Coin Race: Top Winners/Losers of August; DeFi Leads, Bitcoin Lags
August ended up as another great month for crypto investors, with nearly all of the top 100 coins by market capitalization in the green.
The gains in August came despite the fact that bitcoin (BTC) and many altcoins had already seen a significant rally during the last ten days of July, pushing bitcoin from below USD 30,000 to well over USD 40,000.
Over the course of August, however, market participants have increasingly turned their focus away from BTC and over to the world of decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). As evidence of this, we can let price speak for itself, with Ethereum’s native token ETH rising by 39% - more than two times bitcoin’s 16% gain over the past 30 days.
Top 10 coins in August
Looking at the top 10 coins by market capitalization, it’s safe to conclude that August was a good month for the crypto blue-chips. But despite the good overall performance among the top coins, there were still large differences in performance between them.
As discussed, the number one cryptocurrency, bitcoin, came in last in August with a monthly gain of 16%, as the network’s major Taproot upgrade inches closer to its expected November deployment.
At the opposite end of the spectrum was the Solana blockchain’s SOL token, which came in as the number one performer with a 248% gain for the month. The latest gains for the token have come after it entered the top 10 ranking by market capitalization and broke through the psychologically important USD 100 level for the first time ever last month.
As for the other coins in the top 10, cardano (ADA) and polkadot (DOT) both stood out with large monthly gains of 113% and 95%, respectively, amidst a wave of attention for smart contract platforms that aim to challenge Ethereum and its dominance in the space.
The focus on Ethereum contenders has to a large extent been fuelled by the high fees on the platform, which in August reached their highest level since May.
Perhaps more than anything, this has benefited Cardano, with ADA being one of the better performing major cryptoassets this year.
Best among the top 50 coins
Expanding our scope to the top 50 coins by market capitalization, the leaderboard for May shows that SOL also came out on top of this group, followed by the smart contract platform Avalanche's (AVAX), which was up 210% helped by its new “Avalanche Rush” liquidity mining incentive program.
Third in the pack was terra (LUNA) which rose by 186% for the month, followed by Cardano’s ADA.
Further down the list of the best performers on the top 50 list came the elrond egold (EGLD) token and Polkadot-affiliated kusama (KMT), which both more than doubled in price for the month. They were further followed by polkadot, cosmos (ATOM), and tezos (XTZ), which were up between 75% and 95%.
Worst among the top 50 coins
Taking a look at the worst performers among the top 50 coins by market capitalization, it’s clear that August has indeed been a pretty good month. With only Bitfinex’s UNUS SED LEO token more or less unchanged when we exclude stablecoins, August seems to have lifted all boats.
Among the remaining cryptoassets on the ‘worst performer’ list, nearly all were up by more than 10% for the month of August. Notable among these were bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin SV (BSV), which both fared slightly better than the original bitcoin.
Among the laggards for the past month was also monero (XMR), the most popular privacy-focused cryptocurrency, which gained close to 18%, and the MKR governance token for the MakerDAO stablecoin issuance protocol, which rose by 23%.
Winners & losers from the top 100
Zooming out further to cover all coins in the top 100 by market capitalization, we can see that solana and avalanche again stand out as the top performers, along with the lesser-known smart contract platform Fantom's FTM. However, we also see some names from lower market capitalization coins, such as the decentralized application (dapp) platform Near Protocol's NEAR and streaming protocol Audius' AUDIO.
Interesting here is that despite being among the best coins for the month, the AUDIO token topped the list of the worst weekly performers last week, with a 7-day drop of 28%.
Among the weakest monthly performers in the top 100 were safemoon, which lost more than 9% of its value, and the lending and borrowing platform Celsius Network’s own CEL token, which dropped by also 9%.