The 5 Most Expensive Cryptocurrencies

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News of digital currencies has been crowding the financial press for several years, yet getting a grip on what exactly “crypto” means and how to measure its success or failure is a real challenge. One way to gauge these virtual monies is to look at their face value — which varies with supply, demand and public sentiment. Here’s a list of the most expensive digital currencies, measured by their market price.     

Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin, the original digital currency, reached a price of $47,811.84 on Dec. 28, 2021. Bitcoin has been leading the pack throughout the short history of cryptocurrency. Derivatives of BTC, such as Bitcoin BEP2, which is a token pegged 1:1 to the value of original Bitcoin have also hit the market in the meantime. 

YearnFinance (YFI)

YearnFinance (YFI) held second place on Dec. 20, 2021, with a token price reaching $37,120. Although total market capitalization rank is way down the ladder at no. 91, YearnFinance has a low maximum supply of coins, at 36,666. By contrast, the maximum number of Bitcoins in circulation is set at 21 million. The price of YearnFinance rises relative to most other cryptocurrencies because its supply limit has already been reached. 

Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum’s (ETH) current price, at $3,804.89, makes it the third most expensive distinct cryptocurrency. The Canadian-Russian programmer Vitalik Buterin was the first to envision a new, more practical cryptocurrency in a white paper published in 2013. His Ethereum coin started out at a price of $0.31 on the day of its initial offering, meaning Ethereum’s value has grown by an annual average of 270% since it first began trading. 

Maker (MKR)

The Maker coin (MKR) has reached a price of $2,505.14, with a total market capitalization of about $2.46 billion.  Like the other crypto, Maker is available for trading on a wide variety of exchanges — including Binance, CoinTiger, and Huobi Global. One of the youngest digital currencies, Maker was launched in 2017, with the interesting feature that it works somewhat like the shares of a company. Each holder has the right to vote on the development of the coin, which is meant for use on decentralized finance platforms. 

Binance (BNB)

The Binance coin (BNB) rounds out the top five most expensive cryptocurrencies with a market price of $535.63 on Dec. 28, 2021. This coin is the native medium of exchange on the Binance digital ecosystem, used for trading and purchases as well as transaction fees charged to users. 

Other Measures

While the price of a digital coin varies, sometimes drastically, from one day to the next, it’s important to also take into account market capitalization, trading volume, and accessibility on the various coin exchanges when evaluating these new, digital forms of money.


Digital currency is volatile and unpredictable, and wise investors will commit only funds they can afford to lose while dabbling in this market.

Information is accurate as of Dec. 28, 2021.

GOBankingRates’ Crypto Guides

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About the Author

​​A writer and editor with more than 100 book credits in the juvenile and young adult non-fiction format, Tom Streissguth has mastered the craft of explaining complex, difficult subjects clearly. His books have covered history, geography, economics, media and current affairs; he’s also written biographies of historical figures for Lerner, Enslow, Facts on File, Greenhaven and other major educational publishers.

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