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Best and worst coins of 2018: A cryptocurrency market analysis

Posted: 31 December 2018 3:41 pm
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We compare the end-of-year cryptocurrency charts from the last day of 2017 with the last day of 2018 to see how the market has changed.

It's New Year's Eve – the full stop on another year. How did your portfolio fare?

This time last year, as the curtain closed on 2017, the cryptocurrency market was rapidly making a shift from an underground to a mainstream phenomenon. The explosion had begun and everyone, from your neighbour to your mother, was on board. The price of bitcoin surged towards the US$20,000 mark as analysts spoke of figures like US$100,000 coming in 2018.

How wrong they were. As we creep into 2019, bitcoin sits under the US$4,000 mark, the total market cap is down 78% and more than a few poor souls are nursing sore wallets.

All the latest cryptocurrency news in one place

The end of 2017 was the cryptocurrency market's 15 minutes of fame. However, it is hoped that the core philosophies and functionality that saw cryptocurrency gain such popularity in the first place will re-emerge and grow again.

So just how has the market shaped up after a year of chaos?

In this cryptocurrency market analysis, we look into how bitcoin, Ether, XRP and the other top 50 altcoins of December 2017 look in December 2018. Note: The following data was acquired from coinmarketcap.com and all monetary figures are in US dollars.

Cryptocurrency market analysis: rank

The rank of an altcoin is ultimately irrelevant, other than for the effect its visibility and the perception of the coin has on new cryptocurrency investors. Below, you will find a table that shows the top 50 coins as of 31 December 2017 compared with the top 50 coins on 31 December 2108. Only one altcoin, BitConnect, is dead and buried, so it receives a rank of 2,074. (There are 2,073 listed altcoins.)

In the past year, other coins have debuted or otherwise risen into the top 50. They are not included in this comparison, but include Maker (19), Tezos (22), USD Coin (24), TrueUSD (27), Zilliqa (30), Ontology (31, 0x (32), Basic Attention Token (37), Paxos (36), Bitcoin Diamond (37), Komodo (44), Chainlink (47), Aeternity (48) and Gemini Dollar (49).

Crypto Rank 2017 Rank 2018 Change
Bitcoin 1 1 0
Ripple 2 2 0
Ether 3 3 0
Bitcoin Cash 4 4 0
Cardano 5 11 -6
Litecoin 6 8 -2
IOTA 7 12 -5
NEM 8 16 -8
Dash 9 15 -6
Stellar 10 6 4
Monero 11 13 -2
EOS 12 5 7
NEO 13 18 -5
Qtum 14 28 -14
Bitcoin Gold 15 25 -10
Verge 16 43 -27
Ethereum Classic 17 17 0
BitConnect 18 2074 -2056
TRON 19 10 9
Lisk 20 35 -15
ICON 21 42 -21
RaiBlocks/Nano 22 39 -17
BitShares 23 45 -22
OmiseGO 24 29 -5
Ardor 25 69 -44
Zcash 26 20 6
Tether 27 7 20
Populous 28 52 -24
Stratis 29 41 -12
Waves 30 21 9
Hshare/HyperCash 31 89 -58
Bytecoin 32 38 -6
Siacoin 33 46 -13
Komodo 34 44 -10
Dogecoin 35 23 12
Binance Coin 36 14 22
Augur 37 50 -13
SALT 38 143 -105
DigiByte 39 40 -1
Nxt 40 115 -75
Veritaseum 41 96 -55
Steem 42 53 -11
Ark 43 79 -36
Golem 44 60 -16
VeChain 45 26 19
Status 46 63 -17
Decred 47 33 14
PIVX 48 67 -19
MonaCoin 49 80 -31
WAX 50 92 -42

Cryptocurrency market analysis: market cap

The market cap of a coin reveals how much it is worth in total. We look at the number of available coins as well as the current price of the coin. We then multiply these numbers together to produce a market cap. The overall market cap is down year on year 78%, from $535,579,238,667 on 31 December 2017 to $118,892,635,021 on 31 December 2018.

In the chart below, we show you not just how the market cap has changed over the course of the last 12 months, but also – and perhaps more importantly – how it has changed compared to the overall market shift of 78%. If this number (the "Relative % Change") is positive, then the coin has fared better than the overall market by that percentage and can be considered to have been more valued.

