Enter Crypto Spring! Bitcoin Exits Hibernation, But Not All Sunshine and Roses for Alts
May 13, 2019
Data as of 5/13/2019 at 2:30 PM
- Time to wake up and smell the roses, because crypto spring is here! Slowly but surely, cryptocurrencies edged higher to start 2019, but the rally picked up pace over the last couple of days with Bitcoin (BTC) higher by double-digits in 2 of the last 3 days. Still, not all altcoins are bearing the fruit of the latest crypto rally. Today, we will be reviewing cryptocurrencies that are outperforming, underperforming, and performing in-line so far in 2019.
- In the table below, we provide historical pricing data for the 8 cryptocurrencies we chose to highlight in this analysis.
||% Off All-Time High
||% Off 2018 Low
- It would be a disservice not to start with Bitcoin, the largest and first cryptocurrency in the world. BTC is often looked to as the benchmark cryptocurrency, and rightfully so. The way BTC trades historically dictates how the rest of the broad crypto market trades. Of late, however, BTC has more frequently displayed traits of “digital gold”, or a digital store of value. On days where the broad crypto market is trading in the lower, BTC has held its value or even appreciated.
- Binance Coin (BNB) has been one of the hottest coins of 2019, returning a massive 431.57% from its 2018 low set in December. BNB was actually the only major coin to surpass its all-time high set in the late 2017/early 2018 bull market. However, because of a hack on the exchange that resulted in the theft of $40 million worth of BTC, BNB retraced last week. If not for the hack on Binance, BNB may be even higher in today’s trading.
- Still, Binance and the underlying BNB token are one of the most interesting and exciting stories within the cryptocurrency industry. The crypto exchange giant offers a significant long-term value proposition that BNB could benefit from, something we discuss more in, “The Unprecedented Success of Binance and Binance Coin (BNB)”.
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH) rounds out our list of the top performing major cryptocurrencies so far in the 2019 rally with the 4th largest coin by market capitalization up 405.89% from its 2018 low. The future for BCH was uncertain in the latter part of 2018 after two separate groups of developers and miners feuded in a hash war. The two groups adamantly believed in two different directions for BCH, which resulted in the network forking.
- While it was unclear for weeks which coin would become the favorite among crypto investors, resulting in the short-term downturn of BCH, the coin eventually returned to its former glory and became the clear favorite among crypto investors.
- Ethereum (ETH) kicks off the list of cryptocurrencies posting mediocre performance with the world’s largest altcoin up just 138.48% from its 2018 low. Many crypto pundits have had high hopes for ETH as the world’s biggest utility coin, however, active users have not grown fast enough to support applications on the Ethereum Network.
- Perhaps the performance of utility coins will take longer to “catch up” with the broader crypto market’s performance because of their heavy reliance on active users.
- TRON (TRX), another large utility coin and the world’s 9th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, also appears on the list of cryptocurrencies with mediocre performance in 2019. The trend established in ETH remains much of the same in TRX; active users on the TRON Network are not growing fast enough to support appreciation of the network’s underlying coin. As a result, TRX is up just 118.38% from its 2018 low.
- Ripple (XRP), the world’s 3rd largest coin by market capitalization and world’s largest payment coin, leads off our list of the worst performing cryptocurrencies so far in the 2019 rally. Early on when cryptocurrencies began to gain mainstream popularity, largely positive sentiment surrounded XRP and its potential to replace the SWIFT Network. Even in 2018, positive developments and news stories that surrounded XRP propelled the coin to rally while most cryptos traded flat.
- The performance of XRP has been underwhelming in 2019, however, as the coin is up just 24.75% from its 2018 low. The Ripple team has not announced any major developments relating to the Ripple Network and XRP so far in 2019 -- the lack of drivers from positive developments or news stories related to XRP explains the coin’s underperformance in 2019.
- Bitcoin SV’s (BSV) performance in 2019 has also been relatively abysmal for many of the reasons discussed regarding BCH’s performance. After it was clear the BCH was the favorite among investors between the two forked networks, a lack of demand for the coin drove it’s performance to lag the broader crypto market. From its low in 2018, BSV is up just 40.26%.
- Rounding out the list of underperforming cryptocurrencies in 2019 is Stellar (XLM), another lagging utility coin. The story told for ETH and TRX stays much of the same with XLM -- the coin’s lack of active user growth has proven unable to sustain performance in-line with the broader crypto market. From its low in 2018, XLM is up just 6.74%.