Looking back at the top 10 coins one year ago today

Looking back at the top 10 coins one year ago today


Key Takeaways

Crypto was crushed across the board, with all of the top 10 coins getting hammered
LUNA was the worst as it death spiralled to near-zero in May
Solana has lost 92% of its value this year, falling from the third biggest crypto to sixteenth
Three best performers have been BNB, XRP and Dogecoin, but they still pared back 56%+
Bitcoin dropped 64% and Ethereum fell 67%


2022. What a year.

In crypto markets, it’s safe to say that it hasn’t been one the best. The world has transitioned to a new interest rate paradigm, with markets realising quite how much of the crypto space was predicted on overleverage at cheap rates.

That cheap credit is gone now and the rug of liquidity has been pulled, with market prices collapsing as a result. Throw in a few scandals – FTX, LUNA and Celsius, to name a few – and the markets have been absolutely torrid.

In this piece, we look back at the top 10 coins at the start of the year.

2022 seems a long time ago now

The below is a historical screenshot from the start of the year, taken off CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin is not far off a trillion dollars, trading close to $50,000 and leading the way for the market at large. Ethereum has recently dipped below $4,000, while the third spot is occupied by Binance’s coin, BNB.

Tether is the first stablecoin on the list in fourth, while Solana jumps out next in fifth place. The coin, linked with a revered entrepreneur by the name of Sam Bankman-Fried, is marketing itself as an ETH killer and making serious gains, now over $50 billion in market cap. 

The only other stablecoin is USD Coin in seventh, while Dogecoin ranks tenth when excluding the stablecoins, or twelfth overall. There is also LUNA, or Terra, in ninth – the coin which powers the burgeoning DeFi ecosystem that is Terra. 

Life is good, life is fun, life is up-only. Sure, the market has peeled back a little from November, when Bitcoin hit its all-time high of $68,739, but prices are still high and profits are flowing. Happy New Year, and roll on 2022. 

One year later

One year later, you could probably argue things are a little different. I have collated the performance of the top 10 coins (excluding the two stables) into the chart below: 

Luna, obviously, has pretty much gone to zero. Solana comes in as the second-worst performer, losing a staggering 92% of its value in 2022. From being ranked as the fourth biggest crypto, it is now sixteenth. Avalanche has also killed investors, falling from eleven to eighteen and shaving 87% of its value in the process.

The best performers, on the other hand, are BNB, XRP and Dogecoin, the trio losing “only” 56%/57% of their value. BNB, despite the recent controversy around Binance, looks set to end the year as the fifth biggest crypto, having let USDC and USDT overtake it.

This year, it really has been only stablecoins that have been immune to the price action. Even Bitcoin and Ethereum are down 64% and 67% respectively. Again, all these figures would be enlarged even further if expanded back to all-time highs of November.

Investors will be relieved to see the year come to a close, such has been the punishment in markets. The only problem is, we are still in a high-interest rate environment, the industry is still dealing with the fallout of FTX, and the world is a very uncertain place right now.


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