Coins Are Growing at a Slower Rate This Bull Market

By Andy Hao


Crypto enthusiasts have already begun comparing the 2017 bull market with 2019’s rise in prices. But this year’s trend is actually quite different from that rocket-like price rise. One big difference? This year’s returns have been lower, and fewer coins are seeing returns at all.


Back in 2017, there were 15 tokens that saw over 10,000% returns, with a few even seeing 100,000% returns in that year. Dozens of coins (at least 30 according to Messari data) saw returns above 100%. But so far in 2019, just 18 coins have broken the 100% return marker, and no tokens have gotten anywhere close to a 10,000% return.


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So far in 2019, the best performer is Chainlink. But as of this writing, its YTD return is 775%. That’s a remarkable number, of course, but it hardly compares to the 2017 returns from major tokens such as Verge (1,280,224% return), NEO (52,818% return), XRP (36,213% return), or Stellar (14,382% return).


In other words: crypto investing was a game of multiples in 2017. Now it is very clearly a game of percentages. As the crypto market expands, it continues to become more and more difficult to find 2017-style massive returns. 


That’s not necessarily a bad sign, however. It’s likely just a reflection of the market maturing. Much of the 2019 bull run has been centered around a handful of projects that are shipping code and being adopted by real users. ICO funding has subsided, and laughable blockchain projects and scams seem to be less frequent in this 2019 market cycle as the industry consolidates around major coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum. 


This transition is now clear to most retail investors, and it’s making Bitcoin more attractive. While crypto doesn’t offer the 10,000% returns it once did, it still offers the potential for high returns like Bitcoin’s 188% 2019 YTD rise. And now, those returns are easier to find, since investors don’t have try to sift through the sheer number of scams, pie-in-the-sky projects, and vaporware that the 2017 bull run gave rise to.


Could crypto see returns like 2017’s ever again? It’s possible, but not likely. Exponentially larger inflows are required for coins to grow at the same rate as in 2017, and that becomes increasingly unlikely now that the crypto market is already a $200 billion market. If the market continues to grow, investors will see positive returns, but the bigger the market gets, the less likely it will be to see a coin, especially an established one like Bitcoin, post a massive return percentage.


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