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What Cryptos Have Fallen the Least During the Current Dip?

The cryptocurrency market continues to battle with its arch nemesis: bearishness. Its total value has sunk by around 40% in just under 90 days, and while it has witnessed a few small rebounds in the past few weeks, these have done little to halt the overall downwards trend.

With the market depressed as a whole, investors can be forgiven for assuming that most major cryptocurrencies are pretty much interchangeable right now. They’ve all shed value in the past two or three months, so buying any of them at the moment is probably a bad idea (although you might like to try shorting them), right? Well, this isn’t entirely true, with some cryptocurrencies — even major ones — falling much harder than others, and with a small handful doing a comparatively better job of retaining their respective values.

This article compiles this small handful of better-performing coins into a list of cryptocurrencies which have fallen the least during the current crypto bear market. It also explains why they’ve fallen less than others, and why they may be a relatively safer bet for long-term investment.

Crypto lighthouse

The Cryptocurrencies Which Have Fallen the Least During the Crypto Bear Market

Here’s the top ten cryptocurrencies in terms of value preservation during the ongoing bear market. Note that coins are ranked according to how much value they’ve lost since reaching all-time highs, all of which were set in 2021 or 2022.

They’re also picked only from the top 50 coins by market cap, with our data pulled from CoinGecko. Also note that we’re excluding stablecoins, as well as wrapped versions of coins (e.g. wrapped bitcoin) and crypto-exchange utility tokens.

  1. Cosmos: – 21.5%

  2. Fantom: – 31.3%

  3. Terra: – 38.5%

  4. Near: – 41.9%

  5. Polygon: – 45%

  6. Bitcoin: – 45.3%

  7. Ethereum: – 49%

  8. Helium: – 51.3%

  9. Avalanche: – 52.6%

  10.  Decentraland and The Sandbox (tie): – 61.1%

For the sake of contrast, it’s also worth creating a leaderboard of the worst ten, just to show that the coins above did relatively well to stop themselves from falling any further.

  1. Internet Computer: – 97%

  2. Filecoin – 92.2%

  3. Bitcoin Cash – 92% (note: BCH’s all-time high was set in December 2017)

  4. Ethereum Classic – 85.2%

  5. Theta Network – 82.8%

  6. XRP – 81.4% (note: XRP’s all-time high was set in January 2018)

  7. VeChain – 80%

  8. Dogecoin – 79.6%

  9. Stellar – 77.2%

  10. Uniswap – 75.8%

Why Have Some Cryptocurrencies Fared Better Than Others?

The top-three coins in our first list are worth highlighting, if only because they managed to keep their losses below 40% since reaching all-time highs last year. The main reason for this is that they’ve set all-time highs more recently, while other major coins have been falling.

In fact, cosmos (ATOM) set its record high of $44.45 as recently as January 17, 2022. Its rally was due to a number of incoming upgrades that made the coin seem like a more appealing prospect, including the arrival of Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatibility, interchain bridges, and the all-important Theta update (due in March).

In other words, a number of developments combined to provide cosmos with strong momentum while rallies throughout the rest of the market were fizzling out. It’s a similar story with Terra, which hit its all-time high of $103.34 on December 27, 2021, which again is quite late compared to most other big coins.

In Terra’s case, new upgrades also served to push its native token to new highs, although there’s also the fact that LUNA is burned whenever new TerraUSD (part of the Terra ecosystem) is minted, making it a deflationary cryptocurrency. Such upgrades included the new Columbus mainnet (which improved Terra’s functionality), while recent increases in activity on Terra’s DeFi ecosystem also helped.

Coming in at second, fantom saw its record high of $3.46 back on October 28, yet it also rallied strongly (without breaking this previous high) up until January 17, which explains why it hasn’t suffered as much as other coins. It has also witnessed increasing DeFi activity in recent weeks, while the proof-of-stake cryptocurrency has also simply benefited from the continuing high costs of using Ethereum.

What About Bitcoin?

Moving beyond the top three, one cryptocurrency that stands out is bitcoin, if only because it doesn’t offer any kind of utility (as with the other coins in the top ten). It’s simply a digital asset and (to a lesser extent) a medium of exchange (at least in some parts of the world), meaning that it has retained value for reasons other than growing use of its blockchain for utility purposes and/or significant technical upgrades.

What are those reasons? Well, they’re fairly simple: Bitcoin’s blockchain network is the most secure and decentralized of any cryptocurrency. It has never been hacked and almost never had any downtime (99.987 uptime since launching in 2009), and in a world where even high-potential chains such as Solana suffer outages, this is a rare and highly desirable property.

On top of this, its status as the original cryptocurrency has enabled it to accumulate considerable network effects, with the coin attracting wider investment from retail and institutional investors than any of its rivals. Such investment has been encouraged by the cryptocurrency’s deflationary tokenomics, with its cap at 21 million BTC reassuring many investors that, even if it does suffer ups and downs, the override trajectory in the long-term will be upwards.

Taken together, these factors have secured bitcoin’s position as the cryptocurrency’s market leader, enabling it to retain more of its value during downturns than many other tokens.

Market Cycles: Boom and Bust

Indeed, the cryptocurrency market is no stranger to downturns and cycles, and it’s interesting to note that bitcoin always loses less of its value than the market as a whole. For instance, during the slide from highs in late 2017/early 2018 to lows in December 2018, bitcoin lost as much as 83% of its previous value, while ethereum lost an even bigger 94%. The market as a whole lost around 87%.

Bitcoin also tends to lead market cycles: it was the first to rally in late 2020 and early 2021, with its Christmas gains and Tesla investment serving as the foundation for a wider bull market last year. Given that BTC remains the biggest crypto by market cap, this is likely what will happen with the next bull market, whenever that emerges. This means that anyone who believes that the cryptocurrency market will rise again should probably put a chunk of their portfolio in bitcoin, particularly if they feel unable to pick between altcoins.

Of course, when the next bull market arrives we will see numerous altcoins rise by bigger percentages than bitcoin. Indeed, with some promising altcoins falling by 70% or more since recent highs, they have more lost ground to make up than BTC. But just remember that, when yet another bear market appears, most of them will probably see the biggest falls.

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CryptoVantage Author Simon Chandler

About the Author

Simon Chandler

Simon Chandler is a journalist based in London. He writes about technology, markets and politics, and has bylines for Forbes, Digital Trends, CCN, Wired, TechCrunch, the Verge, the Sun, the New Internationalist, and TruthOut, among many others. His Twitter handle is @_simonchandler_

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