Instead of hypothetically tracking cryptos, I made an actual $1000 investment, $100 in each of the Top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap as of the 1st of January 2018. I then repeated the experiment on the 1st of January 2019. Think of it as a lazy man's Index Fund (no weighting or rebalancing), less technical, more fun (for me at least), and hopefully still a proxy for the market as a whole - or at the very least an interesting snapshot of the 2019 crypto space. Trying to keep it simple and accessible for beginners and those looking to get into crypto but maybe not quite ready to jump in yet.
Buy $100 of each the Top 10 cryptocurrencies on January 1st, 2019. Run the experiment two years. Hold only. No selling. No trading. Report monthly. Compare loosely to the 2018 Top Ten Experiment.
Month Seven - Up 74%
July hit the 2019 Top Ten portfolio hard, with a nearly -40% drop since the end of June. All cryptos are in the red except Bitcoin and Tether. June showed sideways movement, but July decisively breaks the five month win streak (or more preciously, a four month win plus one month sideways streak). That said, the 2019 Top Ten portfolio is still up +74% on the year.
Lots of movement this month. All of the Top Ten cryptos moved except Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple. Of note, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash which switched places with each other again, Stellar reclaimed its spot in the Top Ten, and EOS dropped two spots to #8.
Tron is now alone as the only Top Ten dropout and has been replaced by Binance Coin.
July Winners - Bitcoin, easily. All others (except Tether) were down double digits, with most falling over -20%.
July Losers - Tron, easily, losing nearly 1/3rd of its value, down -32% in July. EOS had a rough month too, dropping -26% and two places in the rankings.
For those keeping score, here is tally of which coins have the most monthly wins and loses during the first seven months of this experiment: Bitcoin distinguished itself from the pack this month by achieving its second monthly victory of the year. Bitcoin SV still has the most monthly loses: three out of the first seven months.
Overall update – Litecoin holds the smallest of leads, all cryptos in positive territory except Stellar and Ripple
Similar to last month, although Bitcoin makes the headlines, it's actually Litecoin that continues to perform best, up +214% on the year. My initial $100 investment in Litecoin is now worth $321. But for the second month in a row, Bitcoin made up a ton of ground, finishing July just a few percentage points behind Litecoin.
Stellar is at the bottom, down -28% so far in 2019, followed by Ripple, down -10%.
Total Market Cap for the entire cryptocurrency sector:
For the first time since February, the total crypto market cap decreased, losing about $13B in July. Still, the overall market cap remains over $300B, an increase of +143% since the beginning of 2019.
Bitcoin dominance leaped again in July, and now is close to 68%. This sets another record for Bitcoin dominance so far in the 2019 and 2018 Top Ten Experiments.
Overall return on investment from January 1st, 2019:
In July I saw my overall return shrink by about $400, quite a hit. If I cashed out today, my $1,000 initial investment would return $1,744, a +74% gain. Not at all bad compared to the stock market: the return I would have received from investing that same $1000 on January 1st, 2019 in the the S&P 500 is about +17%, same as last month (see below).
Although the overall market ended down on the month, it's still up 143% on the year. What's noteworthy this month is the absolute chasm that's opened between the performance of the market overall and the Top Ten cryptos that I started with at the beginning of 2019. My Top Ten group? Up 74%. That's only half the return of the overall market. Remember, in May, the gains from the Top Ten and the entire market were both exactly the same amount: +114%. This month, not even close. For two straight months, focusing only on the Top Ten has been a losing strategy. This is reminiscent of last year as at no point in the Top Ten 2018 Experiment did the Top Ten strategy outperform the overall market.
I'm also tracking the S&P 500 as part of my experiment to have a comparison point with other popular investments options. The S&P 500 was flat in July, still up +17% since the beginning of 2019. Solid gains, but of course nothing like what we've seen in crypto so far this year. The initial $1k investment I put into crypto would have yielded +$170 had it been redirected to the S&P compared to the $744 I'm currently up with the 2019 Top Ten Cryptos.
July was an obvious down month for crypto. I've been a bit delayed on the update this month so as I'm putting this together, crypto's been on a bit of an upward run, with Bitcoin looking like it's about to test $12k. The monthly nature of these updates prevents me from getting caught up in the daily fluctuations of the crypto market and allows a bit of perspective. Taking a step back, it looks like July was a bit of a speedbump, but by no means signals a crypto bear market - the overall trend of the first half of 2019 is unmistakably positive.
If you're just finding this experiment now, here's the backstory: On the 1st of January, 2018, I bought $100 each of the Top Ten cryptos at the time for a total investment of $1000 to see how they would perform over the year. I tracked the experiment and reported each month. The result? I ended 2018 down -85%, my $1000 worth only $150.
After last year's experiment ended, I decided to do two things:
- Extend the Top Ten 2018 Crypto project one more year. The experiment is now in its 19th month. You can check out the latest update here.
- What you're reading now is the 7th report of a parallel project: this year I repeated the experiment, purchasing another $1000 ($100 each) of the new Top Ten cryptos as of January 1st, 2019.
Thanks for reading and the support for the experiment. I hope you’ve found it helpful. I continue to be committed to seeing this process through and reporting along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions and stay tuned for progress reports.