This $10,000 crypto portfolio was bought at the 2018 top

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Crypto smells a lot like it did at the tail end of 2017, what with Dogecoin and XRP undulating like waves from John McAfee’s jet-ski off the coast of Belize.

Back then, Bitcoin topped out at $20,000 to kickstart a hopium comedown that would last nearly three years. 

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This is what crypto looked like on January 7, 2018 — a few days after it peaked.

So, we thought: has anyone checked on the folks who bought the top in 2018? How heavy are their bags today?

Protos built a hypothetical crypto portfolio worth $10,000 at the cryptocurrency market’s previous peak — which TradingView calculates was in the first week of January 2018.

We weighted our holdings on the market values of the top 10 cryptocurrencies at the time. You can find exact details of the portfolio here.

Bitcoin saved the crypto bagholder

Turns out, anyone who bought the previous top officially re-entered the green on January 4, 2021 — and they’re up almost $1,600.

Our imaginary holder even outperformed stock in Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (but only just).

Our plucky bagholder has Bitcoin to thank. BTC made up 41% of their portfolio after they bought 0.25 BTC for $4,181 in 2018.

Earlier today, that Bitcoin was worth more than $8,750, pushing the Bitcoin-weighting of the portfolio to 75%.

We were also curious about other portfolio setups. On the chart above, you’ll find a “BTC” line — that’s if they bought only Bitcoin instead of a bundle of cryptocurrencies.

As you can see, BTC maximalism beat everything we analyzed: a weighted portfolio, the S&P 500, and the NASDAQ 100.

BTC-only even outperformed a portfolio split evenly between Bitcoin and Ethereum by nearly 30%.

That’s because Bitcoin is by far the best performing asset since the height of the last bull market, having more than doubled in price since then. Ethereum is the next best, up 15%.

BTC and ETH are up — the rest are down

But the rest of our holder’s bags are as heavy as ever. XRP was still down 80% when we ran this analysis, despite the best efforts of ad-hoc pump and dump communities.

IOTA is the worst. Our imaginary investor bought $171 worth of the machine-to-machine token in January 2018.

Today, their IOTA stash is worth $17.50, having lost 90% of its value in the past three years. 

[Read more: This Twitter account documents Bitcoin eating the world]

There’s a lesson here, but laying it all out would border on investment advice.

Instead, let’s wonder: which of today’s top 10 cryptocurrencies will still be around after the next bear market — and which will outperform IOTA?

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