Crypto Market Cap 2017 Market Cap 2018 Change % Change Relative % Change
Bitcoin $221,496,036,567 $67,135,422,117 -$154,360,614,450 -70% 8%
Ripple $76,416,062,342 $14,941,235,225 -$61,474,827,117 -80% -3%
Ether $69,589,647,555 $14,321,402,973 -$55,268,244,582 -79% -2%
Bitcoin Cash $41,717,297,856 $2,794,560,236 -$38,922,737,620 -93% -16%
Cardano $18,033,444,277 $1,094,724,352 -$16,938,719,925 -94% -16%
Litecoin $12,151,898,110 $1,891,820,358 -$10,260,077,752 -84% -7%
IOTA $9,387,085,262 $991,356,819 -$8,395,728,443 -89% -12%
NEM $8,250,317,999 $609,555,286 -$7,640,762,713 -93% -15%
Dash $7,888,377,551 $696,694,375 -$7,191,683,176 -91% -13%
Stellar $5,687,365,330 $2,244,451,336 -$3,442,913,994 -61% 17%
Monero $5,249,201,599 $803,882,508 -$4,445,319,091 -85% -7%
EOS $4,982,596,027 $2,379,029,298 -$2,603,566,729 -52% 26%
NEO $4,704,017,500 $521,086,898 -$4,182,930,602 -89% -11%
Qtum $4,449,610,850 $202,876,377 -$4,246,734,473 -95% -18%
Bitcoin Gold $4,261,995,470 $238,327,516 -$4,023,667,954 -94% -17%
Verge $2,747,176,849 $110,392,973 -$2,636,783,876 -96% -18%
Ethereum Classic $2,662,251,321 $561,894,191 -$2,100,357,130 -79% -1%
BitConnect $2,408,102,797 $0 -$2,408,102,797 -100% -22%
TRON $2,319,484,459 $1,323,269,160 -$996,215,299 -43% 35%
Lisk $2,185,969,630 $164,253,453 -$2,021,716,177 -92% -15%
ICON $1,960,178,243 $114,474,767 -$1,845,703,476 -94% -16%
RaiBlocks/Nano $1,640,526,287 $128,050,152 -$1,512,476,135 -92% -14%
BitShares $1,599,300,668 $105,899,263 -$1,493,401,405 -93% -16%
OmiseGO $1,577,934,999 $197,662,796 -$1,380,272,203 -87% -10%
Ardor $1,533,494,195 $54,453,788 -$1,479,040,407 -96% -19%
Zcash $1,450,684,961 $329,572,867 -$1,121,112,094 -77% 1%
Tether $1,378,760,937 $1,896,876,508 $518,115,571 38% 115%
Populous $1,341,436,679 $84,590,230 -$1,256,846,449 -94% -16%
Stratis $1,279,488,019 $116,434,955 -$1,163,053,064 -91% -13%
Waves $1,194,320,000 $303,955,956 -$890,364,044 -75% 3%
Hshare/HyperCash $1,007,965,663 $37,683,658 -$970,282,005 -96% -18%
Bytecoin $949,114,037 $133,461,299 -$815,652,738 -86% -8%
Siacoin $923,800,205 $105,607,893 -$818,192,312 -89% -11%
Komodo $907,831,971 $106,244,790 -$801,587,181 -88% -10%
Dogecoin $888,444,338 $278,800,293 -$609,644,045 -69% 9%
Binance Coin $797,833,029 $782,742,586 -$15,090,443 -2% 76%
Augur $708,739,900 $90,864,981 -$617,874,919 -87% -9%
SALT $700,189,941 $19,556,178 -$680,633,763 -97% -19%
DigiByte $687,533,721 $118,990,280 -$568,543,441 -83% -5%
Nxt $682,190,087 $29,125,675 -$653,064,412 -96% -18%
Veritaseum $678,581,748 $36,385,242 -$642,196,506 -95% -17%
Steem $663,112,344 $83,942,375 -$579,169,969 -87% -10%
Ark $631,416,869 $43,475,065 -$587,941,804 -93% -15%
Golem $586,495,363 $67,456,187 -$519,039,176 -88% -11%
VeChain $568,992,713 $233,508,444 -$335,484,269 -59% 19%
Status $563,478,159 $62,190,830 -$501,287,329 -89% -11%
Decred $558,095,617 $170,226,688 -$387,868,929 -69% 8%
PIVX $519,728,722 $55,360,398 -$464,368,324 -89% -12%
MonaCoin $509,102,187 $42,063,628 -$467,038,559 -92% -14%
WAX $502,527,714 $36,741,798 -$465,785,916 -93% -15%

Cryptocurrency market analysis: price

It goes without saying that the price is perhaps the first figure most cryptocurrency buyers will look at. Much like the market cap, the average price across the top 50 coins was down 78% in the last year. You can find those prices below, but we have also indicated the relative % change of a coin's price against that average. A positive figure in this column suggests relatively better stability.

