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The Crypto Tier List

By johnwege | johnwege | 20 Feb 2023

Cryptocurrency is a market with thousands of coins to choose between. There are some absolutely great projects that not only could change the world but will continue to rise significantly in price. However, there are plenty of projects that are junk as well. Being able to differentiate which projects are the blue chips, and which ones will disappear over time could be the difference between becoming rich in this market, or losing everything. If there is one thing that we need to know about this market, it is that there is nothing guaranteed in crypto. 

The industry as a whole is incredibly young. Bitcoin was created in 2009, and a few years later altcoins became to enter the market as well. That makes this market barely a teenager. The way the market currently works, you can buy almost any coin and it will go up during the bull run. However, that won’t always be the case. As the market matures, prices will be more correlated to the actual use case and value of the cryptocurrency project. And prices will move accordingly. This means that choosing high-quality projects to invest in will become much more important in the future. In the stock world, very few people would recommend putting all of your money into penny stocks, as you will likely lose your money. The same can be said for low-tier crypto projects in the future.

And so today, I will be going over my crypto tier list. This is how I view the crypto market and is simply my opinion. Your list will likely look very different than mine and that’s what makes this market so exciting. My views come from several years of investing in this market. Seeing how cycles work, the mentality of traders, trends in the market, and how a majority of coins have trended to zero over time.

Without further delay, here is my crypto tier list.


S Tier


The cryptocurrencies in the S Tier are the best of the best and are coins that I would recommend that everyone needs to have in their portfolios. Throughout my articles, I have often explained that in my opinion there are currently only 2 blue-chip projects, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The name of the game is to accumulate as much BTC and ETH as you possibly can. By doing just this you will be very successful in the future.

For me, the S Tier means many different things. It is extremely reliable, decentralized, has unsurpassed security, has a strong community, and has had great price performance in the past but still has potential in the future. There are little to no concerns about centralized forces and they likely are safe from being banned by governments. Also, there are arguably only two industry-changing moments in cryptocurrency history. The moment when Bitcoin was created, launching this entire market. And when Ethereum was created, transforming what everyone thought was possible in this market.

Perhaps most important is their longevity. They have already been around for multiple cycles. Recovering, and reaching new all-time highs, all the while seeing the development of their ecosystem continue to grow. Something that few of the most hyped projects from the 2017 bull cycle can claim. They are two projects in crypto that have the best chance of not only being around 10 years later but continuing to thrive. When starting your crypto portfolio, the best move is to start with Bitcoin and Ethereum.

A Tier


Next, we move onto the A Tier of crypto. For me, the A Tier means the projects are incredible but are either lacking something or have a few lingering questions that prevent them from landing on the top spot.

BNB was one of the biggest winners since the end of the last bull cycle when it was created. But that is also what prevents it from being an S Tier in my opinion. As of right now, BNB has barely finished its first full cycle and simply hasn’t been on the market long enough to be considered a blue-chip cryptocurrency. Although, it has the potential to move up if it continues to thrive for another cycle. It has seen great adoption and has had an enormous ecosystem built around it. One of its biggest strengths is also one of the greatest concerns in my opinion. BNB began as Binance’s exchange chain and has since transformed to be much more than that. However, this still gives me pause that it is much more centralized than Ethereum, and especially Bitcoin. These two concerns are why BNB landed in the A Tier.

Polygon has been on the market longer than most people realize. Changing its name from Matic to Polygon a few years ago. Just over two years ago it wasn’t even in the top 100 in terms of market cap, but now is attempting to break into the top 10. It has been one of the biggest winners during the last two years. Polygon is perhaps the only crypto project that can say it is gaining real-world adoption by partnering with some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Disney and Starbucks. Polygon is fast, extremely cheap, and well-connected to Ethereum. It is what everyone hopes that Ethereum will eventually transform into, except it is available today.

My main concern with Polygon is its longevity. Will its popularity continue to rise, or will it fizzle out? After all, it has only been a big player for just over a year. Once Ethereum continues to move further along in its road map, will Polygon continue to thrive? Or will people just use native Ethereum as well?

B Tier


Next, we move to the B Tier of crypto. For me, the B Tier is a level where a cryptocurrency either does 1 thing impressively but not much else. Or has incredible potential, but hasn’t delivered on it yet. They are not perfect by any stretch but have the potential to move up on the list if a few things go their way. One thing is for certain, this is a tier where the real innovation is happening and the projects aren’t just copycats of other Layer 1 cryptocurrencies.

