2021 was undoubtedly a bullish year for Bitcoin (BTC), which signed several new all-time highs. But not all crypto assets enjoyed the same performance. Unlike the majority of the market, several cryptocurrencies have experienced losses.
Total cryptocurrency market capitalization has gained 190% since early 2021 – from just under $ 800 billion to over $ 2.3 trillion, hitting an all-time high of over $ 3 trillion in early November.
Top 3 winning cryptocurrencies in 2021
At the beginning of the previous year, the list of the ten most capitalized cryptocurrencies was slightly different: it included Litecoin (LTC), Chainlink (LINK) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). At the end of 2021 these gave way to Solana (SOL), USD Coin (USDC) and Avalanche (AVAX).
Led mostly by Elon Musk’s ambiguous posts, Dogecoin (DOGE) quickly rose to prominence. On New Year’s Day, DOGE boasted a price tag of just $ 0.004 and was largely ignored by most cryptocurrency traders. DOGE then recorded its price spike in February, following the first of a series of Musk-triggered pumps.
DOGE hit levels of pure euphoria in April and May: reaching an all-time high of $ 0.731 on May 8, the meme-coin took fourth place in the Top 10 thanks to a 1,100% surge.
In June Musk also extolled the virtues of DOGE as a payment network, causing further FOMO.
DOGE then started correcting, against both Bitcoin and USD. Undoubtedly, the mainstream visibility achieved and the quotations on the main trading platforms have guaranteed the crypto inspired by the Shiba Inu meme a gigantic gain of 3,800% in the last 12 months. In terms of BTC, DOGE gained 2,100% year-over-year, from 168 sat to 3,696 sat in mid-December.
Position in the standings at the beginning of the year: 26
Position at the end of the year: 11
The native token of the enterprise blockchain Solana (SOL) also boasts a bumper year, earning 9,800%. At the start of 2021 SOL was quoted at just $ 1.52, at the time of writing it is trading at around $ 140.
In early November, SOL hit an all-time high of $ 260, rapidly losing share as markets began to correct towards the end of the year. This massive upward movement allowed the asset to reach, albeit temporarily, the fourth position in the standings. Compared to BTC, SOL gained 6,473% over the year.
The large investments and increased adoption in the wake of the increase in Ethereum fees have certainly given further impetus to Solana, touted as the “Ethereum killer”. In June, Solana Labs raised $ 314 million through a private token sale, led by Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain Capital.
Position in the standings at the beginning of the year: 112
Position at the end of the year: 5
The native token of the decentralized financial network Terra also briefly entered the Top 10. Terra (LUNA) started last year at around $ 0.65, an asset almost unknown to most at the time.
The price rose in March and May, but didn’t really take off until August, when a massive pump pushed LUNA to an all-time high of $ 77.73 on December 5. At the time of writing, LUNA is trading up 8.515% since January 2021. Compared to BTC, LUNA is up 5.815%.
The rapid expansion of the Earth ecosystem partners was largely responsible for the rise in prices.
Position in the standings at the beginning of the year: 62
Position at the end of the year: 10
Certainly many other projects are worthy of mention: Avalanche’s AVAX recorded a 2,330% year-on-year increase, Polygon’s MATIC exceeds 12,000%, while Binance Coin (BNB) gains 1,271%.
Top 3 Losing Cryptocurrencies in 2021
Internet Computer (ICP)
During a market in euphoria, Dfinity’s Internet Computer project exploded onto the scene after five years of secretive development. Promising a revolution that could disrupt the world of computing, the project allows developers to install their code directly on a “public internet” without having to rely on third-party hosting companies.
Speculators, driven by a frenzy for the next big innovation in the cryptocurrency sector, bought the ICP token without hesitation, projecting the price towards an all-time high of $ 700.
Since then, the ICP price has plummeted to $ 24.29 as of December 4: a painful -96% from its peak just seven months earlier. It also corrected against Bitcoin, by 93%.
Highest position of the year: 8
Position at the end of the year: 37
What was initially considered by many to be the “Ethereum Killer” par excellence, has actually done very little in terms of capitalization, unlike other competitors.
EOS (EOS) had already slipped out of the Top 10, continuing to drop in the rankings. The price has only gained a paltry 15% over the past year which, compared to the stellar three- or even four-figure percentage growth of competitors, certainly makes it fall into the underdog category.
The once hype Block.one token is now trading at $ 2.81 after plunging to 52nd place in terms of market cap. It is currently down 86% from its all-time high of $ 22.71 in April 2018, losing 22% to BTC over the past year.
In early November, members of the EOS ecosystem expressed their dissatisfaction with the direction the network was taking.
Position in the standings at the beginning of the year: 15
Position at the end of the year: 50
The cryptocurrency Monero (XMR) also dropped dramatically in terms of market cap, given the elimination of privacy coin quotes by some major exchanges.
XMR has signed a content + 17% this past year, a far cry from the all-time high of $ 535 in January 2018. Currently trading at around $ 193, XMR has plummeted 66% from its 2021 peak, resulting in a drop to 49th by market cap. In relation to Bitcoin, Monero has lost 30%.
Position in the standings at the beginning of the year: 16
Position at the end of the year: 49
To conclude, Bitcoin is up 67.5% over the past 12 months, while Ethereum has gained 440%.