What Are The 10 Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In The UK?

Last Updated October 9th 2020

Searching for the most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK? Read on. We’ll be explaining what are the top 10 most popular cryptos and how you can start trading cryptocurrency in the UK. 

According to data from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA),  around 2.6 million people have bought cryptocurrency in the UK. That’s almost 4% of the adult population — a statistic which firmly places Britain as one of the top 10 most crypto-friendly countries in the world.

And that’s not the only ‘top 10’ we’re interested in. In this article, we’ll be explaining what are the 10 most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK. More than a decade since the launch of Bitcoin, these coins are tempting more and more investors into the world of virtual assets. That means if you’ve been searching for your next UK investment opportunity, you’ll be in good company. But why exactly are they so popular? 

Read on to find out why so many UK traders have decided to add these cryptocurrencies to their portfolio. Whether you’re looking for the best UK investments 2021 or simply want to keep up with cryptocurrency trends, you’ll find something of interest in our list of the top 10 most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK. 

Top 10 most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK

1. Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin is known as ‘the king of cryptocurrencies’ — and for good reason. Ever since it was launched by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, it’s retained its crown as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. This means it’s the top choice for cryptocurrency investors in the UK. 

At the time of writing, Bitcoin has a market capitalisation of $197,091,823,666 and a price of $10,647.08. Each Bitcoin token is created via a process known as mining — the term used to describe the way in which traders can add transactions to the blockchain. This works using a proof-of-work algorithm. Before a new Bitcoin can be created, a trader needs to solve a computational puzzle to verify each transaction. If they solve it correctly, they receive a certain number of Bitcoin as a reward. 

But mining isn’t the only way to obtain Bitcoin in the UK. You can simply buy Bitcoin with fiat money (GBP) on cryptocurrency exchanges such as the multi-asset brokerage eToro. You can even earn Bitcoin by playing certain video games! 

One of the main reasons why Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the UK is simply the fact that it ‘got there first’. As the world’s first cryptocurrency, it’s better established than many of the altcoins (alternative cryptos) which have since sprung onto the market. 

After organising a study earlier this year, the FCA found that Bitcoin is by far the most recognised crypto in the United Kingdom. 78% of their respondents had heard of Bitcoin, while only 22% had heard of the second most widely recognised crypto — Facebook’s Libra. This is a huge jump, showing that Bitcoin has entered the public consciousness far more successfully than its competitors. 

Another reason why Bitcoin is so popular in the UK is the fact that it emerged shortly after the Global Financial Crisis in 2007-8. Between the Q1 2008 and Q2 2009, the UK economy shrunk by more than 6%, leading many people to distrust central governing bodies and big financial institutions such as banks and lenders. When Bitcoin arrived on the scene in 2009, cryptocurrency suddenly seemed a viable alternative to the centralisation of the sector. 

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2. Ethereum (ETH) 

Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency in the world, with a current market cap of $38,798,343,958 and a price of $343.59. According to the FCA’s data, it’s also the fourth most widely recognised crypto in the UK, as 17% of their respondents reported that they’d heard of it before. 

Ethereum is a blockchain platform which uses smart contracts to carry out transactions. Smart contracts are automatic contracts which encode the specific terms of the agreement, such as the price you’re paying and whom you’re paying it to. Much like the process of Bitcoin mining, this makes the payment system incredibly transparent and also means people don’t have to go through third-party organisations such as banks. 

Ever since Ethereum was launched via an ICO (Initial Coin Offering) in 2014, it’s been a firm favourite behind Bitcoin and its performance has been rising steadily. It remained strong during 2020, despite the industry-wide set-back which came in the form of the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, many investors believe that Ethereum will soon overtake Bitcoin as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. 

Ethereum Vs. Bitcoin: Is Ethereum a Better Investment than Bitcoin?

The price of a cryptocurrency is directly affected by its market cap. The term ‘market cap’ is short for market capitalization. This refers to the total market value of an asset — in this case, cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies are famously volatile, so the market cap can change quickly. (Just take a look back over this year: the total cryptocurrency market cap hit $380 billion in August, which constituted a recovery of almost $180 billion since April). 

You can work out the market cap of a cryptocurrency using the following sum: the total number of coins or tokens in circulation x the current price of each coin. This means that as the market cap of Ethereum increases, so too will its price. Because the demand for Ethereum has been rising steadily, both in the UK and the rest of the world, some experts believe that it could reach prices of $30,000 in the next few years. 

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3. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) 

Considering the popularity of Bitcoin, it’s not surprising that the third most popular cryptocurrency in the UK is Bitcoin Cash. This cryptocurrency was launched in 2017 after concerns were raised about the scalability of Bitcoin (also known as ‘Bitcoin Core’), which has a finite number of tokens. It’s a peer-to-peer electronic payment system which quickly took its place amongst the world’s top 5 biggest cryptocurrencies, now boasting a market cap of $4,290,477,304. 

