The ultimate cryptocurrency to buy with $100 right now

Top Two Cryptocurrencies by Market Cap – Bitcoin (BTC 2.78%) and Ethereum (ETH 3.22%) — continue to set the pace for the overall crypto market. Right now, both are up about 45% so far this year.

But there is one cryptocurrency that has been largely overlooked by investors, and that is Solana (SOL 13.70%). For several years, Solana has been stuck near $100 — it’s only up 12% in 2024. Despite its recent underperformance, there are many good reasons why it might be the last altcoin to buy right now.

Solana could overtake Ethereum

After last year’s 900% performance, Solana is now on track to “flip” Ethereum in terms of market cap. Right now, Solana has a market capitalization of $50 billion, while Ethereum’s market cap is closer to $400 billion, so this is unlikely to happen in 2024. But in the long run, it’s easy to see how this valuation plays out. The gap between Solana and Ethereum may be narrowing.

Due to its blazing fast speed and low transaction costs, Solana has been considered a potential “Ethereum killer” since its launch back in 2020. Even after the merge upgrade, Ethereum remains relatively slow and expensive to use and depends on its vast ecosystem. Scaling solutions and layer-2 blockchain networks to stay competitive against faster, more agile upstarts.

As a result, institutional investors are now embracing Solana’s story of a blockchain capable of overtaking Ethereum. Notably, in late 2023, Arch Invest’s Cathy Wood appeared on CNBC and talked about Solana’s merits as a faster, cheaper version of Ethereum. If you believe that the best technology will eventually win, then the smart money seems to be with Solana, not Ethereum.

Solana has a mobile crypto strategy

Additionally, Solana has the potential to grow much faster than Ethereum in the future. While Ethereum is busy grinding out incremental improvements to the performance of its base blockchain layer, Solana is creating innovative, out-of-the-box blockchain solutions that have never existed before.

Young investor with headphones and mobile phone.

Image source: Getty Images.

A good example is Solana’s mobile crypto strategy, launched in the summer of 2022. A year later, Solana unveiled Saga, the first-ever mobile phone designed for blockchain and crypto. Solana also unveiled the Solana Mobile Stack (SMS) for mobile developers, as well as Solana mobile apps designed specifically for new crypto phones, a comprehensive vision of how to make Solana the blockchain of choice for both users and developers.

The location ETF story

Given Solana’s high future growth prospects, it is somewhat puzzling why it is lagging behind Ethereum in terms of performance this year. Yes, Solana had a red-hot 2023, with its price rising more than 900%, so investors can breathe a sigh of relief. And, yes, Solana had a major network outage in February that surprised investors.

But the bigger story seems to be the hype over a niche Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF). The growing consensus is that the first Ethereum ETFs could receive Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval by May, at which point investors will start pouring more and more money into Ethereum. In essence, the same story we’ve been hearing about Bitcoin for the past six months will now apply to Ethereum.

But is this really the case? After all, the launch of new futures-based Ethereum ETFs whetted the appetite of quite a few investors late last year. Furthermore, it’s not a slam-dunk case that the SEC will actually approve any spot ETFs for Ethereum. If the SEC decision is pushed down the road – as happened with spot Bitcoin ETFs – then Ethereum will likely have a much tougher time than Solana for the rest of the year.

How high can Solana go?

There are different predictions about how high Solana can go. In a bull-case scenario, Solana could reclaim its all-time high of $260. And, if you buy into the idea that Solana will eventually flip Ethereum in terms of market cap, Solana’s price could rise to $800. Some Wall Street analysts are even more bullish on Solana’s prospects, speculating that Solana could eventually push to $3,200 if it develops a “killer app” for its mobile phone.

All of this makes me think that Solana might be the last cryptocurrency to buy at $100 right now. If you’re looking for a long-term play on the future of blockchain and crypto, Solana needs to be on your radar.

Dominic Basulto has positions in Bitcoin and Ethereum. The Motley Fool has and recommends positions on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Solana. Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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