Five Most Active Altcoins: How they Fared in 2019
Altcoins split into groups in 2019, with some outperforming, while others sank into obscurity, with almost all liquidity drained away.
In 2019, only a handful of altcoins gained the most liquidity, and managed to keep some of their gains over the years. Without an all-out altcoin season, most assets, despite their promises, remained obscure and continued to lose 90% of their value twice over.
Here is how the five most liquid coins and tokens, excluding stablecoins, fared over the past year.
Ethereum (ETH): This asset receives immense liquidity both from Bitcoin (BTC) markets, and from the leading stablecoin, Tether (USDT). ETH receives about $556 million in the past day flowing from the BTC market, and around $837 million from USDT. Over the course of the year, ETH has remained one of the most liquid altcoins, with funds flowing once again into smaller markets. But so far, only ETH has been able to partially absorb significant selling. ETH is about to end the year on par with its start, with a price around $132.39.
Litecoin (LTC): Despite its reputation as an inert asset, LTC is actually among the most liquid coins. LTC volumes are above $3.12 billion per day, often reaching $5 billion, and despite not being at the top, LTC remains a part of the crypto trading infrastructure. LTC can also be used for relatively fast, cheap transactions to and from exchanges. LTC traded at $42.51 toward the end of 2019, rising from lows near $20 last December.
EOS: This asset has remained controversial for multiple reasons, but has seen serious flows from other markets. EOS has remained relatively steady, only gradually losing positions and settling into a relatively predictable price range. EOS traded around $2.63 in January 2019, and by December had returned to almost the same price, $2.62 toward the end of the year. The mid-year rally took the coin to above $6. EOS takes in about $267 million per day from the USDT market, achieving liquidity of above $1.6 billion in daily trades. EOS has outpaced even XRP in liquidity, and has found support despite criticism against the network.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH): Due to its presence on most exchanges, as inherited from BTC, this coin sees daily inflows from BTC to the tune of $115 million, and another $210 million from USDT. BCH trades reach above $1.7 billion per day, a good result for an altcoin. BCH, despite its setbacks, is also among the top coins in terms of market capitalization. The asset also achieved gains on a yearly basis, starting from a depressed position around $166 in January, to trade at $209.26 as of December 31.
Ethereum Classic (ETC): This asset is a curiosity in 2019. Despite the 51% attack, its traditional presence on exchanges ensures much bigger inflows and more trades in comparison to newly minted coins and tokens. ETC has many detractors, and is viewed as a project too risky based on its low number of nodes. However, it still receives more inflows from USDT, to the tune of around $100 million per day, outpacing other more prominent projects. ETC was mostly flat this year, in comparison to previous rallies, ending the period at $4.62. ETC started 2019 with prices around $5.34, and with yearly highs around $8.
The performance of the most liquid coins reveals that crypto markets remain unlogical. Some altcoins rally on concerted pumps, when volumes spike unexpectedly. The top most liquid coins enjoy steady flows, and their price swings are smaller. But they are not immune to 20% corrections, which offset the positive risk of rallies. Markets became more cautious about altcoins in the past year, leaving some assets to flounder, while selecting a handful of coins for speculation.