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The value of a $1,000 cryptocurrency investment after one year

  • The value of a $1,000 cryptocurrency investment after one year

    With its valuation skyrocketing in recent months, Bitcoin has quickly morphed from a relatively niche investment to a pop culture phenomenon, prompting daily dramatic headlines about people mortgaging homes and digging up landfills to get their hands on the cryptocurrency.

    To more established digital currency investors, Bitcoin isn’t a new phenomenon but rather one of the most high-profile of blockchain applications. In fact, a whole crop of newer cryptocurrencies—decentralized, digital “coins” created, held, and exchanged by computers instead of a central bank—have been introduced to the market in the past few years. Alternative coins like Litecoin, Monero, and Ethereum are making the news regularly—and the financial world has been busy creating new investment vehicles such as futures contracts and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to service the growing demand.

    At Stacker, we decided to research which cryptocurrencies have offered the best return on investment over the past year. We collected data on every cryptocurrency with a current market capitalization of more than $100 million and then ranked each by their year-to-date returns from Dec. 10, 2016 to Dec. 10, 2017. If a coin launched in 2017, then we looked at the year-to-date return from the launch date instead. The resulting list was 36 cryptocurrencies, all of which had positive returns that ranged anywhere from 30% to 100,000% in gains. It's important to note that past performance is not indicative of future performance and that this list does not represent an endorsement of any cryptocurrency.

    Whether you're a bull actively investing in the market or a skeptic waiting for the 'crypto bubble' to pop, check out our list of mainstream cryptocurrencies that soared to new heights in 2017. 

  • #36. ZCash


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $1,303 (30%)
    Price (December 10th): $306.72
    Market Cap: $6,441,044,610
    Launch: 2016

    ZCash’s main draw is its promise of privacy. Founded by Zooko Wilcox-O'Hearn, ZCash provides anonymous transactions that allow two parties to exchange coins without revealing their identities or the amount of the transaction—unlike Bitcoin, whose transactions can still be tracked. So far, ZCash’s secrecy guarantee seems to be paying off. In November 2017, asset manager Grayscale Investments launched the first security invested solely in ZCash.

  • #35. Stratis


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $2,860 (186%)
    Price (December 10th): $9.40
    Market Cap: $965,834,961
    Launch: 2016

    Created by Chris Trew, Stratis is a blockchain-as-a-service platform that runs on a digital currency called the Stratis token. In simpler terms, this means Stratis offers services that let users privately track financial transactions and other data using blockchains, a distributed ledger technology. What makes Stratis unique is that it allows users to create sidechains—private, separate blockchains that fully integrate with Stratis’s main blockchain.

  • #34. Neo


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $5,055 (406%)
    Price (December 10th): $34.83
    Market Cap: $3,482,773,910
    Launch: 2017

    Nicknamed the “Chinese Ethereum,” Neo is China’s first open source blockchain. Founded as AntShares by Onchain CEO Da Hongfei, Neo has created what it calls a “smart economy,” in which individuals or organizations can have digital identities that allow them to exchange money or assets in digital form through direct, transparent, and private digital “smart contracts.” The cryptocurrency has been slowly rising in value after a sudden drop when China banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September 2017.

  • #33. Augur


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $7,523 (652%)
    Price (December 10th): $29.48
    Market Cap: $324,320,843
    Launch: 2015

    Though still in beta testing, Augur has already received a significant amount of attention as a decentralized market prediction platform built on Ethereum. Founded as a nonprofit by Jack Peterson and Joey Krug, Augur lets users “bet” on events using digital tokens called Rep—with correct predictors winning the tokens post-event. 

  • #32. Steem


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $8,488 (749%)
    Price (December 10th): $1.67
    Market Cap: $6,665,596,000
    Launch: 2016

    Social media users can now like, post, and share their way to bigger bank accounts thanks to Steemit, a social media platform that doles out its alternative coin Steem to active users. Created by former financial analyst Ned Scott and computer scientist Dan Larimer, this cryptocurrency has a very low barrier to entry; anyone can join Steemit and start interacting to earn digital currency—then cash it out for real money. According to Wired, Steemit has given out more than $30 million worth of Steem since its launch.

  • #31. Clams


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $9,399 (840%)
    Price (December 10th): $6.76
    Market Cap: $135,265,402
    Launch: 2014

    Described as “the most fairly distributed cryptocurrency” on its website, Clams launched by giving out free coins to all active users of Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Dogecoin. Since then, the Clams network has given out nearly a Clam coin per minute to auto-selected users in its network, a proof-of-stake system that Clams claims is more equitable than Bitcoin’s proof-of-work system. Anyone can download the software and join the network to start trading the currency.

  • #30. Factom


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $9,972 (897%)
    Price (December 10th): $20.77
    Market Cap: $181,786,887
    Launch: 2014

    Founded by Paul Snow and David Johnston, Factom is a blockchain technology company that specializes in secure record keeping for hospitals, financial institutions, and other organizations. Built on Bitcoin, Factom promises to prevent fraud through its digital data management that keeps tamper-proof digital records of transactions.

  • #29. Dogecoin


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $10,484 (948%)
    Price (December 10th): $0.0026
    Market Cap: $406,535,360
    Launch: 2013

    Created by programmer Billy Markus and Adobe product manager Jackson Palmer to poke fun at the hype around cryptocurrencies, Dogecoin has itself become somewhat of a hyped digital coin, to the chagrin of Palmer, who has cautioned investors about a cryptocurrency bubble. The Dogecoin community is known for raising funds for charities as well as quirky one-off projects.

  • #28. Bitcoin Cash


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $11,066 (1,007%)
    Price (December 10th): $1372.08
    Market Cap: $28,813,751,471
    Launch: 2017

    Like Bitcoin, but faster with lower fees. That’s what the makers of Bitcoin Cash had in mind when they initiated a hard fork split from Bitcoin and created this new cryptocurrency in August. The battle between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash supporters still rages on, with the two sides in disagreement about how best to increase the network capacity for cryptocurrencies.

  • #27. Ardor


    What $1,000 invested a year ago would be worth today? $14,153 (1,315%)
    Price (December 10th): $0.58
    Market Cap: $575,155,140
    Launch: 2016

    Aimed at users who want to create their own DIY blockchains, Ardor is a child-chain platform—a customizable “light” blockchain built on the advanced platform Nxt and its digital currency. These child-chains, according to Nxt, make it simpler for anyone to create blockchain services, especially as users are able to rely on the main chain for security.

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