terra is that it is pegged to the prices of relatively stable fiat currencies. The project uses stablecoins as a payment processing tool.

At present, its stablecoins are pegged to the U.S. dollar, the South Korean won, the Mongolian tugrik and the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies.

LUNA has skyrocketed in price over the last year. 12 months ago, it could be purchased for less than a dollar. But it has since taken off and now trades above $40.

Notably, the token’s price rose even as Bitcoin holders sold off on Oct. 20. Furthermore, stablecoins look increasingly attractive moving into 2022.

Coins like Shiba Inu are going to continue to crop up and become overnight sensations because they offer such massive returns based on little fundamentally. But stablecoins like Terra will gain more attention in the long run. The reason is that crypto rooted in reality and pegged to fiat currencies offer something real.

Crypto is becoming less like a game rooted in vague “to the moon” notions and more like a real financial tool. Look for Terra (and other stablecoin projects) to rise moving forward.

Cryptos: Chiliz (CHZ)

Hand holding a magnifying glass over a keyboard key that has the Chiliz altcoin logo on it

Hand holding a magnifying glass over a keyboard key that has the Chiliz altcoin logo on it

Source: shutterstock.com/Morrowind

Chiliz has yet to truly break out. But as a coin that acts as a platform-based currency for sports fan engagement, it has a unique offering.

Chiliz and its parent, Socios.com, continue to make waves in the evolving world of sports and blockchain technology. On Oct. 15, the Los Angeles Lakers announced an official sponsorship with Socios.com.

That brings the number of National Basketball Association (NBA) teams on the platform to 24. If Chiliz can be distilled into one idea, it’s that they help sports organizations monetize their fan bases though the blockchain.

Chiliz’ reach extends beyond the NBA. Some of the crypto’s other high-profile agreements were detailed in the press release announcing the partnership:

The Lakers join a 90+ strong network of major international sporting properties on the Socios.com roster, which also includes European soccer giants FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan, Atlético Madrid, Valencia, Manchester City, Inter Milan, Arsenal and the Argentina and Portugal national soccer teams, as well as a number of leading teams from F1, esports and cricket.”

With so many big names pairing up with Socios.com, Chiliz has huge potential for gains in 2022 and beyond.

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

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