The Merkle

Ripple’s XRP Left All Cryptocurrencies and ICO Tokens in the Dust in 2017

Looking back on the year 2017, it is safe to say there have been some spectacular gains for specific currencies. Most people are well aware of the Bitcoin price gains throughout 2017, even though they pale in comparison to a lot of other projects. It is evident that altcoins and digital tokens are making their mark on the industry in a big way right now. Maintaining such momentum is always difficult, to say the very least.

The Biggest Gainers of 2017 in a Nutshell

Granted, the Bitcoin price gain throughout all of 2017 has made a lot of media headlines. That is only normal, as a 1,318% gain over the course of twelve months is very spectacular. Any mainstream trader or investor would love to see such returns, yet they are pretty much impossible through regular investment vehicles these days. In the world of cryptocurrency, however, such gains are almost considered normal. In fact, when it comes to the best-performing cryptocurrencies of 2017, Bitcoin wasn’t even in the top 10. That’s a very interesting fact, although it shouldn’t surprise too many people right now.

Indeed, there were a total of 13 cryptocurrencies, assets, and tokens which performed a lot better than Bitcoin. One has to keep in mind that none of those tokens are valued anywhere close to the price per individual Bitcoin. It only makes sense for lower-priced currencies and assets to have noted bigger gains than Bitcoin, as the price movement required to do so is a lot smaller. In order to note a 1,000% gain, the Bitcoin price would have to increase by close to US$150,000. That’s a very steep hill to climb, yet nothing is impossible in the world of cryptocurrency.

Some of the currencies and assets on the list of 2017’s biggest gainers are pretty surprising. OmiseGO, Binance Coin, and Golem are all among the top 10. Although OmiseGO and Golem are both solid projects, it is evident the Binance exchange is gaining a lot of popularity as well. Native tokens of exchanges are always interesting to keep an eye on. Binance Coin, for example, gained over 8,000% in value last year, which is pretty amazing.

Surprisingly, Ethereum isn’t among the top five currencies and assets noting the biggest gains in 2017, though its price increased by 9,162% in the past twelve months. This goes to show how much money entered the cryptocurrency ecosystem last year. More importantly, it also shows a lot of people are diversifying their holdings these days, rather than putting everything into Bitcoin. It’s always best to keep a mixed portfolio and make strategic investments, after all.

In the top five, we see the likes of Dash, Stellar, Ardor, and NEM. For people who have only recently entered the cryptocurrency ecosystem, this list may make no sense whatsoever. While it is true that Dash has strong marketing, its ecosystem is still subject to developers turning off anonymity and privacy features whenever they want or need to. Stellar is a digital asset competing with Ripple, and it seems to have gotten a boost from Ripple’s success throughout 2017. Ardor is a project most people may not even know of, although it has a few interesting technical aspects. NEM, the New Economy Movement project, has finally found its market. After all, a 29,482% value increase throughout 2017 doesn’t just happen out of the blue.

All of this brings us to the biggest gainer of 2018. Contrary to what people expected, it is none other than Ripple. This digital asset targets the financial sector and shouldn’t be considered a cryptocurrency competing with Bitcoin. It offers the benefits of blockchain technology through a centrally-issued token, which makes it appealing to banks and other institutions. So far, it seems the market is responding quite well to this asset, as it surpassed the US$2.25 mark a few days ago. Moreover, XRP saw a whopping 36,018% gain throughout 2017. That’s a spectacular number, although it remains to be seen what 2018 will bring.