What Are The 5 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In The USA?

Last Updated October 2nd 2020

Most Popular Cryptos in America

Wondering which cryptocurrencies top popularity lists in the USA? You’re in the right place. Read on to discover the 5 most popular USA cryptocurrencies and how the North American market is changing. 

After the United Kingdom, the United States of America is home to the highest number of digital currency exchanges in the world — 27. The appetite for virtual assets is strong throughout the country and this shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, some of the most crypto-friendly cities around the globe can be found in America, from San Francisco to Jacksonville, FL. 

But which cryptocurrencies does America favour? From big names such as Bitcoin to altcoins with impressive growth, we’re taking a look at the cryptos which are keeping the North American market moving. 

Whether you’re searching for your next investment opportunity or just want to keep up with USA cryptocurrency trends, read on to find out more. 

5 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In The USA

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin has always been the most popular cryptocurrency on the global market. Ever since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has remained the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. With a current market capitalization of $201,365,331,430, the digital asset is considered ‘the king of cryptocurrency’ and was the first attempt to decentralize global payments. 

Instead of being issued by a central reserve, Bitcoin is created via a process known as mining. Bitcoin miners process transactions within the blockchain network, creating an open record of every transaction that’s occurred. This helps to maintain transparency in the world of online finance and is a key reason why Bitcoin has become so popular in the USA (and elsewhere). 

After the global financial crisis in 2007-8, which coincided with the US real estate crash, distrust of financial corporations was at an all-time high. Enter Bitcoin, which came to the market the following year and is wholly separate from centralized organizations such as banks and credit lenders. 

The first real-world Bitcoin transaction happened in 2010 when a software developer from Florida bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. If we compare this to the value of Bitcoin today, those pizzas would be worth a staggering $90 million! The event is so iconic among crypto enthusiasts that May 22nd is now officially ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day’, where investors are encouraged to celebrate by buying pizza with their own crypto reserves. 

Ten years on from that transaction, a recent survey from Harris Poll has found that 5% of Americans now own Bitcoin. That works out to around 16 million people! Considering the number of Bitcoin wallets is around 42 million, this suggests that a substantial percentage of Bitcoin users are living in the United States. 

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2. Ethereum (ETH)

The second most popular cryptocurrency in the USA is Ethereum — a blockchain platform which uses smart contracts to carry out digital transactions. Its native currency is known as Ether (ETH) and its current market cap is $41,271,483,278.

A smart contract is an automatic contract in which the specific terms of the agreement — for example, the amount of money you’ve agreed to pay someone for a particular service — are encoded. Just like Bitcoin, one of the main benefits of this is that it enables people to carry out online transactions without having to go through a third-party bank or lender. 

But the benefits of Ethereum don’t end there. In fact, many people in the US believe the blockchain network could pave the way for a new kind of internet, enabling us to manage our money — and even potentially vote — in a secure and totally decentralized way. 

Is Ethereum a Better Investment than Bitcoin?

We saw an early indication of this back in March 2020, when it was announced that CONA Services (Coke One North America) would be using the Ethereum blockchain to access the benefits of decentralized finance (DeFi). 

CONA Services is the tech partner of the 12 biggest coca-cola bottling plants in the United States. It has been carrying out transactions on the Ethereum platform in an effort to increase transparency throughout its supply chain, with the results of its trial expected to be released at some point during Q4 2020. 

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3. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) 

Originally launched in 2017, Bitcoin Cash is a  peer-to-peer electronic cash system. It was created as a scalable fork of Bitcoin after crypto investors raised concerns over the scalability of Bitcoin itself. It’s now the world’s fifth largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $4,290,477,304. 

In November 2020, a Bitcoin Cash hard fork will occur. This is a process by which the Bitcoin Cash network will be divided into two separate blockchains. The launch of Bitcoin Cash back in 2017 was itself a fork, as the new blockchain branched off from the original Bitcoin platform. 

Although Bitcoin Cash shares similarities with Bitcoin, it was ultimately created as a solution to some of the platform’s biggest problems. Whereas Bitcoin can handle block sizes of just 1MB, Bitcoin Cash has increased this block size to 8MB. Bitcoin Cash is also able to process a lot more transactions per second. Bitcoin is only able to process 7 transactions per second, which makes it hugely less efficient than other mainstream payment services (VISA, for example, can process a staggering 65,000 per second). 

