Crypto landscape: ten years of growth, change, advances and retreats

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Many top coin projects a decade ago have fallen off, while Bitcoin remains resilient and has made the most gains in ten years.

Crypto landscape: ten years of growth, change, advances and retreats

While some digital assets have stood the test of time, others have tumbled below the thousands of new digital currencies that exist today. 

Price of Bitcoin on Christmas Day

2023: $43,254

2022: $16,849

2021: $50,888

2020: $23,760

2019: $7,266

2018: $4,021

2017: $14,302

2016: $894

2015: $456

2014: $318

2013: $669

— CoinGecko (@coingecko) December 25, 2023

On Dec. 28, the total market capitalization for the crypto space stood at around $1.77 trillion, with Bitcoin (BTC) still leading the charge at $842 million. It’s followed by market leaders like Ether (ETH), BNB (BNB), and Solana (SOL), as well as stablecoins like Tether (USDT) and USD Coin (USDC). 

Projects like XRP (XRP), Cardano (ADA) and Avalanche (AVAX) are also in the top ten digital assets by market cap and have proved their resilience over the years. In addition, Lido Staked Ether (stETH), which represents staked ETH in the liquid staking protocol Lido and combines the value of the initial deposit and staking rewards, is also in the top ten.

Top 10 crypto assets by market capitalization on Dec. 28, 2023. Source: CoinGecko

On Dec. 28, 2013, the top ten tokens by market cap looked very different compared to today. A snapshot from coin data tracker CoinMarketCap shows that the total market cap for crypto was around $12 billion. BTC traded at $726.89, with a total market cap of $8.8 billion. This means that the digital asset has grown by almost 100 times since then. 

Related: ‘Revenge of the ETH’ — Is Ethereum’s 9% jump the start of something big?

Another token leading the charts ten years ago was Ripple, now known as XRP. A decade ago, the token followed BTC, taking the number two spot in market capitalization. The token traded at $0.027 with a market cap of $2.6 billion. The next token was Litecoin (LTC), which cost $22.66 at the time and had a $550 million market cap. Both coins had price appreciations and are still some of the most traded tokens today. 

CoinMarketCap’s top 10 tokens by market capitalization on Dec. 28, 2013. Source: The Wayback Machine

While the top three tokens have grown in price and total valuation, the same can’t be said for the rest of the list. MasterCoin, now known as Omni, used to be in the top four, with a market cap of around $100 million. Today, the token is ranked 2337 at CoinGecko, with a total valuation of $1 million. 

From the top five up to the top ten tokens a decade ago, the crypto assets have either fallen off into the ranks of thousands or have been delisted from coin-tracking websites altogether. Within the ranks, a token with the same name as Sam Altman’s Worldcoin (WLD) can be seen, but it had a different ticker, WDC. The token has no relation to today’s popular eye-scanning crypto project

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