2017 has been the year of the major breakout for cryptocurrencies. Many more people have said the word bitcoin last year than in the other seven years of its existence. We are seeing more investments coming in both in the cryptocurrencies themselves, but also in businesses that form the ecosystem for the new type of money.
Let's wrap up the year by recognizing the best and worst cryptocurrencies in various categories.
Most valuable cryptocurrency
The award for the most valuable cryptocurrency goes to the project with the largest market cap. While the rumours of Ethereum or Bitcoin Cash taking the coveted #1 position on coinmarketcap were loud they have failed to convince people to abandon the blockchain that started it all. Bitcoin remains firmly seated on the Iron Throne of crypto.
Bitcoin wasn't the only consistent top-performer this year. Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Dash and Ripple have consistently maintained top-10 positions last year. It will be exciting to see if any cryptocurrency can beat Bitcoin in 2018.
The award for the best investment goes to the cryptocurrency that has appreciated the most in its value over the course of the year. Some cryptocurrencies have not been around for the full year. In this case, we use the date it has appeared on coinmarketcap as the entry point, and January, 1st 2018 as the final price snapshot. In order to make this analysis more practical we've also limited the selection to those cryptocurrencies that have had at least $1,000,000 market cap at the beginning of the year or on the day they were listed on coinmarketcap.
Without further ado, the winner for the best investment of 2017 is xtrabytes! This little known crypto has provided its believers 3879.98 return on investment, meaning $1 invested a year ago would have given you almost $4000 to work with today.
Other notable cryptocurrencies in this category are paccoin (2745 ROI), raiblocks (2395 ROI), skeincoin (2106.8 ROI), bitcoinfast (1054 ROI), thegcccoin (1042 ROI), hush (832.8 ROI), mercury (584.8 ROI), neo (526.3 ROI), sakuracoin (519.6 ROI), posw-coin (467 ROI), monacoin (425.9 ROI), avatarcoin (423 ROI), ufo-coin (372.9 ROI) and ripple (352.6 ROI).
The award for the largest ICO goes to the project that raised the largest amount of funds.
With $257 million raised, Filecoin confidently takes the title of the largest ICO to date. While some claim that the ICO didn't go as smoothly as they'd hope, and that there's neither a token nor a blockchain ready, Filecoin does have one of the best teams in the world working on it, and now they also have a giant pile of cash.
Other notable ICOs include Tezos with $232 million raised, EOS with $185 million raised, and Bancor with $153 million raised. So far, none of these multimillion investments have resulted in a working product.
Fail of the year
The award for fail of the year goes to the cryptocurrency that has caused the largest PR scandal.
Undeniably, fail of the year 2017 goes to Tezos. Let's hope that Arthur and Kathleen Breitman will be able to solve their internal conflicts and will launch the long awaited blockchain this year.
The award for the worst investment goes to the cryptocurrency that has lost most of its value over the course of the year.
Overall, 282 digital assets out of 876 have lost value over the course of the year. Yescoin has definitely been the worst investment out of all of them. In fact, if you invested $1 in yescoin on January, 1st 2017, today this investment would be worth $0.0000001939327.
Curiously, there are 12 crypto assets that have performed worse than the Useless Ethereum Token, which is itself a prank that is designed to have absolutely no value. To be worth less than a useless ethereum token is an achievement in and of itself.
2017 has definitely been an exciting year for cryptocurrencies, but 2018 will have a much more profound effect. Cryptocurrencies have grown too big to be ignored by major players. This year, we will see countries and banks regulate the use of cryptocurrencies, as well as new projects and ICOs and a lot of exciting technology such as atomic swaps and lightning network.
May you only pick the best cryptocurrencies for your portfolio in 2018. Happy trading!