The stars have aligned for investors to consider the role they want crypto assets to play in their retirement portfolio to help reach their long-term goals. In 2021, cryptocurrencies made their way further into the mainstream thanks largely to the rise of market segments like non-fungible tokens (NFTs), decentralized finance (DeFi), meme coins like Dogecoin, and, last but not least, bitcoin’s fresh all-time high

Cryptocurrencies are still considered risky assets given the nascent nature of the asset class, murky regulation and the volatility that prices exhibit. Having said that, Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management, is quoted by MarketWatch as advising investors to direct 1-5% of their portfolio to cryptocurrency assets.

No. 1: Bitcoin

Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, boasting a market capitalization of $877 billion at last check. Bitcoin’s two chief use cases are as a store-of-value to hedge in times of inflation and as a medium of exchange to pay for stuff. Investors who expect the bitcoin price to rise tend to be more reluctant to spend it. For example, Dallas Mavericks currently supports bitcoin and Dogecoin for online payments.

No. 2: Ethereum

Ethereum is the second-biggest cryptocurrency. Also called ETH or ether, it is the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain used to pay fees to secure the network. ETH is also used to help support the decentralized apps (Dapps) that are built on the Ethereum blockchain, including those in the DeFi and NFT markets.

No. 3: Dogecoin

Dogecoin started the meme-coin trend in the cryptocurrency industry. Meme coins are the cryptocurrency version of meme stocks from the WallStreetBets movement, such as GameStop and AMC Entertainment, to name a couple. Doge was created as a joke back in 2013 but its influence has since exploded, making its way into the investment portfolios of billionaires Elon Musk and Mark Cuban and onto brokerage platforms like Robinhood.

No. 4: Solana

Solana is one of those emerging blockchains that have capitalized on Ethereum’s issues. Known as the “Ethereum killer” by some observers, Solana calls itself the “fastest blockchain in the world,” boasting 1,547 transactions per second (TPS).  By way of comparison, the Ethereum blockchain is much slower, at about 15 TPS, but with the upgrade to Eth 2.0, that will jump to up to 100,000 TPS.

No. 5: Avalanche

Avalanche, an Ava Labs project, is yet another competitor to Ethereum, with both projects known for their smart contract capabilities, which are key to supporting DeFi and NFT apps. Avalanche’s cryptocurrency, which trades as AVAX, recently muscled its way into the top-10 cryptocurrencies based on market cap amid a rally in the price, which has ballooned roughly 30% in the last seven days.