Recently I have gone deep down the Internet Computer rabbit hole. There are plenty of doubters of this project, but that is mainly due to its fall from its launch price which was proven to be manipulated by FTX/Alameda. Upon looking at the technology behind compares to it on the market. In my opinion, ICP is like a firework. It has the potential to be something truly incredible and beautiful, or it could fail to deliver and be a dud. It’s a part of my portfolio, and probably the largest risk that I am currently taking.

To me, Cosmos are 1A and 1B, both being pretty similar. They are both trying to accomplish inoperability that could transform the market. There is a high chance that one of them will succeed in their mission, but I have decided which one it will be yet.

If your main concern is privacy, no cryptocurrency is better than Monero. However, privacy is the only thing it does well. Because it’s possible to remain anonymous while using it, this means many cryptocurrency exchanges will never list it. Meaning that its upward potential for real adoption will always remain limited.

C Tier


The C Tier of cryptocurrency has projects that have great potential, history, or use cases but fall short in many ways. This has me questioning if they will be able to thrive in the long term or be destined to disappear gradually.

Litecoin can be great to use for payments, but will likely always live in Bitcoin’s shadow and continue to have less importance. Avalanche and Cardano have potential, but are competing against Ethereum and will likely not outperform it. Being destined to be the second, third or fourth choice for smart contract users. Filecoin has potential as a decentralized file-storing service, but it is too soon to tell if this is something that people will use and gain real use or adoption. Uniswap is important as a governance token for the biggest DEX, but currently, that is its only use case and its upside potential will be limited.

D Tier


We have now landed on the D Tier. While there may be good things about the project and it may even see great price movements in the short term. However, these are not projects that I would want to own. Each of them has a glaring flaw, weakness, or concern that makes me not want to own the project. 

Dogecoin was perhaps the first crypto meme coin and is lucky to even be lucky enough to not be on the lowest level. The reason for this is that like it or not, it has survived a few cycles and shown longevity in the market. However, memes come and go and that is my opinion about Dogecoin. Especially if Elon Musk would lose interest in the project. 

There are some things that I do like about Tron. I like the fast and cheap payments, and think it is a great network to use stablecoins such as USDT. However, there is no denying that it was nearly a copy and paste of Ethereum by Justin Sun to make a lot of money. I believe he cannot be trusted and will do anything to make profits or make himself look good.

Solana went down over 10 times last year and cannot be depended on. Also with FTX/Alameda owning more than 10% of the SOL supply, this paints a bleak future for Solana even if the price does well in the short term.

Aptos is the new hot layer 1 project in crypto and has gone up 4x since the beginning of the year. I simply don’t trust new layer 1 hype trains anymore. Last year we saw how most VCs were shilling their layer 1 investments and also how they dropped so far. The truth is that Aptos circulating supply is only a small percentage of what will eventually be unlocked. This means the value of your Aptos coins will be heavily inflated away in the future.

Perhaps the crypto that doesn’t deserve to be so low here is Chainlink, but I simply can’t find a reason to be excited about it. Currently, oracles are very important for DeFi in the Ethereum ecosystem. However, other blockchains have evolved to the point where oracles aren’t needed. Eventually, I think Ethereum’s development will do this as well.

F Tier


Finally, we have reached the F Tier level of crypto, the level where I wouldn’t want to be caught owning these projects. Prices may indeed go up in the short term, but overall there are significant flaws or concerns in the project that make them junk in my opinion.

The first is Bitcoin Cash. They forked Bitcoin and tried to overtake it to become the “real Bitcoin.” However, they lost and now it is simply a blockchain that has fast payments. Something that hundreds of other projects can claim as well.

I wouldn’t want to be holding my crypto on Nexo’s lending platform, especially considering everything that happened last year. The only current use case of the Nexo token is to make loans on Nexo cheaper. I’m not a fan of tokens created by companies for these types of use cases. The value was created out of thin air. If, or when Nexo goes out of business, you’ll be left holding these worthless coins.

Shiba Inu is also at the bottom for me as well. As you have probably guessed, I’m not a fan of meme coins and SHIBA is the current king of that category. While they are trying to build an ecosystem around it, in my opinion, it will have the same trajectory as most others in the future. The only thing that Dogecoin has above it is it has been able to have more longevity in the market. 

Finally, we have come to Terra Luna Classic. The crypto was depegged last year and nearly went to zero. People are gambling hoping that its price will someday recover in the future, but the reality is that there is no long-term future for this crypto.

There were several cryptocurrencies that I didn’t include on this list and may do another article in the future sharing my thoughts on some of those projects. It’s impossible to talk about each in one article. 

Please remember that these are my long-term thoughts and predictions for each crypto. In the short term, even the coins on the F Tier could see great price increases. However as time goes on, the S Tier is where you will want the majority of your portfolio to be in.

How about you? What are your S and A Tier cryptocurrencies?

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