Cryptocurrency is a relatively young asset class. While traditional assets like equities, bonds, and fiat currency have existed for hundreds of years, crypto has barely existed for more than a decade. To that end, there’s not much of a history associated with these blockchain-backed assets. Yet, that hasn’t stopped investors from flocking to them in recent years, largely because of the explosive potential they’ve shown for ROI.

Nailing down the best performing crypto coins can be difficult because of the relative newness of this asset class. Only a few coins have existed for more than a few years, and there are new cryptocurrencies coming to market every month. The best performing crypto asset today might pale in comparison to other coins in just a few months.

To get a handle on the performance of different crypto assets, it’s best to divide them up into different classes. Below is a breakdown of the best performing crypto coins based on what they are how long they’ve been available to trade.

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Long-Term Crypto Coins (+10-Year History)

The original crypto boom produced several of the most notable coins traded on exchanges today, including the granddaddy of them all: Bitcoin. These coins have largely showcased their staying power over the last decade and have been the primary beneficiaries of both early adopters and subsequent waves of investors seeking to get in on the “ground floor” of crypto. As a result, many have fared particularly well through the years, offering outsized returns to patient investors.

Here’s a look at the best-performing crypto coins among the old guard of crypto assets: coins that have existed for a decade or more. These are the only cryptocurrencies that are “long-term” investments at this point.

  • Dogecoin (DOGE) is up 24,775.80% all-time
  • Bitcoin (BTC) is up 11,621.16% all-time
  • Litecoin (LTC) is up 2,458.55% all-time
  • Namecoin (NMC) is up 236.43% all-time
  • Peercoin (PPC) is up 237.71% all-time
  • Gridcoin (GRC) is up 243.93% all-time
  • Ripple (XRP) is up 125.22% all-time

Medium-Term Crypto Coins (5-10-Year History)

There were quite a few coins introduced in the second wave of crypto, right around the time Bitcoin first began to run up in 2017. Many of these second-wave coins are thriving today, showing investors that it doesn’t take a decade of stability to deliver ROI. These coins have all moved past their initial “boom or bust” period and have entrenched themselves as solid assets.

Here’s a look at some of the best-performing crypto coins from the second wave and how they’ve fared since establishing themselves in the market. Keep in mind that many of these coins also introduced practical uses beyond serving as decentralized stores of value.

  • Binance Coin is up 338,212.84% all-time
  • Verge (XVG) is up 133,143.61% all-time
  • Dash (DASH) is up 44,156.87% all-time
  • Ethereum (ETH) is up 23,636.57% all-time
  • Nano (Nano) is up 20,774.31% all-time
  • XRP (XRP) is up 10,982.53% all-time
  • NEO (NEO) is up 10,230.93% all-time
  • Monero (XMR) is up 9,112.04% all-time
  • Solana (SOL) is up 7,296.34% all-time
  • Stellar Lumens (XLM) is up 6,019.49% all-time

New Crypto Players (2-5-Year History)

Over the past five years, the crypto market has become inundated with new coins and tokens. And while it’s brought more investment opportunities to the table, not all of them are viable coins. Many have floundered and failed, or lost value completely due to mishandled ICOs. That said, several have survived and thrived. While still considered new investments, these coins have a couple of years of performance under their belt: something for investors to measure their expectations against.

Here’s a look at the best performing crypto assets that have emerged over the last two to five years, at the outset of the third cryptocurrency wave. Remember that these coins primarily represent those with positive returns, and are a small fraction of those actually introduced.

  • Cardano (ADA) is up 4,725.08% all-time
  • Tron (TRON) is up 2,953.33% all-time
  • Firo (FIRO) is up 776.48% all-time
  • EOS (EOS) is up 115.74% all-time

Speculative Crypto Assets (0-2-Year History)

Today, we’re fully immersed in the third wave of cryptocurrency, with new coins coming to market seemingly every month. Unfortunately, investment in these coins is purely speculative, since they haven’t existed long enough to prove their efficacy. The best many investors can do is to look at similar coins/tokens and to consider the macroeconomic trends and traction of the crypto market as a whole.

For those with an appetite for risk and the tolerance to buy and hold, jumping into a few promising coins today could yield results over the course of 5-10 years, proven by coins that’ve been around for that long. Here’s a look at the best performing crypto assets from the current crop of coins.

  • Shiba Inu (SHIB) is up 713,921.96% all-time
  • SafeMoon (SAFEMOON) is up 128,705.62% all-time
  • Polygon (MATIC) is up 36,824.05% all-time
  • Terra (LUNA) is up 4,741.06% all-time
  • ApeCoin (APE) is up 1,702.34% all-time
  • Avalanche (AVAX) is up 1,403.30% all-time
  • Polkadot (DOT) is up 526.46% all-time

Get the Scoop on Cryptocurrency Assets

The crypto market is a difficult one to navigate. Beyond established cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum, there simply isn’t enough history to gauge the long-term performance of many assets. And while plenty of newer coins have potential as long-term investments, it’s still too early to tell how they’ll perform in the face of a burgeoning crypto market.

Want more advice on crypto investing for the long-term? Discover some of the best investment newsletters. It’s the best way to stay on top of this evolving asset class and everything blockchain-related.