Today, many people believe that Bitcoin Cash is the most disruptive competitor to Bitcoin and have jumped ship from Core to Cash. Roger Ver, a prominent early Bitcoin investor, now firmly promotes Bitcoin Cash instead. In December 2018, he told the Independent that the cryptocurrency  “simply works better”, partly thanks to the fact it has much lower transaction fees than Bitcoin. 

In the UK, a Welsh IT specialist called James Howell is also a proud supporter of Bitcoin Cash. Howell hit the headlines in 2013 after accidentally throwing away a computer hard drive which was storing £4 million worth of Bitcoins. By today’s value, this would be worth a staggering £50 million — however, despite being an early adopter of Bitcoin Core, he’s also switched to BCH, claiming it’s much more suitable for day-to-day transactions. 

With these arguments becoming increasingly widespread, many people who are looking for cryptocurrency predictions 2021 believe that BCH is about to become even more popular in the UK. The FCA study found that 20% of UK respondents had already heard of Bitcoin Cash. Could this figure be set to increase over the coming years? 

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4. Litecoin (LTC) 

First launched in 2011, Litecoin was one of the world’s first altcoins. It was designed to be a cheaper and faster alternative to Bitcoin, taking just 2.5 minutes to process a new block as opposed to 10 minutes. This speed is partly why it’s remained in the top 5 of our list of 10 most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK, despite ranking 9th in the rest of the world. 

Another benefit to the Litecoin platform is the fact that it can support up to 84 million coins. The maximum supply of Bitcoins is ‘just’ 21 million, so Litecoin is a lot more scalable. It’s also shown impressive growth in the past. While it’s hardly the most bullish crypto (its price sits under $50), it grew more than 8000% in 2017. What’s more, it recently enjoyed new growth earlier this year. 

The release of the role-playing game LiteBringer, which runs on the Litecoin blockchain, has caused the number of Litecoin transactions to surge. According to the Litecoin Foundation, transactions tripled in volume in the week following the release, with 75% of all transactions now caused by the game. 

If you’re looking to start cryptocurrency trading in the UK, it could be a smart move to keep track of Litecoin’s performance. As it only just makes it onto the list of the top 10 biggest cryptocurrencies in the world, some investors may overlook it — but its recent developments should place it on your radar. 

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5. Dash (DASH) 

Dash wants to make cryptocurrency more usable on a day-to-day basis. It started life as Xcoin in 2014, before morphing into Darkcoin. The rebrand to the portmanteau ‘Dash’ was an effort to reinforce what this crypto is all about — digital cash. 

Currently, Dash has a market cap of $647,939,954 and a price of $66.46. It might be the 28th biggest cryptocurrency in the world, but its practicality and potential makes it worthy of a place on our list of the top 10 most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK. 

Like Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, Dash was created to solve some of the problems that plague the Bitcoin technology. These include its slow speed, high transaction fees, and inability to process a lot of transactions at once. 

All of these factors make Bitcoin unsuitable for handling day-to-day payments. The founders of Dash aimed to make digital cash a reality, with instant transfers and very low fees ($0.10). If you’re wondering ‘is Dash a good investment?’, you might be interested to know that thousands of online merchants already accept Dash payments in the UK. There are even several Dash ATMs in London shopping centres! 

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6. Stellar (XLM)

Stellar was launched in 2014 by Jed McCaleb, one of the co-founders of Ripple. It’s an open-source decentralised payment network which was initially referred to as ‘The Secret Bitcoin Project’ before its release. 

Stellar’s native currency is called the Lumen. Much as Ether powers Ethereum and Ripple XRP powers RippleNet, Lumen powers the Stellar network and all of its functionalities. It’s got a number of impressive real-world applications, having made a series of high-powered partnerships in the years since its release. These include creating a cross-border payments application called Deloitte Digital Bank, in collaboration with Deloitte; a payment system with IBM, and the inclusion of various payment startups around the world. 

Closer to home, Stellar is also winning over investors in the UK. This is thanks to the increasing demand for decentralised finance (DeFi) services, which Stella — and the products it’s created through its range of partnerships — is ideally placed to fill. 

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7. Ripple (XRP) 

Ripple has always been a strong choice for traders who are looking for the most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK. Its native currency, Ripple XRP, has consistently performed well ever since it was released in 2012. However,  2017 was a particularly stand-out year — Ripple grew by a staggering 36,000%! 

XRP is currently the world’s fourth biggest cryptocurrency, with a market cap of $10,958,699,460 and a price of just $0.024. Its low price has attracted investors from all over the world, but there’s also another key reason why UK investors might want to consider adding XRP to their portfolio. 

Unlike completely decentralised cryptocurrencies, Ripple has partnered with a variety of large institutions. This is because it was originally designed to make it easier for banks and other big businesses to send cross-border payments in real time.

