Analysis: the 19 cryptocurrencies that are outperforming the bear market

Bitcoin may be struggling, but there’s a bunch of cryptocurrencies who are faring better than most over the past six months. Here’s our in-depth look…

Six months is not a long time in the great scheme of things. But in crypto, looking back to half a year ago is like seeing a different world. We’re knee deep in a bear market right now. Coins are trending down, down, down. Even the most optimistic investors are clinging on for dear life and HODLing for the bounce, whenever that may come. It seems a long way off.

So which coins have held the most value, relatively, over the last six months?

That’s what we’ve been finding out. Our formula looks at the relative market cap of coins from June to December, rather than the absolute market cap. This methodology allows us to see which coins have performed the best across datasets spanning six months. We are also focusing on the coins that have increased their CoinMarketCap ranking by at least 20 places.

There’s no Bitcoin on this list. No Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, or NEO. No Stellar, no Monero, and no Quantum either.

A bear market promises to shake out the frauds and those products built only on promises boosted by ‘hot money’ – that is, money from investors who are investing in everything, no matter its merit as a product. In theory this leaves only the coins and teams with the best products

A couple of notes: we have ignored cryptos without at least six months of history in the charts.

Some coins which did not make the list, but still performed relatively well by starting in the Top 100 and boosting their relative market cap by double figures are:

Maker (MKR), an unmineable Ethereum-based token which is used for margin trading, up 19 places from June to December

DigiByte (DGB), a Bitcoin-inspired payment network founded in 2014 which has 100,000+ nodes around the world and claims a more scalable and superior technology than its better-known rivals, up 12 from 49th to 37th

MaidSafeCoin (MAID), a pre-Bitcoin project which started in 2006, and is focused on autonomous, decentralised data storage on its SAFE (Safe Access For Everyone) network, up 14 places from 73rd to 59th

CryptoNex (CNX), a cryptocurrency with a Proof of Stake-based blockchain, which is intended to be used to exchange any current fiat currency for crypto or tokens, and as part of a debit card payment system, up 17 spots to 62nd from 79th

Theta Token (THETA), a decentralised network that uses computers’ redundant memory and bandwidth as caching nodes for video streams, up 15 places from 91st in June to 76th in December.

These are outliers. There are a hell of a lot of coins and tokens whose relative market cap plunged like they were being chucked down a well. Only 18 coins or tokens in the Top 200 in June have increased by 20 places or more on this metric. For context, the coin in the top 200 list in June that fell the furthest by December is AllSports (SOC), which began in 103rd place and has since fallen to 334th.

Preliminary findings

  • To get into the top 200 coins by market cap in June 2018, coins needed a minimum of $52m market cap. By December 2018, coins with market cap of just $13m made it into the top 200.
  • In June there were 23 currencies or tokens with a $1bn+ market cap. By December this had fallen to just 10.
  • Only 4 out of the top 100 coins in June have climbed 20 places or more. 14 of the coins in 100 to 200th place have climbed 20 places or more since June.
  • None of the top 46 coins in June had gained more than 20 places by December by relative market cap.
  • Every single one of the best-performing coins or tokens has lost a significant proportion of their price and market cap. This perhaps suggests the projects themselves were wildly overvalued, in accordance with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies’ ATH. This list does however show the projects which could be considered the most resilient, even in a falling market.

Beating the bears: results

Dogecoin (DOGE)

The meme coin is the highest performing cryptocurrency by relative market cap. In June it was the 47th largest, jumping 23 places up the list to 24th by December.

DOGE Market Cap June: $412,781,022
DOGE Price June: $0.0036
DOGE Market Cap Dec: $262,518,109
DOGE Price Dec: $0.00224

Market Cap gain/loss ($): $150,262,913 LOSS
Market Cap gain/loss (%): 36.40% LOSS
Price gain/loss ($): $0.00136 LOSS
Price gain/loss (%): 37.79% LOSS

Dogecoin was started in 2013 by Jackson Palmer and Billy Markus, two crypto evangelists who fell in love with an internet meme which pictured a thoughtful-looking Shinu Ine dog breed.

DOGE uses a Scrypt Proof of Work algorithm to secure its network. This became exceedingly popular with early users because it was relatively profitable to mine even with a home computer.

It features a massive community of followers and developers. The r/dogecoin subreddit is also friendly and active, where tipping popular or useful posts using DOGE is common.

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

The second best performing crypto of the last six months is BAT. In June it sat 58th on the list by market cap, leaping 30 places to 28th by December.

BAT Market Cap June: $295,454,655
BAT Price June: $0.29546
BAT Market Cap Dec: $207,877,985
BAT Price Dec: $0.17604

Market Cap gain/loss ($): $87,576,670 LOSS
Market Cap gain/loss (%): 29.64% LOSS
Price gain/loss ($): $0.11941 LOSS
Price gain/loss (%): 40.42% LOSS

BAT is an Ethereum-based ERC-20 token that uses an open-source, privacy focused browser called Brave, as an alternative to Mozilla’s Firefox, Google Chrome or Apple Safari.