Crypto Value 2017 Value 2018 Change % Change Relative % Change
Bitcoin $13,205.60 $3,846.44 -$9,359 -71% 7%
Ripple $1.97 $0.37 -$2 -81% -4%
Ether $719.83 $137.57 -$582 -81% -3%
Bitcoin Cash $2,470.63 $159.33 -$2,311 -94% -16%
Cardano $0.70 $0.04 -$1 -94% -16%
Litecoin $222.77 $31.63 -$191 -86% -8%
IOTA $3.38 $0.36 -$3 -89% -12%
NEM $0.92 $0.07 -$1 -93% -15%
Dash $1,013.23 $81.63 -$932 -92% -14%
Stellar $0.32 $0.12 -$0 -63% 15%
Monero $337.69 $48.18 -$290 -86% -8%
EOS $8.69 $2.63 -$6 -70% 8%
NEO $72.37 $8.02 -$64 -89% -11%
Qtum $60.32 $2.28 -$58 -96% -18%
Bitcoin Gold $254.65 $13.69 -$241 -95% -17%
Verge $0.19 $0.01 -$0 -96% -18%
Ethereum Classic $26.96 $5.24 -$22 -81% -3%
BitConnect $389.16 $0.00 -$389 -100% -22%
TRON $0.04 $0.02 -$0 -44% 34%
Lisk $18.76 $1.45 -$17 -92% -14%
ICON $5.20 $0.24 -$5 -95% -18%
RaiBlocks/Nano $12.31 $0.96 -$11 -92% -14%
BitShares $0.61 $0.04 -$1 -94% -16%
OmiseGO $15.46 $1.41 -$14 -91% -13%
Ardor $1.54 $0.05 -$1 -96% -19%
Zcash $491.41 $59.21 -$432 -88% -10%
Tether $1.01 $1.02 $0 1% 79%
Populous $36.25 $1.59 -$35 -96% -18%
Stratis $12.97 $1.17 -$12 -91% -13%
Waves $11.94 $3.04 -$9 -75% 3%
Hshare/HyperCash $23.75 $0.87 -$23 -96% -19%
Bytecoin $0.01 $0.001 -$0 -86% -8%
Siacoin $0.03 $0.003 -$0 -91% -13%
Komodo $8.74 $0.955 -$8 -89% -11%
Dogecoin $0.01 $0.002 -$0 -70% 8%
Binance Coin $8.06 $5.98 -$2 -26% 52%
Augur $64.43 $8.260 -$56 -87% -9%
SALT $12.90 $0.24 -$13 -98% -20%
DigiByte $0.07 $0.011 -$0 -85% -7%
Nxt $0.68 $0.03 -$1 -96% -18%
Veritaseum $333.19 $16.930 -$316 -95% -17%
Steem $2.69 $0.274 -$2 -90% -12%
Ark $6.44 $0.405 -$6 -94% -16%
Golem $0.70 $0.070 -$1 -90% -12%
VeChain $2.05 $0.004 -$2 -100% -22%
Status $0.16 $0.018 -$0 -89% -11%
Decred $86.37 $18.770 -$68 -78% 0%
PIVX $9.41 $0.975 -$8 -90% -12%
MonaCoin $9.03 $0.650 -$8 -93% -15%
WAX $1.02 $0.039 -$1 -96% -18%

Cryptocurrency market analysis: volume

Finally, we're going to look at the change in volume of money exchanged during the 24-hour period that was 30 December to 31 December in the respective years.

This is intriguing data since this figure measures the amount of activity occurring – the money going in and out – on a coin. Year on year, this is down 60%, which could tell us that approximately 60% of those who were engaged in the cryptocurrency market on 31 December 2017 are now gone. This is a ballpark assumption, but it does give you a general idea of how much less money is being played with on any given day.

