If you’re a Bitcoin Market Journal Premium Member, you know our Blockchain Investor Scorecards well. For the last five years, we’ve spent hundreds of hours analyzing blockchain fundamentals to find the top tokens for long-term crypto investors.
In this guide (available to everyone!), we’re revealing the highest-rated tokens from our Investor Scorecard library.
These are the projects our analysts and editors have rated the best, with our peer-reviewed scorecard boiling down our research into a simple 1-5 rating system. Read on.
How the Blockchain Investor Scorecard Works
Understanding the value of a digital asset can be complex, especially if you are a new investor. We developed a peer-reviewed tool called the Blockchain Investor Scorecard to make things easier for investors.
The scorecard is valuable because it gives investors a common framework they can use to compare very different types of tokens. The scorecard asks questions across five general categories:
- Market Score: The scorecard looks at factors such as how big the market is, whether the token serves an emerging or fragmented market, if the token helps solve a problem in the market, and whether the market size supports investment in the token.
- Competitive Advantage: BMJ analysts look at the foundational blockchain on which the token is built and the key players behind the token to determine if the token has built a sustainable competitive advantage.
- Management Team: BMJ analysts look at the team’s track record behind the token. Assessment criteria include industry and technical experience, integrity, and the team’s makeup.
- Token Mechanics: How a token works – its “tokenomics” – can determine its success or failure. The scorecard looks at how tokens are allocated, and if the token helps create long-term value.
- User Adoption: The scorecard analyzes how easy it would be for a non-technical person to utilize the token. This metric also includes perceived buzz and the “halo effect” around the asset, to predict the all-important user growth.
Below are our top token picks as rated by our Blockchain Investor Scorecard.
Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin received the highest score on the Blockchain Investor Scorecard. Bitcoin is the world’s first digital currency without a bank or administrator, and it is the first permissionless, peer-to-peer payment network with a programmable native currency.
Without question, it has the largest market of any digital currency, and it solved a huge market problem by becoming the first type of digital currency that could be sent and received without a financial intermediary. It also operates on the longest-running and most secure blockchain network, and it has a sophisticated group of volunteer coders who work to keep the network running smoothly.
As the OG crypto – the gold standard – it ranks highly on our scorecard.
Market Score: 4.83
Competitive Advantage: 5.0
Management Team: 5.0
Token Mechanics: 5.0
User Adoption: 4.67
Overall Score: 4.93
Launched in 2018 by the Centre consortium, USDC is a stablecoin that helps to address market volatility. Because the coin pegs its value to the US dollar, it has only grown more stable over time.
USDC was built on Ethereum, the world’s biggest blockchain. It was developed by the serial entrepreneur Jeremey Allaire, who has hired a strong team of marketing, sales, and legal experts to help develop and promote the coin. We ranked USDC highly because it is widely available, with excellent oversight, and provides an easy and safe way to store value in crypto.
Ethereum adds significant value to the market, as its blockchain enables users to develop smart contracts and build decentralized apps.
Programmers have been developing on Ethereum longer than any other smart contract-enabled blockchain. However, it now faces significant opposition from other projects, risking its competitive advantage. Additionally, it faces some adoption struggles, as its blockchain can be challenging to understand for non-technical users.
However, Ethereum still maintains a very high ranking because it has an experienced team of developers who have demonstrated that they have a clear vision for its future. This means that the potential for adoption and innovation is high for the world’s leading smart contract platform.
Litecoin was developed to improve on Bitcoin's shortcomings. Developed in 2011, Litecoin is based on an open-source global payment network that is not controlled by any central authority. It runs on the Scrypt algorithm and works as a close competitor to the top cryptocurrencies of the present day.
Known popularly as the “digital silver” to bitcoin’s “digital gold”, Litecoin has enjoyed decent adoption, however it’s never been as strong as Litecoin proponents would have hoped. That said, Litecoin does deliver on its promise of improving on bitcoin’s shortcomings, particularly in the area of tokenomics. Add in a strong, experienced management team and it’s no wonder you find Litecoin as one of the top 20 cryptocurrencies pretty much since it was introduced.
Stellar Lumens XLM is one of the oldest names in crypto. Stellar is the blockchain; Lumens (or XLM) is the token that runs it. Together they make an open-source network that enables money to be stored and moved easily, quickly, and with little cost. Stellar was created in 2014 as a hard fork of the Ripple blockchain.
Unsurprisingly, given its roots in Ripple, Stellar's purpose is connecting the world's financial systems and ensuring a secure protocol for payment providers and financial institutions. The platform is designed for swift and reliable global financial transfers with minimal cost. Like its parent chain Ripple, Stellar links people, banks, and payment processors so that users can create, send, and trade many different cryptocurrencies.
Stellar's primary use case currently is to provide access for those in developing countries to the global financial network. One huge benefit of Stellar is that it can be used with nearly any fiat currency, allowing for multi-currency transactions, even in currencies without widely traded pairs.
Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that allows smart contracts to receive real world data from external sources. LINK is the utility token of the Chainlink network.
Providing critical off-chain data to smart contracts is a compelling and necessary use case, making the network of smart contracts far more valuable and useful. As one of the first movers in the space Chainlink enjoys its first mover advantage. Chainlink also has a strong management team that’s been able to grow the project and cement its place as the leading decentralized oracle network.
Binance Coin was launched by leading digital asset exchange Binance to enable its users to receive trading fee discounts. Today, Binance Coin runs on two blockchain, Binance Chain and Binance Smart Chain, and has established itself as one of the most popular digital assets in the market.
Binance Coin obviously benefits from its links to the Binance exchange, by far the largest crypto exchange in the world. Holders of the BNB token enjoy a number of benefits when conducting trades on Binance, which keeps demand for the token high. Additionally, for investors, BNB can be considered akin to a "stock" for Binance. As Binance continues to grow and prosper the BNB token should also see growth. This has clearly been the case as BNB holds a solid fourth position in terms of market cap in the cryptocurrency markets.
The Avalanche blockchain was designed with a core focus on speed, efficiency, lower transaction costs, and reduced impact on the environment. Launched in 2020, the blockchain and its native AVAX token has exploded in popularity, rapidly rising to the top 10 list of the biggest digital assets by market cap.
As a smart contract Layer-1 blockchain, some have called Avalanche the "Ethereum killer" due to the high transaction per second throughput and scalability of Avalanche. While Ethereum has begun to address those issues, Avalanche does remain in the lead in that regard. Plus, Avalanche has made it a priority to become interoperable with Ethereum through the use of bridges, adding to the attraction of the blockchain for developers.
Blockchain Projects to Avoid
- Shiba is mostly a meme-driven token that doesn’t add much unique value to the market. It was launched in 2020, and even after three years, little is known about the developers behind the project.
- While Dogecoin does have a large market size, the token was created as a joke to show how “easy” it is to create a new cryptocurrency. The project has been criticized for having little value and few use cases. While that hasn’t stopped people from driving up the price of DOGE, our view is that the project has little value to recommend it.
- We also recommend steering clear of Cosmos, as we believe it is highly susceptible to regulatory scrutiny as it grows. Additionally, Cosmos is no stranger to controversy, as there have been reports of infighting and issues with organizational politics.
These are just the tip of the iceberg.
We have dozens of investor scorecards for all the most popular crypto projects, saving you hours of research. It’s a massive shortcut to better investing decisions.
Whether you’re looking to reallocate your crypto portfolio or brand new to the crypto landscape, BMJ’s scorecards can help you invest better. Sign up for Premium membership to get instant access to the entire library.