Only one cryptocurrency made gains in March as the rest crashed
Binance Coin posted gains for the month of March, while Ethereum, NEO and Cardano plummeted the most.
March was a cryptocurrency bloodbath, the likes of which the world has frequently seen before. According to Investing.com senior analyst, Jesse Cohen, only one major coin made any gains while the hardest hit lost well over half their value. The month's unlikely winner was Binance Coin, while the biggest losers were the competing Ethereum, NEO and Cardano coins.
Binance Coin – gained 5.7% in March
"Binance Coin ended March at $11.0510, a gain of approximately 5.7% for the month. Its opening price on March 1 was $10.4970, before surging by as much as 30% to a two-month peak of $14.9300 on March 24," Cohen said.
The cryptocurrency gold rush has seen a lot of people trying to invest in picks and shovels rather than panning crypto-gold themselves. Binance Coin might be the closest you can get in cryptocurrency form.
Binance is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges by normal trade volume, and has a hard-earned reputation for decent customer service, good communication (from the CEO on Twitter mostly) and a very impressive degree of competence in the face of hack attacks.
Binance Coin is its native token. It doesn't do anything world shattering, but can simply be traded freely for other pairs on the exchange, and gives you a discount when used to pay fees on the exchange. In many ways, this simplicity and easy-to-calculate value for money make it a pretty hot item. It's a limited item though, with circulating coins being bought back and destroyed by Binance over the course of several years, and the fee discount it offers decreasing over time. This adds an element of complexity to the coin's valuation.
But despite its unique position, Binance Coin is still prone to slumping with the rest of the cryptocurrency market. But two big pieces of news had measurable impacts on prices in March and may have seen it rise above the plummeting market.
The first was Binance's announcement on 14 March that it planned on releasing its own blockchain and decentralised exchange. This was accompanied by an extremely sharp price rise of about 30% in the space of an hour.
Prices flattened back down in the coming days, but still rode higher than they were earlier in the month.
The second piece of news was Binance's announcement on 25-26 March that it was moving to Malta to offer fiat currency trading, which was accompanied by another price rise.
Once again, prices flattened back down afterwards for Binance to end the month of March with modest 5.7% gains, but the first few days of April have seen further rises.
Ethereum, NEO and Cardano – down a whole lot
Ethereum, NEO and Cardano are very similar in that they all focus strongly on smart contracts. But each goes about it in a different way.
Ethereum got there first and is still the number two cryptocurrency by market cap even after all the slumping. Its venerability gives it a huge advantage, as does the widely used ERC20 token standard that lets many other projects' coins host themselves on the Ethereum blockchain rather than worrying about developing their own. The main downside is that Ethereum uses its own difficult programming language for smart contracts, which makes it tricky to use and limits its applications for business purposes.
"The price of one Ethereum coin stood at $869.24 on March 1, before sinking to $364.66 on March 30, its weakest level since November 22, 2017. It ended the month at $392.97, for a loss of about 53.8%. Ethereum is down around 51% so far this year after starting at $737.77 on January 1. It rose to an all-time peak of $1,423.20 on January 13," Cohen said.
NEO is considered to be one of Ethereum's main competitors.
Much like Eth, "NEO, dubbed by many crypto aficionados as the "Ethereum of China," is a blockchain platform and cryptocurrency which enables the development of digital assets and smart contracts," Cohen explains. "The price of one NEO coin changed hands at $128.37 on March 1, before collapsing to $49.56 on March 31, its weakest level since December 22."
It's designed to essentially be exactly like Ethereum, except more scalable and with easier-to-use smart contracts that are designed especially for business applications and a paired token system that pays dividends to holders. The downsides are that it's struggling to build the same kind of broad ecosystem as Ethereum and that it can be very expensive to run a project on the NEO system.
Cardano is also focused on smart contracts, with a strong emphasis on ease for the end-user, scalability and extremely advanced development. It aims to become a solid all-around decentralised ledger system with an extraordinarily broad range of uses.
The downside is that it has yet to release a functional product that does as promised, and is still very speculative.
"Cardano's price on March 1 was $0.30001, before sinking approximately 50.5% to end the month at $0.15020. The digital currency sank to a lifetime low of $0.12330 on March 18," Cohen said.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, NANO
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