Again, we've shown you the relative % change here, which indicates how far from that 60% average a top 50 coin has varied.

Crypto Volume 2017 Volume 2018 Change % Change Relative % Change
Bitcoin $13,539,300,000 $4,643,202,313 -$8,896,097,687 -66% 12%
Ripple $6,318,480,000 $480,725,088 -$5,837,754,912 -92% -15%
Ether $2,922,720,000 $2,508,539,486 -$414,180,514 -14% 64%
Bitcoin Cash $1,336,280,000 $237,665,882 -$1,098,614,118 -82% -4%
Cardano $704,674,000 $26,203,482 -$678,470,518 -96% -18%
Litecoin $896,998,000 $389,106,708 -$507,891,292 -57% 21%
IOTA $240,808,000 $7,826,196 -$232,981,804 -97% -19%
NEM $63,685,500 $10,237,000 -$53,448,500 -84% -6%
Dash $177,957,000 $104,917,275 -$73,039,725 -41% 37%
Stellar $411,048,000 $86,224,856 -$324,823,144 -79% -1%
Monero $134,500,000 $12,676,876 -$121,823,124 -91% -13%
EOS $479,285,000 $655,623,621 $176,338,621 37% 115%
NEO $211,133,000 $109,762,278 -$101,370,722 -48% 30%
Qtum $1,248,170,000 $98,482,121 -$1,149,687,879 -92% -14%
Bitcoin Gold $95,540,600 $4,695,426 -$90,845,174 -95% -17%
Verge $405,578,000 $769,506 -$404,808,494 -100% -22%
Ethereum Classic $225,367,000 $113,771,109 -$111,595,891 -50% 28%
BitConnect $26,388,200 $0 -$26,388,200 -100% -22%
TRON $257,537,000 $67,348,014 -$190,188,986 -74% 4%
Lisk $65,400,200 $2,971,406 -$62,428,794 -95% -18%
ICON $64,903,200 $3,788,332 -$61,114,868 -94% -16%
RaiBlocks/Nano $25,907,800 $1,103,396 -$24,804,404 -96% -18%
BitShares $90,910,500 $4,880,728 -$86,029,772 -95% -17%
OmiseGO $145,151,000 $34,363,609 -$110,787,391 -76% 1%
Ardor $30,017,200 $226,764 -$29,790,436 -99% -21%
Zcash $140,335,000 $98,952,118 -$41,382,882 -29% 48%
Tether $2,372,870,000 $3,603,952,911 $1,231,082,911 52% 130%
Populous $2,587,840 $830,301 -$1,757,539 -68% 10%
Stratis $29,585,700 $2,881,198 -$26,704,502 -90% -12%
Waves $50,409,700 $10,035,419 -$40,374,281 -80% -2%
Hshare/HyperCash $103,373,000 $5,347,944 -$98,025,056 -95% -17%
Bytecoin $8,380,000 $130,627 -$8,249,373 -98% -21%
Siacoin $32,255,900 $676,006 -$31,579,894 -98% -20%
Komodo $17,166,600 $3,096,958 -$14,069,642 -82% -4%
Dogecoin $48,308,200 $16,462,969 -$31,845,231 -66% 12%
Binance Coin $71,614,100 $21,629,667 -$49,984,433 -70% 8%
Augur $9,444,300 $1,086,461 -$8,357,839 -88% -11%
SALT $38,426,500 $1,074,156 -$37,352,344 -97% -19%
DigiByte $50,697,300 $662,742 -$50,034,558 -99% -21%
Nxt $208,653,000 $246,494 -$208,406,506 -100% -22%
Veritaseum $1,596,840 $2,275,737 $678,897 43% 120%
Steem $4,675,750 $444,225 -$4,231,525 -90% -13%
Ark $11,946,500 $320,339 -$11,626,161 -97% -20%
Golem $18,020,800 $17,635,200 -$385,600 -2% 76%
VeChain $91,389,300 $5,480,884 -$85,908,416 -94% -16%
Status $45,913,500 $39,557,185 -$6,356,315 -14% 64%
Decred $3,179,000 $1,465,156 -$1,713,844 -54% 24%
PIVX $6,513,980 $14,094,140 $7,580,160 116% 194%
MonaCoin $10,089,600 $589,791 -$9,499,809 -94% -16%
WAX $18,719,900 $308,857 -$18,411,043 -98% -21%
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators' websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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