It might finally be the end of the “crypto winter,” with markets on a massive bull run in mid-2019. On June 25, 2019, Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency with the largest market capitalisation, crossed the $12,000 mark, hitting its highest levels in 15 months. Also, the total market capitalisation of $361 billion was perhaps the highest since May 2018.
Cryptocurrencies have repeatedly shown that they can make a comeback to attain new highs, after every gut-wrenching fall. And not just Bitcoin. Other popular altcoins have seen larger gains in 2019, as compared to 2018. The price of Ether has increased 4 times since December 2018 and Litecoin is performing well too.
Some of the lesser known coins, such as Binance coin, Chainlink and Ravencoin, have gained between 350%-550% between January and June 2019. Market prices were on the higher side as the second quarter of 2019 came to an end.
Let’s look at some of the winners of 2019 so far, which are touted for bigger gains going forward.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency rose to $12,560 on June 25, 2019. It crossed the 60% market dominance threshold, the highest since 2017. The overall sentiment in the market seems positive with regards to Bitcoin, since its performance has been bullish in the 3 months leading up to the June surge.
The rise in price comes at a time when conventional risk assets globally are seeing a slowdown, including the equity markets. Trade wars, projections of an economic slowdown and stagnant earning expectations are making investors think about alternative investment vehicles like cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin is currently the leader in the digital asset class.
BTC’s uncorrelated nature has so far been proven true, since the coin’s price has remained unaffected by the sell-off in risk assets. In fact, since May 2019, BTC has witnessed better performance than conventional assets like 20+ year US treasuries, Dow 30, the bond market, currencies like the Japanese Yen and the Dollar Index. Experts are predicting that it may very well cross the $100,000 mark in the next bull-run, which would lead investors to consider BTC as a worthy investment option amidst the global slowdown.
While Bitcoin is taking the market to new levels, Ethereum, the second-best contender, is not lagging behind either. The coin that made smart contracts a common terminology in blockchain conversation, has had a stable Q1 and Q2 in 2019. Between March 1 and 3, 2019, its value rose from $139 to $177, in a huge 27% increase.
Currently, the developer community is facing quite a few challenges with respect to scaling, security flaws in updates and other issues, like Dapps leaving the platform for other alternatives. But, Ethereum is continuing to lead the way in the widespread adoption of enterprise blockchain.
Some of the world’s largest companies, like Google, Fidelity and HTC, are dabbling with blockchain on the Ethereum platform. According to a new Forbes list, 24 major companies with market caps of more than $50 billion have invested in Enterprise Ethereum derived platforms. This includes Hyperledger Fabric (Amazon, Visa, Walmart), IBM Blockchain (Nestle, IBM), and Corda (NASDAQ, Microsoft). With a market price of $330.25 and market cap of $35 billion, as of June 25, 2019, Ethereum continues to be one of the most valuable projects in blockchain history.
On June 21, 2019, Ripple gained up to 15.1%, following closely on the heels of Bitcoin’s rapid surge in price. For XRP investors, the widespread adoption of this high speed, real-time payment network (xRapid) is expected to be fruitful in the long term. Although there is much hype around Facebook’s Libra, experts say that Ripple will withstand the ensuing competition, to become the cheaper alternative for the unbanked masses.
A growing number of banks and payment processors are adopting XRP. Through the platform, Xpring, financial start-ups are readily leveraging XRP to create use cases. Greater demand for the platform and successful applications by companies like MoneyGram, might fuel price changes by $0.60 or higher in the near future. As of June 26, 2019, XRP was trading at $0.47, with a market cap above $20 billion.
Often called the “Chinese Ethereum,” NEO is one of the most successful crypto stories in the industry. It is in the good books of the Chinese government, as an open source blockchain platform that was developed in China. So, it definitely has an edge over others. China is one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrency adoption and blockchain development.
The NEO/USD pair has been doing well since mid-June 2019. The pair has gone beyond the two moving averages, which indicates a future bull run. A couple of weeks of minor correction will not prevent its price from reaching the range of $20-$25.
As of June 26, 2019, it was trading at $19.39, with a market cap of $1 billion. Experts predict a value of a whopping $355 for NEO by the end of 2019. These assumptions are being made in the wake of positive factors, such as a rise in institutional investments in NEO, greater scalability as compared to Ethereum and the focus on digitisation of assets, rather than just digitising currencies, helping in the creation of a “smart economy.”
Binance Coin gained over 521% in Q1 and Q2, 2019. It is one of the few Ethereum tokens to have fulfilled their value propositions, since their launch in 2017. The Binance team, along with a charismatic leader, Changpeng Zhao, has continued to deliver creative deployment of the BNB coin for various utility options, such as reduced trading fees and a highly scalable exchange platform. As a result, there has been a rapid increase in demand and many investors are keen to consider it in their portfolios.
Over the last 12 months, Binance has been successful in delivering a working crypto-to-crypto exchange, a soon-to-be-launched decentralised exchange and the Binance LaunchPad, which allows creators of new cryptocurrencies to release their tokens directly from the exchange. Experts are hoping that the price of BNB might cross the $1,000 mark in 2019. As of June 26, 2019, BNB was trading at $37, with a market cap of $5 billion.
Countries like Brazil, suffering from high unemployment and an economic slowdown, are seeing people taking greater interest in cryptocurrency investments. Even Russia, which had banned crypto payment systems in 2018, is thinking about introducing cryptocurrency trading. It certainly appears to be a good time to invest in the crypto market. However, the market continues to be highly volatile, and every trader should only enter it after robust research and adequate risk management measures.