Uncover Hidden Gems: 3 Cryptocurrencies Under $1 With Massive … – The Motley Fool

When it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies, price isn't always an indicator of value. Just because a token's price is less than $1 doesn't necessarily make it a bargain.

However, there are a few cryptocurrencies trading for less than $1 today that are worth considering for their long-term potential.

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Stacks is currently priced at about $0.65, but don't let that fool you. Stacks's goal is to add smart contract functionality to Bitcoin, which is crucial for decentralized finance (DeFi) capabilities, and which Bitcoin currently lacks.

By using Stacks, developers can create all kinds of DeFi applications such as decentralized exchanges, lending and borrowing platforms, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The possibilities are vast. But best of all, because Stacks works in conjunction with Bitcoin, users benefit from the security and decentralization that sets Bitcoin apart from other blockchains while also getting the DeFi capabilities.

Recently, the appetite for DeFi use cases on Bitcoin has taken off as Bitcoin-based NFTs have captured the attention of crypto investors. These NFTs, known as Ordinals, utilize what you could call a loophole that allows them to be attached to individual satoshis, the smallest denomination of Bitcoin. Although novel, this approach to Bitcoin NFTs is costly and clunky, and has caused transaction fees on the network to skyrocket to record levels.

The better option for NFTs on Bitcoin would be to use the Stacks blockchain because it offers a cost-effective way to bring DeFi applications to Bitcoin. Fortunately, it seems that investors are starting to realize that.

Evidence of this can be found in the Stacks blockchain's total value locked (TVL) metric -- i.e., the amount of money locked in its DeFi ecosystem. In 2023 alone, Stacks' TVL has risen by nearly 400%.

As a clear front-runner and pioneer in creating a smart contract-friendly Bitcoin, Stacks is on pace to be the "next big thing" in crypto. Should the lines that previously separated Bitcoin and DeFi continue to blur, the value of Stacks could increase further as its DeFi economy blossoms.

Polygon is currently priced at about $0.87, and at that level, it could prove to be a great buy for the long term because of its role in making Ethereum -- the current leader in DeFi -- faster and cheaper to use.

To do that, Polygon uses a technology known as zero-knowledge EVM rollups. All this means is that rather than processing transactions one by one as Ethereum does, Polygon bundles transactions and then adds them back to Ethereum for final processing. In addition, unlike other Ethereum scaling solutions, Polygon maintains compatibility with Ethereum's code, which is a crucial and attractive characteristic for developers.

Polygon's zero-knowledge EVM rollups effectively fix Ethereum's scalability problem without sacrificing security, increasing fees, or compromising speeds. It's this unique combination that has led not only average users to flock to Polygon, but even some of the world's largest companies.

Noteworthy companies such as Starbucks, JP Morgan, Meta Platforms, Nike, and Franklin Templeton have all decided to use Polygon's blockchain in various ways in the past year. Should Ethereum remain a popular blockchain, it's likely that Polygon will also benefit as users look for alternatives to mitigate its high costs and slow speeds. Considering Polygon's price remains more than 70% off its all-time high, it could provide holders with gains for years to come.

Finally, we have Cardano, which is trading at about $0.37. Cardano's goal is to become a competitor in the world of DeFi. Ethereum may dominate that market, but Cardano could make headway in it.

Recently, Cardano developers released the Hydra update, which allows complex smart contracts to operate without significantly increasing fees or compromising speed. This has made it a more attractive option for developers and users, and the data reflect that.

Since the beginning of the year, the number of smart contracts (the backbone of DeFi applications) on Cardano has increased by more than 74%. In addition, since the beginning of the year, Cardano's TVL has nearly tripled.

Should the Cardano ecosystem continue to grow at an impressive rate and keep unveiling updates that meaningfully enhance its usefulness, this Ethereum competitor might finally lay the foundation for its long-term utility and value.

The rest is here:

Uncover Hidden Gems: 3 Cryptocurrencies Under $1 With Massive ... - The Motley Fool

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