The crypto market is showing signs of entering an “altcoin season” – a period when alternative cryptocurrencies rally tremendously while Bitcoin trades sideways.
Altcoin seasons are times of huge gains for cryptocurrencies outside of Bitcoin. With over 19,000 cryptocurrencies now in existence, knowing which altcoins to buy can be overwhelming.
Let’s explore the top 7 cryptocurrencies poised to have a breakout altcoin season based on project strength, real-world utility, an active developer community and other factors.
1. Ethereum (ETH)
As the second largest cryptocurrency and blockchain network, Ethereum stands first in line to capture money flowing out of Bitcoin during altcoin season.
Ethereum’s smart contract functionality enables decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and much of the exploding Web3 ecosystem.
Upcoming major network upgrades will drastically expand Ethereum’s scalability and utility. ETH remains the blue-chip crypto investment even through bear markets.
With altcoin fever igniting, Ethereum’s market dominance should expand. Its solid performance and central role in crypto innovation make ETH a top altcoin season buy.
2. Solana (SOL)
One of the hottest altcoins in 2022, Solana is a top Ethereum competitor thanks to its blazing transaction speeds and developer activity.
Solana claims up to 50,000 transactions per second with low fees. Over 400 projects spanning DeFi, NFTs, Web3 apps and more are built on Solana.
Despite frequent outages in 2022, Solana continues posting parabolic growth. As investors diversify from Ethereum, SOL is poised to be a major recipient of capital inflows.
Backing from major crypto investment funds plus integration on FTX and other exchanges make SOL a leading altcoin season play.
3. Polygon (MATIC)
Polygon identifies as an “Ethereum scaling framework” developing solutions to overcome Ethereum’s bottlenecks. Polygon’s MATIC token facilitates transactions and payments between Polygon’s suite of scaling products.
Polygon’s interoperability focus targets a key need for expanding Web3 adoption. Thousands of decentralized apps currently run on Polygon reducing congestion on Ethereum.
As altcoin mania shifts into overdrive, MATIC offers discounted exposure relative to ETH. Polygon’s vital role as infrastructure for the broader ecosystem strengthens its utility argument.
MATIC’s existing integrations and aggressive developer outreach make it a sure bet this altcoin season.
4. Chainlink (LINK)
Providing real-world data to blockchains is crucial for enabling smart contracts and decentralized applications. As the leading oracle provider, Chainlink makes it possible for any blockchain to securely interact with external resources.
Chainlink oracles power price feeds,Proof of Reserve services and other DeFi building blocks. Adoption is surging with over 1,000 partnerships secured.
LINK, Chainlink’s native token, underpins the network incentivizing node operators and allowing users to pay for oracle gas fees. As demand grows for Chainlink oracles across dApps, LINK is poised to capture value.
Chainlink’s “LINK Marines” community also runs one of crypto’s most effective grassroots marketing campaigns, amplifying buying during altcoin season spikes.
5. Aave (AAVE)
Aave leads decentralized finance as the top protocol for decentralized lending and borrowing of cryptocurrency assets. Users can earn interest as lenders or borrow crypto using other tokens as collateral.
Holding the AAVE token provides multiple benefits like lower fees, boosted APY for deposits and governance rights over protocol changes. As DeFi expands, demand for tokenized credit should propel AAVE higher.
Trading volume and transactions have already increased substantially in 2022 as Aave rolls out new products. With strong utility and room for growth, AAVE is an altcoin season contender.
6. Decentraland (MANA)
As a pioneer in blockchain-based virtual worlds, Decentraland allows users to buy LAND parcels then develop and monetize 3D content. MANA token powers in-world transactions and governance.
Despite high-profile partnership announcements, Decentraland usage remains relatively low. The platform faces challenges in delivering compelling experiences and true ownership.
However, the concept shows long-term promise as a hub for crypto communities, avatar identities, virtual events, gaming and social worlds. This makes MANA a speculative metaverse play if altcoin season accelerates the hype cycle.
7. Quant (QNT)
Relatively under the radar, Quant Network partners with enterprises to connect blockchains for interoperability between tokens, networks, apps and data pools.
Quant’s Overledger OS aims to provide the infrastructure making interoperability seamless across ledgers. With hundreds of potential use cases, QNT powers the token model and licenses for Overledger.
As business blockchain adoption grows, interoperability solutions like Quant Network could prove integral. QNT’s low market cap makes it a moonshot candidate amid euphoric altcoin buying.
Surf’s Up – Riding the Altcoin Wave
During the frenzy of altcoin season, fortunes can change instantly. Lesser-known cryptocurrencies can briefly spike orders of magnitude during waves of enthusiasm and speculation.
The projects covered here have strong fundamental cases to capture altcoin mania. Yet crypto veterans know unknowns can eclipse fundamentals once fear of missing out kicks in.
Regardless of which altcoins erupt, the trove of innovations being built provide plenty of reasons to be bullish on crypto’s future. But irrational exuberance never lasts forever either.
So choose your entry and exit timing carefully if hopping aboard the altcoin bandwagon. Keep perspective through the mania by focusing on long-term utility.
And of course, don’t invest more than you can afford to lose in crypto’s famous volatility. With prudent decisions, altcoin season can offer tremendous opportunities to expand your digital asset portfolio.
Just be ready to ride the wave through its peaks and valleys in pursuit of those spectacular gains. Because in the wild world of crypto, anything can happen during altcoin season.