Find the full blog post with all the tables is here.
Welcome to your monthly no-shill data dump: Here’s the report for the 2018 Top Ten Experiment featuring BTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, ADA, LTC, NEM, DASH, IOTA, and Stellar.
What’s this all about? I purchased $100 of each of Top 10 Cryptos in Jan. 2018, haven’t sold or traded, reporting monthly for nearly four years. Did the same in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Learn more about the history and rules of the Experiments here. Snapshots taken on the 1st of each month. October Highlights: The 2018 Top Ten Portfolio hits an All Time High. ETH and NEM (you read right) have a great month. Overall since Jan. 2018: ETH solidly in the lead, followed by BTC and ADA. 2018+2019+2020+2021 Combined Top Ten Portfolios are returning 514%.
Month Forty-Six – UP 72%
The 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Portfolio is BTC, XRP, ETH, BCH, ADA, LTC, IOTA, NEM, Dash, and Stellar.
October highlights for the 2018 Top Ten Portfolio:
Mirror image of September (which was the mirror image of August: all green except for one straggler (ADA) ETH maintains a solid overall lead, BTC in second place, four coins in the green since January 2018. The 2018 Top Ten Portfolio hits an All Time High
October Ranking and Dropouts
Here’s a look at the movement in ranks since January 2018:
Top Ten dropouts since January 2018: After forty-six months of the 2018 Top Ten Experiment, only 40% of the cryptos that started in the Top Ten have remained. NEM, Dash, