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Bitcoin often dominates cryptocurrency investment conversations, with Ethereum (ETH) and other top 10 assets such as Cardano (ADA)  and Solana (SOL) mentioned as well. While these coins are well established in the crypto market there are other lesser known coins available for pennies on the dollar which have just as much potential as investment opportunities and as blockchain projects in general.

Here we are going to take a look at five of the best cryptocurrencies you can buy for under a dollar. They are in no particular order, as each project has its own merits and potential for success. Its up to you as the investor to research what projects interest you and decide whether you want to invest your money in them.

Of course crypto is a rapidly evolving industry and you might not want to limit yourself to crypto that’s under $1 per unit. At the bottom we’ve also included top coins that are under $5.

Finally you should always remember that cryptocurrency is divisible and it’s possible to buy a piece of Bitcoin for $1 on certain exchanges.

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The Top 5 Cryptocurrencies for $1 or Less

First up is a look at the best crypto coins under $5. Please bear in mind this isn’t financial advice and the cryptocurrency industry is incredibly volatile. That said, these are five coins currently listed under $1 with considerable upside.

Stellar (XLM)

Stellar is a multi-currency backend payment network that runs on tokens known as Lumens (XLM). Stellar itself is a blockchain protocol, and Lumens are the token used to process transactions on the blockchain. It has been gaining traction in the cryptocurrency community thanks to its excellent transaction speed and low fees. Stellar’s transaction fees are so low which gives it has tremendous potential for micropayments. Currently in the 20s by market cap, Stellar has lots of room for growth.

A direct competitor to Ripple, Stellar aims to target individuals rather than large financial institutions, something that may be more feasible. They have extremely high developer engagement as well. Stellar offers an inflation pool reward of 1% per year to hedge an inflation to the assets value. Coin (CRO)

The native token of the Exchange, Coin (CRO) is an excellent cryptocurrency you can buy for under $1. Currently ranked 16th by market cap, CRO offers investors many benefits.

If you stake at least 10,000 CRO on the exchange for 180 days, you get a 10% P.A reward added to your account daily. In addition to that, staking at least 10k CRO gives you access to Syndicate Events, which are an opportunity to buy a crypto asset at 50% off.

There is a Visa card available which gives users cashback returns in CRO from 1% up to 8% depending on the card tier you are in. They also offer a service called Crypto Earn, where you can earn interest on almost any asset you can think of. The amount is paid out in the asset you put in and is dependent on the term (flexible, one-month, three-month), and the amount of CRO staked.  All your trading fees can also be paid in CRO.

Both CRO the token and the exchange are competitors to Binance and Binance Coin. Many CRO enthusiasts believe that has a chance at potentially dethroning Binance.

VeChain (VET)

The purpose of VeChain (VET) is to help track physical items throughout all stages of the entire supply chain. Through the combination of blockchain technology with physical hardware that is attached to goods, VeChain intends to increase the level of transparency offered in terms of the sources of products and their journeys to their final destinations.

VeChain was founded back in 2015 by former Louis Vuitton China CIO Sunny Lu as a part of a bigger blockchain technology company known as Bitse. The VET token was originally launched as an ERC-20 token on Ethereum, and it was known as VEN before the ticker name was changed to VET. This move to the VET token was part of a VeChain rebranding process that took place in 2018 and included the launch of VeChain’s own native blockchain.

VeChain uses a proof of authority consensus mechanism and holders can stake their VET in order to receive rewards in VeThor Tokens (VTHO). VTHO is used to power calculation and processes on the blockchain. VET is currently ranked 34th by market cap.

Hedera (HBAR)

Hedera (HBAR) is a public network which uses a new distributed ledger technology (DLT) known as Hashgraph. Data is stored in hashes instead of blocks, but still works like a blockchain. In Hashgraph, transactions are verified through virtual voting and gossip protocol,

HBAR, the native cryptocurrency of the Hedera network with a maximum supply of 50 billion, is energy efficient. For each transaction, HBAR is used to compensate network nodes for storage, compute, and bandwidth.

HBAR is also utilized for weighted voting, and network protection as Hedera uses the proof-of-stake consensus. This means that to maliciously affect consensus, a bad actor must own one-third of the total supply, which will be impossible for the first five years.

Hedera is currently ranked 38th by market cap and is trading around 22 cents a piece. It reached a high of over 50 cents in September 2021.


SHIBA INU (SHIB) is an ERC-20 token that aims to be a direct competitor to Dogecoin (DOGE) and is trying to become the top meme coin on the market. Famously sending half the total supply to Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, who subsequently burned his share, the SHIB developers are trying to create a meme coin with some utility by creating ShibaSwap, a decentralized finance (DeFi) platform for the asset, that provides holders the chance to stake and earn other SHIB related assets.

SHIB’s inclusion in the piece is more tied to its strong community support than its technical merits. The asset is nothing special as far as tech goes, but the community support is so strong that it has made it a well-known and accessible asset for many types of investors. SHIB is currently trading at well under 1 cent a piece and is 13th by market cap.

It should be noted that meme coins like SHIB and Dogecoin are not highly regarded by the crypto community, although some people love them.

Five of the Best Cryptos Under $5

If you’re willing to spend a little more per unit there are several coins with large amounts of potential. Many of the coins listed below were actually listed under $1 last year but we’ve had to graduate them to the current threshold. Next year they might be even higher.

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

Basic Attention Token (BAT) is a cryptocurrency that is aiming to solve a very specific, and well-known problem. The advertising industry is plagued by several issues, including, but not limited to advertiser fraud, user abuse, and abundant trackers causing slow load times, and a bloated user experience. Brave Software Inc. created the Basic Attention Token as part of their plan to redefine, and reshape how the internet treats users, serves advertisements, and collects user information. Currently ranked 74th by market cap, and at just over $1 a piece, BAT looks to change the way we browse the internet a view ads.

BAT aims to create a platform which helps to eliminate intermediaries in the digital advertising space. The company does this by paying internet users directly for their participation in the BAT community. Simply put, content creators have a platform on which they can put their content. At the same time, consumers browse the web, with BAT tokens used as an incentive for viewing ads.

Ads pop up as notifications in the corner of your browser, you get to choose whether to click it or not. If you do not click it, there is nothing wrong with that, but choosing to click it rewards you with a small portion of BAT. Rewards are paid out monthly. You can adjust the number of ad notifications you receive in the settings, with a maximum of 5, essentially meaning you can get paid to look at 5 ads per hour. That may not seem like a lot, but you are currently getting nothing for browsing the internet if you are not using Brave. We highly recommend changing that.


Theta is an interesting cryptocurrency that rewards users for using their unused bandwidth to help improve streaming quality and load times for other users. The more bandwidth you provide, the more THETA tokens you receive. You can even just run the node while you are sleeping or not viewing content and thus provide more bandwidth and get more rewards. This is an extremely interesting concept when you consider just how much content is consumed through streaming nowadays. Currently ranked 40th by market cap at around $4 a piece, THETA has lots of room to grow.

At the heart of the Theta platform is a mesh network which consists of a series of nodes capable of mutual communication. These nodes link the network together and provide the backbone for the bandwidth sharing scheme offered by THETA. The THETA network is the main component with which the platform aims to challenge standard content delivery providers. The Theta network will use its P2P architecture to either improve the performance of existing content delivery networks or replace them altogether. THETA Fuel is a reward for users sharing their bandwidth through the THETA platform.

Cardano (ADA)

The brainchild of Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson, Cardano (ADA) is one of the most interesting blockchain projects in development. Currently priced at under $1.25 a piece and ranked 7th by market cap, Cardano has a ton of potential. It reached an all-time high of over $3 in mid 2021.

Developed with a scientific philosophy and research-driven approach, Cardano has one of the highest ratings of all cryptocurrencies when it comes to developer engagement. The project recently released their Alonzo upgrade, bringing smart contract capabilities to the network. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are also functional on the network, and with extremely low transaction costs, Cardano is a viable network for them. The project has put a ton of time into gaining market share in Africa and has deals with multiple governments and organizations in the continent.

Ouroboros Hydra enables Cardano to scale horizontally, increasing performance by incorporating additional nodes, rather than vertically, through the addition of more powerful hardware.

Early simulations show that each head can perform up to 1,000 Transactions Per Second (TPS). With 1,000 heads, this could be as high as 1,000,000 TPS. Cardano uses a proof of stake consensus mechanism which pays out delegators about 5% APY.

Polygon (MATIC)

Polygon (MATIC), formerly known as Matic Network, is a layer 2 blockchain network built on top of Ethereum, meaning Polygon is an ERC-20 token.

Polygon aims to be Ethereum’s Internet of Blockchains, much like Cosmos (ATOM), or Polkadot (DOT). Transactions on Polygon take place on child chains, keeping the majority of traffic off of the Ethereum parent chain, which results in faster and cheaper transactions. Polygon has exploded since its mainnet launch in early 2021, with projects such as AAVE and 1Inch launching versions on the Polygon network with much lower fees than their Ethereum versions. With the upcoming “Zk Day” promising big news for the layer-2 it is possible MATIC will continue to make gains even as Bitcoin and the rest of the market struggling.

Polygon is currently ranked 15th by market cap. Its all-time high is over $2.50 which it reached towards the end of 2021.

Fantom (FTM)

Fantom (FTM) has been making noise over the past year, seeing significant growth. FTM uses a directed acyclic graph (DAG) smart contract platform giving it utility as a DeFi service center. After starting the year at well under $1, FTM exploded to a new high of $3.48 in October.

Developers boast the FTM is able to process transactions in under 2 seconds, and the OPERA mainnet went like in December 2019. The consensus mechanism was built specially for DeFi and smart contracts and is called Lachesis.

Fantom has a total value locked (TVL) on its chain that rivals Polygon and Tron but is far behind both in terms of market cap and TVL ratio. This may mean that the project is currently undervalue, or that the other two are overvalued.

FTM is currently 45th by market cap.

How Market Cap Works

Market Capitalization, or Market Cap, is the total price of an asset as a whole, which is based on the circulating supply of that asset. Bitcoin, for example, currently has a circulating supply of about 18.6 million BTC, but its max supply is 21 million, so its market cap will increase as the rest of the supply Bitcoin is mined.

In contrast, Cardano has a circulating supply of about 31 billion, and a max supply of 45 billion, meaning that when both are at max supply there will be 2,100x ADA compared to BTC (more when you consider the BTC locked in wallets that private keys were lost too). These differences in supply often account for differences in price between single units of any crypto asset or token.

What to Look for When Assessing Coin Potential

When assessing coin potential, it is important to keep market cap in mind. Look for assets that seem undervalued compared to others within the same sector, such as Fantom as a competitor to Polygon in terms of use cases when you compare their TVLs and current price of the asset.

Overall, it is important to do research. Find out what the project is aiming to do, look for other similar assets, and then compare the merits of both projects. This will allow you to identify projects that are either being undervalued, and lesser-known, which are two key factors when making significant gains.

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About the Author

Evan Jones

Evan Jones was introduced to cryptocurrency by fellow CryptoVantage contributor Keegan Francis in 2017 and was immediately intrigued by the use cases of many Ethereum-based cryptos. He bought his first hardware wallet shortly thereafter. He has a keen and vested interest in cryptos involving decentralized backend exchanges, payment processing, and power-sharing.



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