It was developed by a team including Yan Zhu, an author for the internet’s main standards organisation W3C, which is lead by, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee

The idea is that the browser blocks all the dodgy tracking cookies that expose your IP address and personal data to unknown sources, instead connecting vetted advertisers and publishers directly with their users, employing the BAT token as a way to incentivise views or purchases.

When you download the Brave browser (free), you get 25 BAT (also free), which today (7 December 2018) would be worth $3.25. There are 1.5bn possible BAT tokens with a circulating supply of just under 1.2bn.

Advertisers can buy BAT tokens and use them to place ads, while users are paid in BAT for viewing those ads. Publishers also get ad revenue in BAT tokens.

Brave Payments allows users to tip content creators. This is a very common way of supporting a favourite Youtube channel, for example, with small ongoing or one-off micropayments.

A number of forward-looking publishers, including the UK’s The Guardian, the Washington Post and VICE all accept BAT tokens.

QASH (QASH)

The third best performing crypto by relative market cap is QASH. In June it was in 86th place, moving up 29 places to 57th by December.

QASH Market Cap June: $185,261,604
QASH Price June: $0.52932
QASH Market Cap Dec: $76,568,463
QASH Price Dec: $0.21877

Market Cap gain/loss ($): $108,693,141 LOSS
Market Cap gain/loss (%): 58.67% LOSS
Price gain/loss ($): $0.31055 LOSS
Price gain/loss (%): 58.67% LOSS

QASH is the ERC-20 token of the Quoine Liquid platform, which is supposed to solve the liquidity problems in the cryptocurrency industry.

Because so many people just HODL their crypto investments, when it comes to you wanting to sell on, there are relatively few buyers able to take your trade.

QASH is intended to allow you to buy cryptocurrency with pounds or dollars or any other fiat currency, as well as easily cashing out to that same currency.

Quoine has two main products: the World Book, which processes all the prices from exchanges across the globe and puts them all in one place for you to use; and Prime Brokerage, a platform to give buyers access to all these exchanges without you having to make a new user account on each.

This fintech-focused firm were granted a licence by Japan’s market regulator, the Financial Services Agency, in 2017.

Electroneum (ETN)

The fourth best performing cryptocurrency by relative market cap, ETN was way down in 98th spot in June, but by December came up 38 places to 60th.

ETN Market Cap June: $148,428,640
ETN Price June: $0.02087
ETN Market Cap Dec: $73,209,634
ETN Price Dec: $0.00866

Market Cap gain/loss ($): $75,219,006 LOSS
Market Cap gain/loss (%): 50.68% LOSS
Price gain/loss ($): $0.0122 LOSS
Price gain/loss (%): 58.48% LOSS

ETN is the currency of Electroneum, a mobile app available on Google Play which allows you to mine ETN just using your phone.

Launched in January 2017 by English entrepreneur Richard Ells, ETN is an instant payments app focused on two main markets: millennial entrepreneurs and unbanked customers in developing countries

Starting in October it claimed to fulfil all the common traditional regulatory functions necessary for mass adoption like anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC).

ETN has over 1.5 million users for its platform, which is currently in beta. Full release was scheduled for Q3 2018.

Factom (FCT)

Fifth on our list, Factom has climbed the highest number of places in terms of relative market cap – 53 to be exact. From lowly 102nd in June, Factom is now in a much more presentable 49th.

FCT Market Cap June: $144,074,585
FCT Price June: $16.47
FCT Market Cap Dec: $104,998,773
FCT Price Dec: $12.01

Market Cap gain/loss ($): $39,075,812 LOSS
Market Cap gain/loss (%): 27.12% LOSS
Price gain/loss ($): $4.46 LOSS
Price gain/loss (%): 27.08% LOSS

Of the top five cryptocurrencies outperforming the bear market, FCT has the lowest percentage loss on both price and market cap.

FCT is the currency for Factom’s blockchain, which records data processed from security cameras and is intended cut out fakes or spoofing which could bypass biometric scans.

In 2016 it won a $200,000 grant from the US Department for Homeland Security, which was announced this June.

Factom has hit a few bumps along the road but has some of the most impressive partnerships to shout about.

The best of the rest

Only 14 other coins or tokens improved their market cap by 20 places or more in the last six months.

Holo (HOT)

Up 44 places from 105th to 61st is Holo, a decentralised cloud network intended for dApp development. It has still lost 47% of its market cap in that time. Holo promises a number of use cases, including sharing Patient Data Records across systems and creating immutable digital identities for refugees or those fleeing violence in their own countries where record-keeping is not of the highest priority.

