The cryptocurrency markets peaked in 2018 at a total capitalization of $835 billion. If an investor purchased $1,000 in crypto at the market’s top how much would their investment be worth at today’s prices?
During 2017, the crypto markets came to a head as the confluence between rising prices, media attention, feverish initial coin offerings, and 100x altcoin breakouts lead the market to crescendo to highs yet to be matched again.
During that time, investors could have easily quintupled their money in the months leading up to the market peak. Thousands of retail investors were swept-up in the mania. Investors mortgaged their homes, maxed out their credit cards, and sold their belongings thinking the parabolic growth would continue.
These investors were incinerated as the markets plummeted. It would be over a year before the markets stopped hemorrhaging.
Now as the cryptocurrency markets rally, how would an investor have fared if they made a $1,000 investment at the peak of the market?
A look at the numbers
Below is the list of cryptocurrencies ranked by market capitalization at the market peak on Jan. 7, 2019. At the time, common advice was to use market capitalization as a proxy for the perceived ‘safeness’ of each investment. Bitcoin, XRP, and Ethereum were even considered the ‘blue chips’ of crypto, signifying their soundness. Yet, a year later, the returns tell a different story.
In order of top 10 by market capitalization on Jan. 7, 2018:
By best performers:
The performance of these assets since January 2018 could be attributed to a variety of different technical and fundamental factors.