Altcoins in 2021: The crypto war for third place

altcoins, crypto

Historically, Bitcoin and Ethereum have sat as the two most valuable cryptocurrencies by far, but altcoins have fought a bloody war over third place for just as long.

Judging purely by the raw dollar value of their market caps, altcoins Cardano (ADA), Polkadot (DOT), Dogecoin (DOGE), and Ripple (XRP) have grown the most in 2021.

Aside from Bitcoin and Ethereum, these four are the only top 25 cryptocurrencies to have added more value to their market caps than stablecoin Tether.

But that only tells half the story: A litany of smaller tokens have seen their prices multiply since January 1. 

Protos calculated 9 out of top 20 cryptocurrencies have increased by 100% or more, led by DOGE (1,617%), Aave (456%), and Uniswap (UNI) (403%).

But not every top altcoin has outperformed Bitcoin and Ethereum. Leaderboard projects TRON (TRX), EOS, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin SV (BSV) have all returned less for investors so far this year.

[Read more: DeFi traders are getting hilariously rich and you’re not]

Monero (XMR) has found it the toughest. The privacy-focused cryptocurrency is the worst performing asset of the top projects analyzed, down 4% year-to-date.

As for which top altcoins have attracted the most interest from traders this year: CoinGecko shows $278 billion worth of Litecoin trades this year, more than double Dogecoin’s volume.

None of this is investment advice. Don’t pretend it is. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Always do your own research.

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