It is stale news that 2022 has been a challenging year for global markets, and crypto markets have fallen over 60% from their peak in late 2021. Early in the year, central banks worldwide began to raise interest rates to slow inflation.
This tightening of monetary and fiscal policies dramatically decreased investors’ appetite for risk and speculative investment strategies. Many investors opted to sell or exit speculative asset classes altogether.
This macroeconomic pressure affected traditional asset classes and put tremendous pressure on emerging asset classes, including cryptocurrency.
As the prices of risk assets began to decrease, the crypto market headed for a free fall. By the end of the second quarter of 2022, the crypto market cap had fallen over $1 trillion. Terra’s implosion worsened the situation as traders exited the crypto markets.
The UST stablecoin de-pegged from the US dollar. Investors lost billions of dollars in the Luna/UST blow-up, and the overall market went under even more pressure.
The year ended with the FTX drama, which further sent the market plunging. But with all the storms, there are a few coins that brought returns to investors. Some crashed heavily, and we have those that fall ‘in-between.’ This article examines these different situations.
Arguably the best-performing crypto of 2022. $STEPN is a Web3 lifestyle app on the Solana and Binance blockchains where users can purchase NFT sneakers and earn currency by walking, running or jogging.
The gamification of fitness combined with the appeal of the outdoors and the environment have been the right sauce for STEPN, which started at $0.01 on March 9 and climbed above $4 in late April, a gain of more than 40,000%.
Although it has fallen below $1 now, a reflection of the current market situation, Stepn remains the best-performing crypto of 2022.
Unus Sed Leo
$LEO is the native cryptocurrency of iFinex – the parent group of the cryptocurrency exchange firm Bifinex. It is a utility coin designed to refund user assets. UNUS SED LEO has been a huge outperformer in 2022. It started the year at around $2 and pumped to around $9 in February.
Although it has settled a little below $4 now, LEO investors were largely unscathed by the brutal bear market of 2022. LEO stood tough against the tremors in the industry, and the mid-June tremors caused by Terra’s LUNA and UST flash crashes didn’t seem to affect Bitfinex’s native cryptocurrency.
Apecoin is an ERC-20 token created and launched by ApeCoin DAO and designed for governance and utility. With continuous improvements in the ApeCoin network, we can say that 2022 is a good year for APE.
After debuting at around $5 on March 17 and surging around 250% within its first 48 hours of trading, it surged as high as $39.40 in April, representing a 3,840% rally. It, however, has plunged heavily in tandem with the general market trend since then.
Given the hype around Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs, the celebrity backing and the connection to that project, there is no reason ApeCoin wouldn’t pump in another NFT bull run.
Terra (Luna and UST)
LUNA is the native cryptocurrency of the Terra ecosystem, while $UST is the stablecoin. Both coins head the list of cryptocurrencies that have crashed hard in 2022. Before the Terra crash, Luna was among the world’s top 10 largest crypto coins by its total market capitalisation and also one of the most popular.
The debacle is arguably one of the heaviest in crypto history. Luna, which peaked at $119 in April, crashed to virtually nothing ($0.00001675) on May 13. A 99.9% value loss. $UST, which was supposed to be a stablecoin, lost its peg to the US dollar and crashed to a practically worthless price of $0.006218.
As a result, LUNA and UST were delisted from most major crypto exchanges around the world. While the co-founder Do Kwon came up with a plan to revive the cryptocurrency, there is no chance of LUNA/UST recovering to its original price.
$FTT was another coin that reminded crypto traders of Luna and UST’s collapse. November 8 was an eventful day for the cryptocurrency market. FTT, the token native to crypto exchange FTX, lost most of its value after the drama surrounding Binance’s takeover of the exchange and insolvency issues surfaced.
FTT, which peaked at around $85 in September 2021, crashed below $5 amidst the upheaval and has not recovered since then. FTX eventually filed for bankruptcy, and its founder SBF was arrested, but the token has continued to crash. It’s currently exchanging hands at $0.92, a 98 per cent fall from its ATH.
Solana, which is billed as one of the ‘Ethereum killers’, had a difficult year. It is one of the worst victims of the crypto collapse set off by the uncertainty surrounding Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX. $SOL crashed from $260 to $12 in a year, recording a dramatic fall of over 95% from its ATH.
Reflecting on the promise, potential and buzz surrounding the DeFi token coming into 2022, it’s been an abysmal year. We can only hope that 2023 brings good tidings.
Binance coin (BNB) has come a long way since its launch in the summer of 2017. Despite the crypto winter of 2022, $BNB has proven resilient in the altcoin markets and still carries a lot of interest.
There has been a substantial reduction in the value of the coin throughout 2022, which can be attributed to the crypto winter looming large over the market. However, it has performed fairly relatively. It started the year a little below $500 and currently sits at $249, losing less than 50% of its value in the harsh market conditions.
Bitcoin’s price at the beginning of 2022 was slightly over $47,000 per coin. After a tough year for cryptocurrency, Bitcoin has slumped to its current price of just under $17,000. Prices of other coins have not been impressive, anyways, because Bitcoin has always set the pace in the crypto sector.
A fall in the price of the BTC spells doom for other coins.
Although there has been a significant reduction in market price, the growing adoption and usage by prominent companies make us consider the year a fair one for the flagship digital asset.
Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation. It’s the biggest altcoin and went on a massive bull run in 2021, reaching its current all-time high (ATH) of $4,840. The coin has made new lows since then, but the project’s future has given investors hope of another price spike.
Related post: Merge will improve Ethereum’s transaction speed
This year, the most anticipated event, the ‘Merge’ was completed, and this has overshadowed the fact that ETH has lost over 50% of its value since the turn of the year.
However, with the completion of the monumental merge this year, Ethereum had an impactful year and is in a good position heading into 2023.