What happened

Today, Near Protocol (NEAR -0.73%), XRP (XRP -5.89%), and The Sandbox (SAND -5.39%) are all seeing positive momentum. These three cryptocurrencies are currently up 12.3%, 7.9%, and 4.8%, respectively over the past 24 hours, as of 9:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

These moves come as the overall crypto market drops 1.9% over the past 24 hours, signaling strong momentum among these tokens.

Coins with a lock symbol embossed.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Near Protocol has continued to see strong sentiment and high trading volumes in recent days. Today's move of more than 12% to the upside follows a rather impressive swing of nearly 30% yesterday. Much of this momentum had to do with the addition of Near to the MoonPay app, adding to the depth of investors able to access this token.

Ripple's XRP token has been embroiled in a series of negative headwinds this year, sinking on a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit that aims to redefine XRP as a security. However, analysts and industry insiders have recently begun to take a bullish view of the risk and reward with this token, as speculation builds that this lawsuit could be resolved in short order.

For metaverse-themed cryptocurrency The Sandbox, there is a range of obvious catalysts that continue to take this token higher. Interest around the metaverse has continued to soar, with The Sandbox being one of the big winners in this race for metaverse market share. Today, it was announced that Hong Kong real estate mogul Adrian Cheng has picked The Sandbox as his blockchain-based metaverse of choice, acquiring one of the largest parcels on this metaverse.

Now what

Each of these tokens has very different catalysts supporting their rise today. However, what's clear from the price action among major cryptocurrencies today is the divergence building among various alt coins and the larger cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, which had dominated investor attention for most of the past decade.

Investors are increasingly branching out, looking for the next big winner in what could turn out to be a much more competitive crypto market long-term. These three altcoins each have specific catalysts worth considering, and investors appear to be eager to jump aboard, despite seemingly bearish sentiment for the crypto space overall today.