In this photo illustration of the litecoin, ripple and ethereum cryptocurrency 'altcoins' sit arranged for a photograph

  • As investors head into the fourth quarter, altcoins to watch include Avalanche, Boost and Polygon.
  • Investors will sharpen their focus on real-world applications offered by blockchain networks.
  • The overall cryptocurrency market cap is again approaching the $2 trillion mark.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Growth around non-fungible tokens and decentralized finance helped prices for some altcoins soar during the third quarter, and investors are looking for the next breakout as the fourth quarter begins.

The global cryptocurrency market is again approaching the $2 trillion mark, as prices for Cardano’s ada, solana and other altcoins have taken off, with cardano ada now the third most-traded crypto.

Now in the months ahead, investors will sharpen their focus on the benefits and shortfalls emerging from recent speed and efficiency upgrades on the blockchain networks of key altcoins, Ed Moya, senior currency analyst at Oanda, told Insider.

“Everyone has been focused on which altcoins are going to address that scalability concern that you have with ethereum and bitcoin,” he said.

“People have to understand which businesses are going to be the leaders in NFTs or smart contracts,” and other operations, he said. “I think that’s where the market is and education takes some time. The industry is ripe for consolidation.”

Here are six