Throughout the USA and South America, there are now approximately 716 different bricks-and-mortar businesses which accept payment in BCH. According to the website Bitcoin.com, there are 4,392 of these businesses worldwide, which means that over 16% are located in the Americas. This shows that Bitcoin Cash is definitely one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the US. 

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4. Ripple (XRP) 

Much like Ethereum, Ripple is the name of both its platform (RippleNet) and its virtual currency (Ripple XRP). At the time of writing, XRP is the world’s fourth biggest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $10,958,699,460 and an attractively low price of just $0.024. 

Ripple is already one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the US but according to industry predictions, it could be set to become even more popular in the near future. The cryptocurrency analyst known as CryptoWhale has predicted that once the United States reaches a consensus on cryptocurrency regulations, demand for Ripple will surge.

Pros and Cons of Investing in Ripple, Will It Be a Millionaire Maker?

CryptoWhale said: “The only project in the entire market that is pushing for Crypto Regulations is XRP. They know that once these regulations are added, it will completely annihilate almost every other altcoin, and make XRP’s demand skyrocket.” 

Because RippleNet was designed to make it easier for banks and other businesses to send global payments in real-time, with XRP as a universal currency, Ripple is already well placed in the financial establishment. While some people have criticized the fact that it’s more centralized than offerings such as Bitcoin, this could be the very reason behind its success. As CryptoWhale points out, Ripple has been “quietly working with government agencies to ensure compliance” for years — and when US regulations are enforced, it’s going to be able to take full advantage. 

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5. Litecoin (LTC) 

Litecoin is a Bitcoin spin-off which was launched in 2011, making it one of the world’s earliest altcoins. With a price of $46.82 and a current market cap of $3041,812,279, Litecoin is the twelfth biggest crypto in the world — and it’s one of the 5 most popular cryptocurrencies in the USA. 

Rather like Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin was launched in order to solve some of the issues which bothered people about Bitcoin. For example, while Bitcoin takes 10 minutes to add a new block to the blockchain, Litecoin takes just 2 and a half minutes and has lower transaction fees. 

The cryptocurrency has also recently benefited from the release of the role-playing game (RPG) LiteBringer, which runs on the Litecoin blockchain. The game is so popular that, according to the Litecoin Foundation, the number of Litecoin transactions more than tripled in the week following its release! This means that 75% of all transactions are now driven by LiteBringer.

Blockchain And The Gaming Industry | Stay Ahead Of The Game

With current estimates suggesting that 155 million Americans play video games regularly, it’s unsurprising that Litecoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the US. 

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What Are The Key Cryptocurrency Trends In The US? 

cryptocurrencies in the us

It’s no coincidence that 3 of the 5 most popular cryptocurrencies in the USA are based on Bitcoin technology (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin). According to a report by the analytics company Chainalysis, North America — which is the third most active country in the cryptocurrency market, after Western Europe and East Asia — favours Bitcoin cryptos above all others. 

The report claimed that this level of favour was ‘disproportionate’ compared to other countries. As part of its research, Chainalysis analysed how popular different categories of crypto are in key regions around the world. They did this by dividing cryptocurrencies into Bitcoins (BTC), stablecoins, and altcoins, before working out what percentage of regional activity concerned each category. They discovered the following: 

  • East Asia: 51% BTC, 33% stablecoins, 16% altcoins
  • Western Europe: 66% BTC, 21% stablecoins, 12% altcoins
  • North America: 72% BTC, 17% stablecoins, 11% altcoins
  • Eastern Europe: 57% BTC, 30% stablecoins, 13% altcoins
  • Central and Southern Asia: 53% BTC, 35% stablecoins, 12% altcoins
  • Latin America: 63% BTC, 26% stablecoins, 11% altcoins
  • Middle East: 54% BTC, 33% stablecoins, 14% altcoins
  • Africa: 69% BTC, 21% stablecoins, 10% altcoins

As we can see, Bitcoin currencies such as Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin take up the greatest percentage of North America’s crypto activity. The US’s preference for BTC is noticeably higher than any other region, with Africa the second highest at 69%. So why does the USA favor Bitcoin currencies? 

