3 Cryptos to Buy in a Bear Market

The implosion of FTX, a previously trusted exchange that had a high profile with even casual investors, thanks to its extensive marketing, gave a black eye to a space that has already taken its lumps this year. 

However, while many investors have sold their cryptocurrencies during the current crypto winter, for every seller there is a buyer, and some of them are long-term investors who have conviction in the crypto’s potential. Chaos can provide good buying opportunities. Here are three cryptos for risk-tolerant investors to consider buying during the current bear market.

A person sitting on their couch looks at charts on a laptop.

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1. Ethereum

Ethereum (ETH -0.13%) has rallied 26% since its June low, but has sold off following the FTX bankruptcy filing. However, this could be a case of the baby being thrown out with the bathwater as Ethereum is a decentralized, established cryptocurrency that has little to do with FTX. No single entity controls Ethereum, and over 70 million users worldwide help to validate transactions and secure the Ethereum network, putting it in stark contrast with cryptocurrencies like FTX Token and many of the other newer cryptocurrencies issued by exchanges and other centralized entities.

This year, Ethereum users welcomed its long-awaited transition to proof-of-stake consensus, known as The Merge, which drastically reduced Ethereum’s carbon footprint, paved the way for sharding (which will eventually lead to faster transactions and lower fees when implemented in the next upgrade), and opened up the ability for more Ethereum users to earn rewards for participating in the network by staking their holdings to validate transactions and secure the network. 

The ability to easily earn staking rewards also increases Ethereum’s appeal as an investment. A user needs to stake a minimum of 32 Ether to run their own validator, but there are plenty of services that stake your Ethereum for you, allowing you to earn returns competitive with the payouts you can earn from popular dividend stocks as well as 10-year Treasury notes.    

The $180 billion cryptocurrency is by far the largest smart-contract platform, making it the de facto gateway for larger institutional investors that want to get involved in the world of decentralized finance (DeFi). JPMorgan Chase recently tested the waters of decentralized finance with its first ever DeFi trade. The trade was executed on the Polygon blockchain, which is a Layer 2 network on Ethereum. Major decentralized exchanges like Uniswap, dYdX, and others are built on Ethereum. As additional traditional financial heavyweights get involved in decentralized finance, Ethereum will be their first stop. 

With new capabilities after The Merge such as the ability to earn rewards for staking, and its position at the gateway to the world of DeFi, Ethereum looks like a top cryptocurrency to buy during the bear market. 

2. Bitcoin 

Like Ethereum, Bitcoin (BTC -0.27%) is a decentralized cryptocurrency that stands out in the crowd. The original crypto is also the original decentralized asset. There is no leader or central authority that controls the Bitcoin network — meaning there’s no one entity that can make a poor decision or act in a manner that destroys the value of Bitcoin. A network of miners all over the world secure the Bitcoin network by solving complex mathematical equations to validate transactions and earn more Bitcoin. Bitcoin is also transparent in that all transactions appear on its blockchain, which is publicly viewable.

Bitcoin is the oldest and largest cryptocurrency, and will benefit as the gateway to cryptocurrency as more institutional investors and corporations test the waters of cryptocurrency. While the FTX saga has certainly set crypto adoption back a few steps, overall, the tide is turning toward Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as a whole.

On Oct. 11, Bank of New York Mellon, the world’s largest custodial bank, announced that it would offer custody for cryptocurrencies. Alphabet recently announced it would utilize Coinbase to accept payments using Bitcoin for its Google Cloud services, and Mastercard announced it would offer its services to enable traditional banks to offer cryptocurrency trading.

As the world moves further toward crypto adoption, Bitcoin is best suited to lead cryptocurrency forward. 

3. Litecoin

Litecoin (LTC -2.46%) is one major crypto that has been able to avoid being pulled down in the current sell-off, and the proof-of-work crypto is surprisingly up 16% over the past month. The $4 billion crypto, which started as a fork of Bitcoin in 2011, is experiencing a bit of a resurgence, with a rally of 53% since the low it hit in June. 

Litecoin is surging as the network’s hash rate hits new all-time highs, indicating increasing interest in Litecoin and more competition to earn Litecoin by mining. Litecoin also benefited from news that it will join Bitcoin and Ethereum as digital assets that will be available on Moneygram International‘s payment platform. Like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Litecoin is one of the cryptocurrencies that Google Cloud will accept for payment, giving the 16th-largest crypto by market cap enhanced credibility. Perhaps a renewed interest in decentralized, proof-of-work assets plus growing adoption will continue to propel Litecoin higher. 

The current crypto winter has been difficult for investors, but this bear market is also an opportune time for long-term, risk-tolerant investors to accumulate more tokens at lower prices before market sentiment again turns positive.  

JPMorgan Chase is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Michael Byrne has positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Bitcoin, Coinbase Global, Inc., Ethereum, JPMorgan Chase, Mastercard, Polygon, and Uniswap Protocol Token. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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