India’s top 10 favourite cryptocurrencies in October 2021

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India’s top 10 favourite cryptocurrencies in October 2021
The total market capitalisation of the global crypto market currently stands at $2.6 trillion — that's the same as India’s gross domestic production (GDP) for all of 2020 which stood at $2.6 trillion, according to the World Bank.

A lot of this growth came about in the past one year, when investors were scrambling to diversify their investments amid the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. That holds true for India as well. WazirX, one of India’s leading crypto exchanges, saw a spurt of users come in, not just from the largest cities, but also Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

"Coupled with the pandemic-induced lockdown, it has further accelerated the digital adoption in these regions,” the company said in a statement. Overall, WazirX has more than 9 million users on its platform , with a trading volume of $30 billion so far this year. It has over a hundred cryptocurrencies up for trading.

Cryptocurrencies have attained wider usage too, beyond simply buying to hold — or HODL. For example, Bitcoin wants to be a means of transaction, Ethereum is building smart contracts and Ripple’s XRP wants to be the king of interoperability. Many of these cryptocurrencies, including Shiboshi NFTs bought using Shiba Inu, are accepted as payment on online 'bridge' services like shopping.io, that enable purchases from sites like Ebay and Amazon.

Why are people investing in cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology – a cryptographically secured ledger of all transactions conducted. That allows for decentralised, trusted transactions even when not controlled by a country or bank.

Just like one can trade on the value of fiat currencies, like the dollar or the rupee, as well as for company shares on the stock market — they can also trade on the value of cryptocurrencies on a crypto exchange. Exchanges based out of India, like WazirX, not only helps match buyers and sellers, but lets users trade or sell to book profits in the Indian rupee.

Cryptocurrencies, and their market value, is a global phenomenon. However, trading volumes — how much of a particular cryptocurrency is being bought and sold — varies from country to country, and from exchange to exchange.

Coinmarketcap, for instance, shows that trading volume in the past 24 hours has been the highest for Tether. WazirX, on the other hand, shows that Indians are trading more Bitcoin than they are Tether.

Looking at the top ten by market volume traded in the country, here are India’s most popular crypto coins and tokens for the month of October 2021, as sourced from the WazirX crypto exchange in Indian Rupee trading pairs:
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Bitcoin / BTC

Bitcoin / BTC
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Bitcoin price in INR: ₹47,11,887

Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in India. This is probably because it is the longest living cryptocurrency, valued the highest, along with a finite supply like gold. Proponents even call Bitcoin the ‘gold standard’ of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin makes up 46% of the crypto market capitalisation globally. Its underlying technology inspires development and its value spurs investment into similar ‘altcoins’. Some experts believe that Bitcoin could become a reserve currency of sorts for the rest of the financial system — decentralised finance (DeFi) — that’s coming up around cryptocurrencies.

Countries like El Salvador, which recently started to accept Bitcoin as legal tender, see the cryptocurrency as an opportunity to be less dependent on fiat currencies — in El Salvador’s case, the US dollar — and solve the troubles of their financial system, like the high cost of remittances, financial inclusion and much more.

Tether / USDT

Tether / USDT
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Tether price in INR: ₹78.72

As its name implies, this token is ‘tethered’ to the value of the US Dollar, thus becoming a ‘stablecoin’ with minimal volatility of value. That makes it a convenient intermediate currency for a trader, or even just to hold profits until you decide what you’d like to invest in next.

For example, you may sell one cryptocurrency to get Tether tokens, and then sell those tokens to buy another cryptocurrency. It is one of the most boring cryptocurrency you can use, and many argue that stablecoins defeat the underlying principle of cryptocurrencies being decentralised, but it plays a crucial role for exactly that reason.

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Shiba Inu / SHIB

Shiba Inu / SHIB
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Shiba Inu price in INR: ₹0.00428

Could a crypto token named after a breed of Japanese hunting dog ride the meme train to fame? The cute memes it inspired, its whitepaper named ‘WoofPaper’ and the market interest it drew would say yes.

The first three weeks of October 2021 saw it rise by 145%. It began life with a very low exchange rate, and even after the rally, one token of SHIB costs $0.00002941. This means that ₹ 2300 could buy you over a million tokens of SHIB. That is oddly satisfying in a crypto market where buying one whole Bitcoin costs a lot more — ₹49 lakh more.

In its essence, it is a token based upon the Ethereum blockchain. In India, it shot to fame when $1 billion dollars’ worth of SHIB was donated to India’s COVID-Crypto Relief Fund in May 2021 by Ethereum founder, Vitalik Buterin.

