The cryptocurrency ecosystem has grown dramatically in just a few years, with the number of crypto markets increasing from 59 in 2013 to over 2,000 today. Looking at historic snapshots of the cryptocurrency markets from Christmases past also shows a significant turnover in the leading altcoins by market cap.
Number of Crypto Markets Increases by 10x During 2014
While many point to 2017 as the year in which the cryptocurrency markets saw their most dramatic growth, 2014 saw the number of virtual currencies increase by nearly 1,000%. As of Dec. 28, 2014 there were 506 active markets according to Coinmarketcap, up from just 59 on Dec. 22, 2013.
Despite the impressive growth in the number of active markets, the price performance of many of the leading cryptocurrencies by market cap was extremely bearish, with six of the top 10 cryptocurrencies losing more than 80% in one year.
Between Dec. 22, 2013 and Dec. 28, 2014, BTC lost nearly 50%, falling from $619 to $316. Litecoin (LTC) fell from the second ranked market by capitalization to fourth, posting an 84% loss from roughly $17.10 to $2.74. Ripple (XRP) was the only top market to gain year over year, up 7% from $0.022 to $0.024. XRP climbed from third to rank as the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
Peercoin (PPC) fell from the fourth largest crypto to rank 19th, posting an 81.5% loss as prices dropped from $3.12 to $0.58. Fifth-ranked namecoin (NMC) dropped to 13 with price falling 82.5% from $4.13 to $0.72. Quark (QRK) went from the sixth largest crypto to rank 27th with a price drop of 92.6%. Nxt (NXT) posted the second strongest performance among the top-ranked crypto markets of late 2013, climbing from seventh to ninth despite an 18% drop in price from $0.02 to $0.017.
At the end of 2013, bitshares PTS (PTS) comprised the eighth largest crypto by market cap with a token value of $12.45. One year later, PTS was ranked 45th after suffering a 99.99% drop from $12.45 to $0.00049. Ninth-ranked worldcoin (WDC) dropped to 53rd, posting a 98.5% loss from $0.4 $0.006. Megacoin (MEC) fell from 10th to 48th by market cap, producing a 96.8% drop from $0.52 to $0.017.
Of 2014’s Top Markets, Only BTC and LTC Posted Price Gains 1 Year Later
BTC gained 32% from Dec. 28, 2014 to Dec. 27, 2015, up from $316 to trade for $416.50. Ripple was able to retain its position as the second largest crypto market despite losing 94% from $0.024 to $0.0062. Despite ending 2014 as the third-ranked crypto market, Paycoin (XPY) would close 2014 as the 48th-ranked cryptocurrency after posting a 99.6% loss from $10.74 to $0.038.
LTC gained 25% during 2014, moving from fourth to third alongside a price increase from $2.74 to $3.43. Fifth-ranked bitshares (BTS) dropped to eighth, posting an 80% loss from $0.016 to $0.003. maidsafecoin (MAID) moved from sixth to tenth, producing a 72% drop in price from $0.05 to $0.014.
Seventh-ranked stellar (XLM) finished 2015 as the ninth-ranked crypto market, falling 70% from $0.0058 to $0.0017. Despite dogecoin (DOGE) falling 23% from $0.00018 to $0.00014, doge ascended from the eighth largest cryptocurrency to rank sixth at the end of 2015. Ninth-ranked NXT fell from the top ten rank 11th alongside a price drop of 63% from $0.0161 to $0.006167. While PPC posted a yearly loss of 31% following a drop from $0.578 to $0.4, PPC ascended the market cap rankings from 10th to seventh.
Eight of the dominant markets from Christmas 2014 held their top 10 ranking as of the end of 2015. The number of active markets increased 11% from 506 to 562.
BTC, ETH, DASH, and MAID Posted Triple-Figure Gains for 2016
BTC gained 111% from $416.50 on Dec. 27, 2015 to $878.80 on Christmas Day 2016, following a year of bullish action for the cryptocurrency markets. XRP posted slight gains during 2016, up 3.4% from $0.00617 to $0.00638, resulting in a drop from second to third, ranked by market cap. While LTC posted a 27% gain from $3.43 to $4.35, LTC also shifted down one rank, finishing 2016 as the fourth largest cryptocurrency.