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US Trading Strategy

America’s preference for Bitcoin could be down to trading strategy. The report also found that US investors were far more likely to employ long-term investment strategies than those in other regions, choosing to buy and hold their assets as opposed to making quick trades. 

Between July 2019 and June 2020, for example, the trading intensity in East Asia was almost double that in North America. If US investors prefer to play the long game, BTC and its associated cryptos can make far more sensible investments than some of the lesser known altcoins. They may be famously volatile, but Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash in particular have defended their market positions strongly over the years. 

Not only that, but they have quickly recovered from periods of low growth or falls in price. In late March 2020, the price of Bitcoin crashed to $4,721 as the coronavirus pandemic sent the market into turmoil. However, by June and July the price had regained to around $9,000. Since these crashes are generally short-lived, Bitcoin is well-suited to investors with long-term strategies that rely on holding crypto for extended periods of time. 

Key Points

  • The five most popular cryptocurrencies in the USA are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Ripple 
  • 27 digital currency exchanges are registered in the USA 
  • San Francisco and Jacksonville are two of the most crypto-friendly cities in the world
  • Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the USA (and the rest of the world) 
  • 5% of Americans currently own Bitcoin
  • 716 businesses offer BCH payments in the US and South America combined 
  • Ripple’s campaign to set US cryptocurrency regulations could drive its popularity up
  • The most popular cryptocurrencies in the US are built on the Bitcoin technology 
  • 72% of US cryptocurrency activity concerns BTC 
  • US investors seem to prefer to hold cryptocurrency as opposed to making high-frequency trades

Invest In The Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In The USA

Whether you’re an experienced trader or just starting out, there’s no doubt that the 5 most popular cryptocurrencies in the US are potentially strong additions to your portfolio. We hope this article has shown you why so many Americans have chosen to invest in these cryptos  — and if you think the time has come to start trading too, the next step is to find a reputable US broker. 

The multi-asset brokerage company eToro gives you the opportunity to invest in more than 90 cryptocurrencies, including the 5 we’ve included in this list. eToro has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Fully regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), it’s a trusted choice for those who wish to invest in the most popular cryptocurrencies in the US.

Cryptocurrency In The USA — FAQs 

Is cryptocurrency legal in the USA? 

Bitcoin was officially legalized in the USA in February 2020. However, it’s not considered legal tender and is taxed as a form of property rather than currency.

Where can I get cryptocurrency in the USA? 

The broker eToro is a safe and reputable way to start trading cryptocurrency in the USA. It has offices in the US and is regulated by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Using eToro, you can access more than 90 different cryptocurrencies. 

Who regulates Bitcoin in the US?

Although Bitcoin isn’t legally classed as money, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has recognized crypto exchanges as money transmitters and considers tokens have “value that substitutes for currency.” 

Does Amazon US accept Bitcoin? 

Currently, Amazon US doesn’t officially accept Bitcoin payments for products. However, it is possible to pay for Amazon gift cards using Bitcoin. 

How do I convert Bitcoin to dollars? 

You can convert your Bitcoins to dollars by selling it on a cryptocurrency exchange, such as eToro. Simply sell your crypto for dollars and withdraw your payment to a bank account. 

Is cryptocurrency a good investment? 

Investing in cryptocurrency in the US is generally considered a high-risk investment. This is because the value of assets such as Bitcoin can be incredibly volatile. It’s important to do your due diligence and have a robust risk management strategy in place before you start investing in cryptocurrency in the US. 

Is it legal to buy and sell Bitcoin in the US? 

Buying and selling Bitcoin is legal in the US — as long as you go through a regulated exchange. If you try to trade Bitcoin without going through an exchange, you’ve technically committed a crime. This is because Bitcoin is taxed as property rather than currency. Just as you’d go through an estate agent to sell your home, you need to go through a regulated crypto exchange to sell your Bitcoin in the US. 

We at Trading Education can help you master the art of crypto trading. Simply sign up for one of our trading courses to become a pro in the world of cryptocurrency trading and blockchain technology.

We hope our article What Are The 5 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In The US was usefull to you and saved you some time in your research.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile. Your capital is at risk and Past performance is not an indication of future results.

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