Ethereum / ETH

Ethereum / ETH
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Ethereum price in INR: ₹3,21,300

The second most valuable cryptocurrency in the world, the Ether token is based upon the Ethereum blockchain and has become a cornerstone of the cryptocurrency world. Simply put, if today Bitcoin is gold then Ether is silver.

Ethereum introduced innovations to blockchain security and usage, with its ‘smart contracts’ becoming a platform for other applications. You need Ether or other tokens derived from it to take part in high-value trades including non-fungible tokens (NFT), decentralised finance (DeFi) and decentralised applications (DApps).

The token is also looking to become environment friendly and bring down its transaction costs — in effect an attempt to remain popular among investors and developers alike — with an upgrade to Ethereum 2.0, which is slated for sometime next year.

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WazirX / WRX

WazirX / WRX
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WazirX price in INR: ₹108.9

On the WazirX crypto exchange, its namesake is the ‘utility’ token. This means users can use it as an intermediary between currency trades — wherever a direct ‘currency pair’ exchange isn’t available. It has a supply limit of one billion tokens.

WRX is used in many transactions, including rupee deposits and withdrawals, rewards and incentives, financial services beyond currency trade, and so on. For example, users would pay their exchange trading fees — with upto a 50% discount — or purchase NFTs on the WazirX Marketplace using WRX tokens.

Dogecoin / DOGE

Dogecoin / DOGE
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Dogecoin price in INR: ₹20

The founders created Dogecoin as a parody —essentially poking fun of the original Shiba Inu meme — and thought of the entire project as a joke. What isn't funny is the number of people who took their love for dogs, Shiba Inus, memes and crypto seriously.

The Doge coin is currently the tenth most valuable cryptocurrency in the market. Launched in 2013, it was actually the first currency to have a Shiba Inu dog as its mascot. But, since then, it has spurred a whole legion of Shiba Inus-based cryptocurrencies like the Shiba Coin, Prince Floki, FatDoge and others.

Dogecoin even has a brand ambassador, albeit in an unofficial capacity — Tesla and SpaceX CEO, billionaire Elon Musk. He has publicly stated his liking for this coin on multiple occasions, some may even say one too many. It is one of the few ‘altcoins’ with no supply limit, yet it has seen a 7623% rise this year so far.

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Tron / TRX

Tron / TRX
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Tron price in INR: ₹7.5

If Tron achieves its goal of decentralising entertainment, its 100 billion tokens would be used by audiences to connect with content creators directly – whether it be music streaming, video or app stores. The direct transactions and distributed file sharing using blockchain are expected to make content less expensive for consumers, who will have to buy Tron tokens.

Polygon / MATIC

Polygon / MATIC
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Polygon price in INR: ₹136

Initially based on Ethereum smart contracts, MATIC tries to take us closer to a ‘cross chain’ platform. This will allow users to benefit from the strengths of multiple blockchains and enable them to communicate with each other. It is popular with investors who hope to benefit from the growth of decentralised finance (DeFi), such as crypto lending and borrowing.

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Cardano / ADA

Cardano / ADA
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Cardano price in INR: ₹166.3

Cardano is more environmentally friendly compared to other currencies that use an energy-intensive mining process. Its blockchain also supports NFTs and smart contracts for DeFi usage. Investors justify its price rise over time, by pointing to its real-world uses, such as tracking farm supply chains, fighting retail plagiarism and more.

Charles Hoksinson, the founder of Cardano and former co-founder of Ethereum, is hoping to break into the African ecosystem. He’s currently on a tour of the continent where he plans to visit a slew of countries, from South Africa to Egypt, while also meeting with startups in the blockchain space as well as regulators.

Solana / SOL

Solana / SOL
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Solana price in INR: ₹15,550

Solana is useful in the booming sector of decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions and is attractive amongst developers with 500 DApps built on top of its blockchain. Users of those applications, who use DeFi services and trade NFT tokens need Solana tokens, explaining its six-fold rise in value this year.

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​Building wealth with Cryptocurrency – being in it for the long haul

​Building wealth with Cryptocurrency – being in it for the long haul
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With even fixed deposit rates falling below inflation rates, and property requiring very large commitments, the investor community is naturally gravitating towards avenues that can grow wealth faster even at the small scale. This year, the US saw company balance sheets and billion-dollar funds that reported hundreds of millions of dollars invested in cryptocurrencies.

As with stocks, investors should expect market cycles in which crypto coins and tokens have periods of their value rising and falling. However, the overall trend as seen in the market this year, has been one of growing values all around. For example, Bitcoin’s value rose by 117% between July and October, with a 35% rise between the 1st and 21st of October alone. Market corrections are to be expected once in a while, but staying invested tends to be the best way to build your portfolio’s value over the years.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in partnership with WazirX. Do your own research (DYOR) before deciding to invest in any asset, cryptocurrency or otherwise.