worst-performing cryptocurrencies 2018

It’s been a brutal year for cryptocurrencies. After the boom of 2017, the whole crypto market is in the red. Some projects are on the verge of bankruptcy while others are taking drastic measures such as cutting staff and re-organizing. 

However, some cryptocurrencies have performed worse than others. Here, we rank the ten worst-performing cryptocurrencies of 2018 and look at some of the reasons for their poor performance.

Worst-Performing Cryptocurrencies, Criteria: 

  • This list only includes coins in top 100 by market capitalization, thereby excluding lower-ranked altcoins. 
  • We exclude all stablecoins pegged to another asset, such as Tether, PAX, and Dai.
  • We exclude any project that hasn’t been around for at least six months.
  • All prices sourced from CoinCodex, tracked from January 1st, and ranked by percentage fall in market capitalization. 
  • All prices correct at time of publishing (10th December, 2018).

10. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) -95.5%

Bitcoin Cash suffered a disastrous end to the year after a contentious hard fork split the community. A vicious war of words broke out between the two sides and miners went to war. The blockchain ultimately split in two, spawning a new cryptocurrency, Bitcoin Cash SV. The controversy had a wholly negative impact on the value of BCH which has dropped 95.5% this year.

Further reading: Everything You Need to Know About the Bitcoin Cash Fork

Bitcoin Cash price chart 2018

9. Elastos (ELA) -95.58%

Elastos (ELA) is a cryptocurrency that aims to be used as part of the first completely safe and decentralized infrastructure for the internet. According to comments on various social media channels, here are some negative things to note about ELA. The inflation rate is too high, not many exchanges list this crypto, and specialized hardware (Elastos server) is needed to run applications. As of late 2018, there also isn’t support for ELA on major hardware wallets like Trezor and Ledger.

Elastos price chart 2018

8. ICON (ICX) -96.08%

ICON (ICX) launched with the goal to “hyperconnect the world” and “enrich our everyday lives through ‘connection’”. This is one of many projects aiming to improve blockchain interoperability. AION, Wanchain, and ARK are considered by many to be ICON’s top competition. 

Thus far, there have been a few relevant criticisms of the project. For example, after the mainnet launch in January 2018, the token swap was a slow process that dragged on all the way into late October 2018. Although the project has been in development for two years, the website still doesn’t have a proper roadmap listed.

ICON price chart 2018

7. Verge (XVG) -96.35%

Verge (XVG) announced a big partnership with PornHub in April 2018; however, this hasn’t had a positive impact on prices long-term. The biggest issue for this project in 2018 has been the constant 51% attacks. Although security issues have affected a number of exchanges and blockchains this year, Verge’s security woes are some of the most reported in crypto, and for good reason. 

In May 2018, one attack alone affected over 35 million coins in around five hours. The hacker stole around $1.8 million in XVG. While other projects that have suffered from 51% attacks, XVG has clearly been the most impacted this year. 

Verge price chart 2018

6. Populous (PPT) -96.69%

Populous Platform Token (PPT) is a cryptocurrency for Populous’ smart contract invoice finance platform, which runs on the Ethereum & RSK blockchains. There appears to have been a number of issues with the project’s technical features throughout 2018. For example, users of the beta version of the platform received error 502 and faced other problems. Therefore, many found it difficult to test the platform’s functionality. 

Another common criticism is a lack of responsiveness from the project team to questions from the community. As this article points out, this issue was also prevalent in 2017. The Telegram channel account owner has been inactive since July 2017, and this platform only had around 1,300 members.

PPT price chart 2018

5. Ardor (ARDR) -96.86%

Ardor (ARDR) is a cryptocurrency designed specifically for business applications. Looking at the project website, the Ardor platform itself is being developed for blockchain-as-a-service purposes. This project evolved from the Nxt blockchain, the first Proof-of-Stake consensus network. Ardor also features a unique parent-child chain architecture. 

Compared to others on this list, there doesn’t seem to be too many negatives regarding this project in 2018. Despite some wallet and network issues earlier in the year, it’s tough to pinpoint the exact cause of ARDR price declines. Perhaps the biggest issue (as with many blockchain projects) is that the tech is still underdeveloped.

Ardor price chart 2018

4. Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) -97.11%

Bitcoin Diamond (BCD) raises a few potential red flags for some people. For instance, its two main developers go by the pseudonyms “007″ and “Evey”, and source code isn’t available. Regardless, BCD aims to reduce transaction fees and completion times. Compared to BTC, BCD has larger block sizes, a higher total supply, and simplified mining processes. 