WAX (WAX)

WAX stands for Worldwide Asset Exchange, and presents itself as the one-stop shop for video game bonuses, power-ups, skins and other popular tradable items. The price of WAX has seen incredible volatility and in our analysis lost over half its market cap since June. Still, the idea appears to be sound as it jumped 44 places from 111st to 67th in the last six months.

Chainlink (LINK)

LINK is notable as the least volatile coin on the entire link, having lost only 8.93% of its market cap since June, and is up the highest number of spots, at 65. Chainlink has a number of high-profile partnerships in the bag, including interbank payments network SWIFT, which give it a legitimacy not always present in lesser projects. Chainlink connects external data to a specific blockchain in order to make smart contracts work with traditional programming features like APIs. In theory this takes allows data to move across heavily-siloed blockchains and out into the real world. Appears 21st on CryptoMiso’s list of projects with the most Github commits in the last six months, which suggests it is relatively well supported.

Decentraland (MANA)

Decentraland jumped 61 places since June, from 125th to 64th. It’s essentially a virtual world for gamers where you can buy portions of land, and then buy and sell across a marketplace. It was heavily criticised for its low number of daily users (which according to dAppRadar.com today stands at around 70) but has had good news in the form of a high-profile recent listing for MANA on Coinbase Pro.

Crypto.com (MCO)

Formerly called Monaco, Crypto.com wants to change the world by offering debit cards packed with cryptocurrency that you can spend anywhere in the world, just as you would with standard plastic. They had to fend off some concerning allegations back in May. Since June MCO has snuck into the Top 100 coins, up 27 places from 126th, but have lost among the most of our list since then, shedding nearly two-thirds of its June price and market cap.

NEXO (NEXO)

Crypto-backed loans firm NEXO has been splashing out on marketing and advertising in recent months, leaping 63 places in terms of relative market cap. NEXO now has better name recognition among the crowded crypto market but still lost 64% of its market cap by December.

Revain (R)

Moscow-based reviews network Revain does not come into this analysis with strong branding, despite jumping a whopping 80 places up to 65th, from a lowly 145th. At this point in our list we are down into much smaller market caps (around $66m for Revain) so it could simply be a case of it taking time to break through to the popular consciousness.

Groestlcoin (GRS)

Another lesser-known project, Groestlcoin made a small improvement on its June market cap ranking, by 21 places up to 142th from 163rd. In that time GRS’s price and market cap fell by over 70%, though. GRS claims to have instant, private transactions with zero fees. If true, zero fees should be pushing this coin right up to the top of our list. If true.

BOSCoin (BOS)

BOSCoin jumps 52 places from June, coming in at 117th place in terms of relative market cap. The project itself claims to create a new way to enact contracts on the blockchain, using trust contracts, instead of smart contracts. The dev team is highly regarded, and has actually released some side-projects including a mobile wallet and an open source consensus protocol called ISAAC on Github.

SIRIN LABS Token (SRN)

Notable for the then-fourth largest ever ICO at $150m+, Israeli firm SIRIN makes the FINNEY, a blockchain-powered smartphone. Its CEO Moshe Hagog claims to have a backlog of 100,000 orders to fulfil, and news is out this week of a potential partnership with Taiwanese chip manufacturer Foxconn. Now just inside the Top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap, SRN has shed 42% of its market cap since June, standing at $40.4m.

THEKEY (TKY)

ID verification project THEKEY claims 23 copyrights on its work, which focuses on linking up with government departments to secure personally identifiable information. Up to a respectable 133rd place from 174th in June, THEKEY now has a market cap around $23.3m, even while losing 66% since the summer.

Genesis Vision (GVT)

Financial trust management project Genesis Vision is aimed at big-money private investors – the kind of real-world whales – giving them a decentralised platform to aid investing. Genesis Vision also appears high on CryptoMiso’s list of projects ranked by the number of Github commits in the last six months, alongside much better-known teams like EOS, TRON and 0x.

Dynamic Trading Rights (DTR)

A marketplace for ERC20 tokens, Dynamic Trading Rights bags the final spot on our list of cryptocurrencies outperforming the bear market. Up 28 places to 155th by December, DTR still loses more than 69% of both its coin’s price and relative market cap.

Final Thoughts

It’s a tough ask to find positives when we are looking at an industry where the total market cap has dropped by 60% in the last six months, from £338bn in June to a little over £100bn today.

However, our analysis shows that the coins and tokens outperforming the bear market are those that have at least one of the following:

  • Strong user community
  • Easy to use and understand with a UI that is simple to grasp
  • Close relationships with traditional government, or well-known companies or banking authorities
  • Compliance with regulatory functions

There are some relatively unknown or under-promoted coins in the Best of the Rest, which sit alongside much more heavily-marketed projects like SIRIN LABS or Decentraland.

It is difficult to tease apart the exact reasons for their jump in relative market cap. However, there are some strong projects in there which are receiving plaudits for the right reasons, like high levels of Github commits, or real-world partnerships.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute financial advice. Always do your own research.

Images: BigStock