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A tumultuous 2018 – what your portfolio would look like if you had invested on January 1st

If you had invested $1,000 USD in five leading cryptocurrencies by market cap on January 1st, what would you be left with? We dive in to see how portfolios would have fared to date.

Written by Bryan Smith Published on

2018 hasn’t exactly been the kindest year to new cryptocurrency investors. While December of 2017 saw record highs, January of 2018 brought with it a swift reality check.

Selloffs, regulatory pressure, and community friction dogged the opening months of 2018 – and by April 2nd, the cryptocurrency market had lost 59% of its total market capitalization since the start of January.

For those brave enough to wade into a brave new world on the 1st of January in 2018, what might their portfolio look like today?

For this exercise, we’ll be considering a nominal investment of $1,000 USD in our opening play, and consider what profit (or loss) investors may have made should they have held on to their funds to date.

Bitcoin

On the 1st of January, Bitcoin began trading at values north of $14,000 USD – a value the world’s leading cryptocurrency has yet to return to – while its market capitalization stood at $236,724,393,290 USD.

2018 has seen an interesting foray for Bitcoin, where SegWit has been slowly adopted by a number of wallet platforms and work on the Lightning Network soldiers on.

Bitcoin’s high point touched $17,462 USD on the 6th of January, while the pre-eminent cryptocurrency fell to its lowest point of $6,182 USD on the 6th of February.

Investors placing a $1,000 USD bet on Bitcoin on January 1st would sit with a 36.39% loss today, with just $636,05 USD remaining in their wallets.

Ethereum

On the January 1st, Ethereum traded above $755 USD, and bore a total market capitalization of $73,075,799,389 USD.

Wading into 2018, Ethereum on the one hand has been bolstered by new scaling proposals, while on the other community frictions surrounding controversial proposals and the threat of ASIC mining have threatened the harmony of its developer forums.

Ethereum succeeded in touching new ceilings at $1,401 USD on the 13th of January, while platform later plummeted to trade at $590 USD on the 6th of February.

Investors purchasing $1,000 USD worth of Ether on January 1st would sit with a 3.8% loss today, with $962.02 USD left of their initial investment.

Ripple

Ripple’s XRP began 2018 by trading at $2.30 USD, and bore a total market capitalization of $88,945,851,351 USD.

Ripple has perhaps had one of the toughest starts to the year, having launched into 2018 under regulatory pressure and a review as to whether XRP itself constitutes a security.

The digital currency’s next high point came swiftly thereafter, wherein XRP traded at a high of $3.75 USD on the 4th of January.

What goes up must come down, however, and Ripple later fell to just $0.6 USD on the 6th of February.

Should investors have thrown in $1,000 USD behind Ripple, they’d have lost 62.53% of their initial investment – sitting with just $374,74 USD.

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash made its opening splash at $2,534 USD on January 1st, and rode into town with a total market capitalization of $42,804,776,579 USD.

Bitcoin Cash’s relatively steady opening in 2018 lays the groundwork for the cryptocurrency’s future plans, including a new hard fork that will introduce 32-megabyte blocks.

On the 7th of January, Bitcoin Cash reach its pinnacle thus far by trading at values of $2,948 USD, and subsequently fell to a low of $796.65 USD on the 6th of February.

Investors rallying behind Bitcoin’s pre-eminent fork with a $1,000 USD investment would have lost 39.53% of their initial play, and would be left with just $604.39 USD in their wallet today.

Cardano

Cardano roared into 2018 as the 5th largest cryptocurrency by total market cap, and subsquently has dropped to 7th place. The cryptocurrency began 2018 by trading at values north of $0.71 USD on January 1st, at which time it enjoyed a total market cap of $18,637,596,875 USD.

Cardano has been the subject of a quiet year in the press, and has seen some of its thunder stolen by other blockchain projects.

A high followed shortly thereafter, as the project touched values of $1.27 USD on January 5th, while a reversal of fortune on the 19th of March saw prices plummet to just $0.12 USD.

A $1,000 USD investment behind Cardano on January 1st would have seen investors lose 61.99% of their initial investment, and would be left with just $380,11 USD.

Bonus: EOS

Given that EOS quickly surpassed Cardano to become the 5th most valuable cryptocurrency project by market cap, let’s unpack what investors with eagle eyes might have accomplished had they invested on January 1st.

Enjoying a fruitful 2018, EOS’ official launch is scheduled for June, while the platform has found a home in a variety of settings – not least including Tesloop’s ride-share platform.

EOS began trading at values north of $8.77 USD on January 1st, with the project bearing a total market cap of $5,041,596,077 USD.

EOS fell to the $3.97 USD mark on the 18th of March, while 2018’s high point thus far occurred on the 29th of April, where prices touched $22.66 USD.

Had investors placed $1000 USD behind EOS on January 1st, they would have made a $815.45 USD profit – totalling $1,815.45 – and achieving an 81.54% return on their initial investment.

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Written by

South African technology journalist, podcaster, photographer and filmmaker. Hodling - BTC, NEO, ETH.@bryansmithsa

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