According to the first Weiss Cryptocurrency Ratings released in April 2018, BCD and a few other Bitcoin hard forks are merely copycats. While this report does highlight some of the positives of these new cryptocurrencies, it notes that BTC being the first-mover does take away some momentum from projects like BCD.

Further reading: 5 Failed Bitcoin Forks that Never Made It

Bitcoin diamond price chart 2018

3. Bitcoin Private (BTCP) -97.26%

Bitcoin Private (BTCP), as the name suggests, provides the possibility of private transactions. If you’re well-versed on cryptocurrencies, you know that BTC isn’t really anonymous. That’s why BTCP was created as a merge fork of Bitcoin and ZClassic. BTCP aims to compete with Verge, Monero, and other privacy coins. 

Earlier in 2018, a big discussion on the BTCP subreddit surrounded the lack of listings from top exchanges. Since then, low liquidity trading and conflicts within the team and community have all continued to be major issues. Still, it’s important to note that BTCP is one of the newer projects (launched in March 2018), in the top 100 market cap rankings.

Bitcoin Private price chart 2018

2. Qtum (QTUM) -97.36%

Qtum (QTUM) is another project that aims to become a leader in the smart contract market. The project made significant progress after its ICO ended in March 2017. The testnet launched only three months later. 

The mainnet launched three months after the testnet release, very quick when compared to the vast majority of blockchain projects. The issue seems to be that Qtum’s competition has implemented better technology, at least as of late 2018. According to one article, Aion and ICON are both ahead of Qtum. There are also other competitors to consider like Ethereum, NEO, Zilliqa, and many more.

Qtum price chart 2018

1. Aion (AION) -97.57%

Aion (AION) is a third generation blockchain project that (as mentioned above) competes with ICX and others by focusing on increasing interoperability between various chains. Some potential use cases listed on the project website include supply chain logistics, Internet-of-Things, online media marketplace, fundraising, and digital identities. 

As with Ardor, Aion doesn’t seem to have faced too many major issues in 2018. Nonetheless, some people have said that the project is too ambitious and it finds itself with the biggest percentage drop in market cap of 2018.

Aion price chart 2018

Conclusion

After the euphoria of 2017 and the rapid growth of altcoins, this year has been tough for cryptocurrency projects. It has been predicted that most altcoins will “go to zero,” but can the projects on this list turn it around next year? Join us tomorrow for our run-down of the best performing cryptocurrencies of 2018.

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EU flag

Ripple, alongside three other blockchain companies, has launched the “Blockchain for Europe” association.

The partnership includes NEM Foundation, Emurgo – a company that invests in Cardano projects, Fetch.ai – a “smart ledger” utilizing artificial intelligence, and of course Ripple.

The association aims to provide a “unified voice for the blockchain industry” in Europe. Their goal is to educate key members of the European Union and bring some kind of consensus to the fragmented and inconsistent policy debates across the continent.

The Blockchain for Europe association also hopes to support and guide EU regulators. As the accompanying press release explains, they aim to “help Europe to create smart regulation to shape the global agenda on blockchain.”

Ripple’s head of regulatory relations in Europe, Dan Morgan said: “Ripple is delighted to be a founding member of Blockchain for Europe. This is a critical time for policymakers in Europe as they seek to develop the right regulatory framework to capture the benefits of both digital assets and blockchain technology.”

The association held its first summit in November to discuss how blockchain and distributed ledgers can support governance, healthcare, transport, trade, identity, financial market infrastructure as well as tokens/cryptocurrencies.

Source: Blockchain for Europe

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Ripple XRP

A version of this article first appeared in our exclusive newsletter. If you’d like Block Explorer’s cutting-edge analysis before it hits our website, sign up now.

November was a rough month in the world of crypto. Despite a spirited bounce last week, we’ve seen $70 billion wiped out across the board since the start of November.

But some cryptocurrencies held up better than others in the last couple of weeks. Here are the numbers since November 14th:

XRP – down 30%

Bitcoin – down 37%

Ethereum – down 45%

Notice how XRP hung on much better than Ethereum and ultimately surpassed it in terms of market capitalization? 

It’s not the first time Ripple’s XRP token has “flippened” ethereum, but this is now the longest it has ever stayed there.

Here are some possible reasons for the flippening:

1. Cryptocurrency Mining Concerns (Yeah, I’m Looking at you, Bitcoin Cash)

As we all know, Bitcoin Cash terrified the markets by splitting in two this month. Miners went to war, threatening to launch attacks on each other and hold the network hostage.

It showed a possible weakness in “mining” cryptocurrencies in that miners can exert a huge influence over the network.

