Thirty of the Top 50 Cryptocurrencies Fell More Than 90% in 2018

By Jack Filiba

WechatIMG130.pngIn 2018, even the most popular cryptocurrencies were not safe from significant price drops. To understand just how volatile the leading cryptocurrencies were this year, LongHash compared the peak performances of the top 50 cryptocurrencies to their prices toward the end of the year.

Bitcoin lost momentum in 2018

December 2017 introduced the world to Bitcoin’s highest price so far, when the currency was briefly valued at around $20,000 USD. In 2018, however, Bitcoin proved unable to sustain this momentum.

Bitcoin’s highest value in 2018 was in early January, when it reached over $17,500, according to CoinMarketCap. But Bitcoin did not hold this value for long. Since the beginning of March, Bitcoin did not reach over $10,000 at any point this year.

Comparing Bitcoin’s peak to its price in mid-December shows just how volatile the year was for major cryptocurrencies. There is a difference just shy of 80% between Bitcoin’s peak and our snapshot, with the currency trading at around $3,300. As of December 24, Bitcoin was trading at around $4,000.

Overall, Bitcoin experienced many crashes throughout 2018. As our previous report found, many of these significant falls accompanied negative events or press attention. Fears about regulation appeared to play a significant role, though it is impossible to trace Bitcoin’s price to a single influence.

Ethereum, XRP, other major coins fell at least 90%

The gap between Ether (ETH)’s peak in 2018 and its recent value shows a decrease of about 90%. On January 13, Ethereum reached its highest price this year at just under $1,400 USD.

Since the beginning of February, ETH has come nowhere close to regaining that value. At our snapshot date on December 17, ETH’s price was less than $100. This was in spite of positive press throughout the year, like Ethereum winning a favorable decision from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

XRP is another leading cryptocurrency that attracted many positive headlines in 2018. The currency’s creators, Ripple, received positive attention after donating to public schools and 17 universities. XRP even made an appearance on Ellen.

This year, XRP peaked at around $3.38 a coin, but since crashed to a recent value under $0.33. This marks a price decrease of 93% between its peak and recent value. As of press time on December 24, XRP was trading at over $0.38.

Several other prominent cryptocurrencies dropped at least 90% from their peaks this year as well. Some notable examples include Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Dash.

Considerations for new currencies like Bitcoin SV and stablecoins

Since we looked at the top 50 coins by market valuation as of December 17, the chart may appear to be favorable to Bitcoin SV, which is a new cryptocurrency that came out of a hard fork of Bitcoin Cash.

Bitcoin SV, however, is a very new arrival to the landscape, having only launched last month. With this consideration in mind, Bitcoin SV’s volatility was actually more severe than many of its peers. It dropped 60% from its highest value just over a month before our snapshot.

Our chart also includes stablecoins, which are designed to be resilient to volatility. Still, the industry’s stablecoins were not immune to fluctuations this year.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

We use data to help you understand the latest developments in crypto and blockchain.