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

Because it has the backing of major companies such as J.P Morgan and Santander, many crypto experts believe that Ripple is more likely to weather any government regulations which could be introduced to control the use and sale of cryptocurrencies in the near future. 

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8. Tezos (XTZ) 

After a long period of losing value, Tezos could finally be climbing back to the levels of popularity it enjoyed at its launch. When the blockchain network opened via ICO in 2017, it raised an incredible $232 million — an investment which broke world records at the time! And despite its rocky performance in the last few years, Tezos has remained one of the top cryptocurrencies of choice for traders in the UK. 

The crypto has received high scores in audits, which found that Tezos’s on-chain governance model means it’s well-protected against issues such as ‘selfish baking’ (otherwise known as ‘selfish mining’) and chain reorganisations. This level of security could be why Tezos is still one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK. 

If you’re on the hunt for cryptocurrency trends that could turn into potential investment opportunities, keep an eye on Tezos over the next few months. It was recently selected by the financial group Elevated Returns (ER) to host tokenized offerings to real estate investors. As demand for DeFi grows, this could mean that Tezos is heading for better things as UK traders look ahead to 2021. 

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9. Cardano (ADA) 

Currently, in ninth place in the list of the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the world, Cardano is a proof-of-stake blockchain platform. With a market cap of $3,234,470,460, Cardano was founded by one of the co-founders of Ethereum has been a popular cryptocurrency in the UK ever since its launch.

Cardano’s native currency is referred to as the ADA, which is used to send and receive cross-border digital funds. Like Ethereum, it uses smart contracts — however, one of the reasons why Cardano is so popular in the UK is the fact that it was designed to overcome some of the problems which thwart both Ethereum and Bitcoin. 

As a third-generation cryptocurrency, Cardano has been able to see where its competitors have stumbled and improve its own offering accordingly. Because of this, many UK traders see Cardano as a much stronger investment. It might be less established for now, but in the long-run, it may be able to succeed where first-generation offerings fail. Over time, this has made it one of the top 10 most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK. 

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10. IOTA (MIOTA) 

The final crypto on our list of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK is IOTA. This open-sourced ledger was launched in 2015 to facilitate transactions between computers in the Internet-of-Things network. Its market cap is currently $720,951,113 and its price is $0.259379. 

The proof-of-work algorithm which IOTA uses to verify transactions means that there are no transfer fees involved. This is a huge benefit for those in the IoT industry, which has traditionally been plagued with high transaction fees. However, IOTA has suffered a number of hacking attempts which have caused considerable downtime in the last few years. 

While this hasn’t overly shaken its popularity in the UK, this crypto is perhaps better suited to experienced investors who have developed a practised trading strategy and have robust risk management in place. 

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Ready To Trade Cryptocurrency In The UK?

To start trading one of the most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK, your first step is to find a reputable UK broker. 

The multi-asset brokerage platform eToro offers all of the cryptocurrencies that are included on this list. Fully regulated by the FCA, it’s an excellent choice for cryptocurrency beginners thanks to its popular CopyTrader feature. This enables you to watch the investment decisions of other traders in real time and automatically copy their strategy. 

All in all, Copy Trading at eToro is ideal for those of you that want to trade popular cryptos but have no knowledge or experience of how trading works.

If you’re ready to start trading some of the top popular cryptocurrencies in the UK, we would suggest exploring eToro. The UK top broker allows you to invest in cryptocurrencies as well as trade fiat-to-crypto and crypto-crossing pairs. 

So, what are you waiting for? Explore eToro’s online trading platform, consider risks, and start trading the most popular cryptos today!

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It’s important to remember that even the most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK aren’t guaranteed to bring you profits. Always carry out your due diligence before trading cryptocurrency in the UK. 

Key Points

  • Around 2 million people own cryptocurrency in the UK 
  • Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in the UK
  • According to the FCA, 78% of respondents have heard of Bitcoin
  • Demand for decentralised currency grew after the financial crisis 
  • 17% of FCA respondents have heard of Ethereum 
  • Many investors believe Bitcoin Cash is better than Bitcoin Core
  • The release of LiteBringer is boosted the popularity of Litecoin in the UK
  • Dash ATMs have appeared in London shopping centres 
  • UK demand for decentralised finance services is growing 
  • High-profile partnerships can boost the popularity of a cryptocurrency
  • Third-generation cryptocurrencies can improve on early offerings 

Further Reading:

Top 10 Cryptocurrencies To Invest In 2021

Most Popular Cryptocurrencies In The USA

Cryptocurrencies To Watch And Avoid

How To Trade Cryptocurrency with $100

Most Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin

We hope this article has helped you understand why the 10 most popular cryptocurrencies in the UK have earned their reputation. From the reign of Bitcoin to the emergence of major altcoins, these cryptocurrencies are boosting portfolios all over the UK. Which one should you choose?

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