It’s no coincidence that Proof-of-Work mining cryptocurrencies like ethereum, bitcoin, and bitcoin cash fell harder than others.

XRP, which uses a consensus protocol instead, held its value better during the crash, as did others with a consensus network like Stellar (XLM).

2. Utility?

As market prices fall, traders look to put their money in projects with real-world use. Ripple has been on a headline-grabbing spree this year, shouting about their high-profile partnerships with banks like Santander and American Express.

In reality, only a small handful of partners are actually using XRP, but Ripple has successfully given the impression that XRP has real-world utility which may have convinced people to keep their money in the token.

3. All Quiet on Ethereum

While Ripple is shouting from the rooftops about XRP, developers at Ethereum have got their head down. Ethereum enjoyed all the attention in 2017, but the team is now quietly working on the next upgrade, dubbed Ethereum 1x, due next year.

It doesn’t necessarily mean activity or innovation has died down on Ethereum, it just means there are fewer headline-grabbing announcements.

4. The Demise of ICOs

If you wanted to invest in an ICO (initial coin offering) last year, you typically needed to fund it with ether. Now that some ICOs have lost as much as 98% of their value, that excitement has vanished.

Not only is there a lack of ICO hunger, some ICOs are reportedly liquidating their ETH to meet costs. As the premier platform for ICOs, Ethereum is taking a bigger hit than many other major cryptocurrencies.

What do you think?

Is the XRP flippening permanent? Will Ethereum’s big upgrade trigger a resurgence? Leave your comments below!

A version of this article first appeared in our exclusive newsletter. If you’d like Block Explorer’s cutting-edge analysis before it hits our website, sign up now.

Swiss crypto ETP

The world’s first fully-regulated crypto ETP (exchange-traded product) will launch in Switzerland this week, allowing people to trade a basket of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, ethereum, XRP, bitcoin cash, and litecoin.

It’s important to point out that, contrary to some misleading news reports, this is not the much-hyped bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded fund).

The cryptoverse is eagerly awaiting the approval of a bitcoin ETF, with many calling it the future catalyst for a bitcoin price surge. But how is this Swiss crypto ETP different? And what exactly do you need to know?

Amun crypto ETP
The new Amun crypto ETP will track Bitcoin, Ripple XRP, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin

What is a Crypto ETP?

An ETP is an acronym for “exchange-traded product.”

In simple terms, an ETP tracks the price of an underlying asset (or a basket of assets), like gold, stocks, and now cryptocurrencies.

The beauty of ETPs is that they are simple and cheap. With this new ETP, investors don’t need to buy cryptocurrencies directly or figure out how to store them. They simply buy the ETP from their broker and instantly get exposure to a basket of five cryptocurrencies.

The ETP is traded on the Swiss stock exchange and can be bought through a traditional stockbroker.

In essence, they’re more accessible to institutional investors which may lead to more money flowing into the crypto market.

Sounds a Lot like an ETF…

It is. The difference is that “ETP” is an umbrella term for different types of exchange-traded products. Those products include ETFs.

ETFs are the most popular type of ETP, but there are others, including exchange-traded notes (ETN) and exchange-traded vehicles (ETFV).

Further reading: What is a Bitcoin ETF? (And Will It Trigger a Price Surge?)

Swiss Crypto ETP Launches This Week

The Amun Crypto ETP will begin trading this week on the Six exchange. It will track a basket of five cryptocurrencies, weighted heavily to bitcoin and XRP. The exact makeup of the ETP is listed below:

Bitcoin: 49.7%

XRP: 25.4%

Ethereum: 16.7%

Bitcoin Cash: 5.2%

Litecoin: 3%

crypto ETP bitcoin, ripple xrp, ethereum, bitcoin cash, litecoin

It’s interesting to note that XRP receives a significantly higher weighting compared to ethereum. Although XRP overtook ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency last week, the heavier weighting may be an indication of Amun’s expectations for the future.

Note: the weighting will be rebalanced automatically on a monthly basis.

Amun notes that it aims to provide a diverse holding of crypto assets. However, it removes any assets that are tied to a fiat currency, like tether, and any currencies with anonymity features (such as zcash and monero).

The Amun Crypto ETP also avoid any coins without sufficient liquidity and those that don’t trade on reputable exchanges.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Amun CEO Hany Rashwan said: 

“The Amun ETP will give institutional investors that are restricted to investing only in securities or do not want to set up custody for digital assets exposure to cryptocurrencies. It will also provide access for retail investors that currently have no access to crypto exchanges due to local regulatory impediments.”

The ETP carries a management fee of 2.5% annually.