Fourth-ranked ethereum (ETH) was the top performing market of 2016, gaining nearly 760% from $0.85 as of late 2017 to finish the year as the second largest crypto asset with ETH trading for $7.29. Despite dash gaining nearly 270% from $2.69 to $9.91 between the Christmases of 2015 and 2016, it moved from the fifth ranked cryptocurrency to seventh as of Dec. 25, 2016. Sixth-ranked doge fell from the top 10 during 2016, finishing the year as the 13th largest market after posting a 42% gain from $0.00014 to $0.00023.
PPC was the only top market of late 2015 to post a loss one year later, dropping from seventh to 38th in market cap ranking after producing a 43% loss from $0.41 to $0.23. BTS posted a 26% gain from $0.0034 to $0.0042, however fell from eighth to 25th ranked cryptocurrency by capitalization. Despite posting a 55% gain from $0.0017 to $0.0026, XLM slid from ninth to finish the year ranked 16th. Maid moved from 10th to finish the year as the eighth largest cryptocurrency following a massive 620% gain from $0.014 to $0.10.
Six of the leading markets from late 2015 maintained their position in the top 10 as of Christmas 2016. The number of active markets increased by 15% from 562 to 644.
2017 Bull Trend Drives Record Prices
Santa delivered a bountiful Christmas to the cryptocurrency community in 2017, with nine of the top 10 markets posting four-figure or five-figure gains between Dec. 25, 2016 and Dec. 24, 2017.
BTC gained 1,500% last year, increasing from $879 to $14,057. ETH held its position as the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, gaining 9,345% from $7.29 to $688.59 in a single year.
Ripple posted the second strongest price gain among the top markets for 2017, growing 17,140% from $0.00638 to $1.10. Despite the enormous increase in price, XRP slipped one rank to finish the year as the fourth largest cryptocurrency. LTC moved from the fourth to the fifth-ranked crypto asset by market cap alongside a 6,255% increase in price from $4.35 to $276.49.
Monero (XMR) moved from the fifth ranked cryptocurrency to 10th, gaining 3,455% from $9.63 to $342.43. Sixth-ranked ethereum classic (ETC) dropped to 17th during 2017, however gained 2,725% from $1.10 to $31.10. Despite gaining 12,140%, dash dropped one rank by market cap, moving from seventh to eighth.
Eighth-ranked maidsafe fell out of the top rankings during 2017, finishing the year in 55th after gaining 670% over the dollar but falling significantly against BTC. Nem (XEM) retained its position as the ninth-ranked market after gaining 24,345% from $0.004 to finish the year as the strongest performing leading market, with XEM trading for $0.88. Despite posting a gain of 2,280% from $2.89 to $68.83, 10th-ranked augur (REP) moved from 10th to 36th ranked cryptocurrency.
Seven of the top 10 markets from 2016 retained their leading rank one year later. The number of active markets increased by roughly 100% from 644 to 1,334 at the end of 2017.
All Leading Markets Post Heavy Losses for 2018
BTC has dropped 70% in the last 12 months, falling from $14,057 on Dec. 24, 2017 to trade for roughly $4,230 today. ETH dropped from the second to the third ranked cryptocurrency by market cap following by a yearly drop of 77% from $688.60 to $156.80. Bitcoin cash (BCH) moved from third to fourth, accompanied by a 93% loss from $2,956 to $206.
XRP posted the weakest loss of the top performing markets over the last year, moving from fourth to second ranked market cap alongside a 60% drop from $1.10 to $0.44. LTC fell by 87% from $276.49 to $36.11 while moving from fifth to seventh by capitalization. New entrant cardano (ADA) moved from fifth to 11th this year, shedding 87.5% of its value from $0.39 to $0.05.
Seventh-ranked iota (MIOTA) now sits at 12th, following an 89% drop from $3.45 to $0.38. Dash moved from eighth to 14th this year, in the process losing 91.5% from $1,212 to $102. After ranking ninth for two consecutive Christmases, XEM appears poised to greet Santa as the 16th largest cryptocurrency, having lost 91% from $0.88 to $0.079. 10th-ranked XMR fell 83% from $342.43 to trade for $57.65 over the last year, currently positioned as the 13th largest market by capitalization.
Six of the dominant markets from last Christmas have held their position in the top 10, three of which have consistently held their leading position since 2013. The number of active markets has increased from 1,334 to 2,067 over the last 12 months.