Beginning with Bitcoin BTC/USD which was launched in 2009, the crypto market has grown exponentially to now offer more than 20,000 unique crypto tokens from which investors can choose.
While Bitcoin remains popular with 95% of today’s crypto investors, meme coins were quite the rage in 2021 and continue to command investor attention despite their higher volatility.
After reaching a peak combined market capitalization of over $3 trillion in November 2021, the crypto markets have been in a prolonged bear phase ever since.
Let us focus on how the top blue-chip cryptocurrencies have performed as compared to the largest meme coins over this extended crypto winter.
Bitcoin And Ethereum
The top two spots of the cryptocurrency market have always been reserved for Bitcoin and Ethereum, with the two together contributing nearly 60% of the total market cap of the entire listed cryptocurrency space.
In fact, they have displayed similar price performance as well, with Bitcoin and Ethereum having dropped by 65% and 63%, respectively, from their all-time highs.
Long-term investors would still be sitting on a healthy profit considering that both cryptocurrencies continue to trade well above pre-COVID levels.
This particular statistic has been repeated during every past bear cycle, with both Bitcoin and Ethereum eventually moving higher towards a new ATH.
Tether, USD Coin And Binance Coin
The other three spots in the top five cryptocurrencies list have some surprising winners. While both Tether USDT/USD and USD Coin USDC/USD are stablecoins and pegged to the U.S. dollar, Binance BNB/USD is a cryptocurrency that is native to the Binance chain.
The fact that the third and fourth spots are held by stablecoins is reflective of the meteoric rise in the adoption of stablecoins by the crypto community.
As compared to Bitcoin and Ethereum, stablecoins are known for price stability, and their value rises in line with the U.S. dollar. As the dollar continues to appreciate against a basket of fiat currencies, both USDT and USDC gain in value accordingly.
Both these stablecoins have seen their market caps rise even when Bitcoin, Ethereum and other altcoins fell precipitously from the November 2021 peaks.
Binance on the other hand has seen a sharp correction in its price, although faring better than Bitcoin and Ethereum.
The BNB token is trading at around 52% lower than its all-time high of $686, reached May 10, 2021.
The token commands a market cap exceeding $50 billion and is a nod toward the increasing number of transactions and developments taking place in the Binance ecosystem.
In fact, the Binance token is an integral part of many of Binance’s blockchain-based projects such as the Binance Chain, Binance Smart Chain, Binance Academy and Trust Wallet.
Parent company Binance is one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges globally based on daily trading volume and is determined to bring new-age finance to the world.
The Curious World Of Meme Coins
Defined as cryptocurrencies that take inspiration from memes, meme coins burst onto the scene in 2021.
The most popular meme coin and having the largest market cap among this class of cryptocurrencies is Dogecoin DOGE/USD.
Inspired by an image of a Shiba Inu dog that was a viral meme on the internet, Dogecoin enjoys backing a huge community of investors and celebrity influencers, including the likes of Elon Musk, who is often nicknamed the “Dogefather.”
Regardless, the meme coin is extremely popular in the crypto community, especially among Gen Z investors.
Shiba Inu SHIB/USD is the next largest meme coin, with a $6.8-billion market cap as compared to Dogecoin’s $9.5 billion.
Similar to Dogecoin, the Shiba token has fallen by around 85% from its all-time high of $0.000086 that it reached Oct. 27, 2021, and along with Dogecoin has eroded billions of dollars in investor wealth.
The next three spots in the top meme coins list consist of Dogelon Mars ELON/USD, Baby DogeCoin (CRYPTO: BabyDoge) and Samoyedcoin SAMO/USD, all of which have considerably lesser market caps than either Dogecoin or Shiba Inu.
These tokens have seen their prices fall by as high as 99% for ELON, 92% for SAMO and 82% for BabyDoge respectively.
Needless to say, the entire class of meme coins has fared far worse than other altcoins and offers a far riskier proposition for crypto investors.