Jane Street and Flow Traders will back the fund and have agreed to pour money into the ETP to give it liquidity. They are known as “market makers.”

Ticker: “Hodl”

In true cryptocurrency style, the ETP will trade under the ticker $hodl. It’s a nod to the popular crypto meme “hodl,” a misspelling of “hold” which was adopted by crypto enthusiasts as a term for holding bitcoin even through the biggest price drops.

just-hodl-it

It launches on the Swiss SIX exchange, the fourth-largest stock exchange in the world. Based in Zurich, it has a market capitalization of $1.6 trillion.

Swiss Stock Exchange: Bullish on Crypto?

This isn’t SIX’s first foray into the cryptocurrency world. In July 2018, SIX announced plans to launch a fully-regulated crypto exchange, overseen by Swiss banks and regulators.

At the time, SIX CEO said: “For us, it is abundantly clear that much of what is going on in the digital space is here to stay and will define the future of our industry.”

Set to launch in 2019, the exchange will facilitate trading, settlement and storage custody services.

How Is This Different to the Anticipated Bitcoin Etf?

First, there’s the makeup of the ETF itself. The Amun Crypto ETP tracks a basket of cryptocurrencies, rather than purely bitcoin.

Secondly, there’s the scale and impact of the ETP. While the Swiss ETP is an important first step, launching an ETF in the US is a much bigger beast. 

The size of the exchange is the first point of difference. The Swiss exchange has a market capitalization of $1.6 trillion, compared to the New York Stock Exchange’s $21.3 trillion and the Nasdaq’s $7.8 trillion.

Simply put, launching a bitcoin ETF on one of the major US exchanges would have a much larger impact.

Then there’s the regulatory process. Switzerland, as explained, is much more open to the crypto industry in general. Approval in Switzerland is less of a groundbreaking move. Whereas the approval of a bitcoin ETF in the US would break down the door for countless other cryptocurrency products and investment vehicles.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) faces a deadline of December 29th to rule on the next bitcoin ETF proposal put forth by VanEck. However, there’s a good chance the SEC will push the decision back into 2019.

Commentators expect a bitcoin ETF approval to kickstart a new bitcoin price surge. It would, theoretically, allow institutional investors to flood into the market.

Currently, many Wall Street traders are forbidden to buy or hold cryptocurrencies as part of their client portfolios. Others are worried about the risk involved with buying and storing so much crypto directly.

A bitcoin ETF would give them an easier way to gain exposure to the crypto market, without the risk and complexity of buying it directly.

Conclusion

The Swiss crypto ETP is an impressive and important milestone in crypto adoption. It provides a simple route for institutional investors to wade into the crypto market. However, this is not the catalyst many are waiting for, and it does not make a bitcoin ETF approval in the US any more likely.

As always, Block Explorer will bring you more information as and when the true bitcoin ETF is approved in the US.

Good morning, folks. It’s one of those mornings where you’re almost nervous to look at the markets. After a crypto bloodbath where bitcoin suffered an 11% freefall and bitcoin cash ripped itself in two, it’s like peering outside after a hurricane.

As the dust settles, two cryptocurrencies have bounced back stronger than others: Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Ripple (XRP).

Stellar (XLM) +5%

Stellar 24 hour chart
Stellar XLM 24-hour price chart. Credit: CoinMarketCap

Stellar (XLM) is up more than 5% over the last 24 hours. After “flippening” EOS earlier this week, XLM has strengthened its position ahead of EOS as the fifth-largest cryptocurrency.

The price movement is supported by the recent decision to airdrop $125 million worth of XLM tokens to blockchain.com wallets. Stellar has also announced its integration with Kik, a mobile messaging service which is moving from Ethereum to Stellar to launch its own cryptocurrency.

Coingate, a payment gateway, has also announced support for Stellar, allowing people to use XLM as a payment method on e-commerce stores.

Ripple (XRP) + 3%

Ripple XRP daily chart
Ripple XRP 24-hour price chart. Credit: CoinMarketCap

Among a sea of red, Ripple’s XRP token is pushing 3% higher this morning, having overtaken ethereum as the second-largest cryptocurrency.

There’s no major catalyst for the price movement other than the news that Coinbase will support XRP in its custody service. We should point out this does not mean XRP will be tradable on the Coinbase platform.

Elsewhere on the markets, IOTA is holding up well (+3%), alongside 0x (+7) following its addition to the Coinbase roster. Dogecoin (+6%) is also rising after it was reported that Dogecoin is used twice as much as Bitcoin Cash for transactions.

All prices are correct at time of publishing.

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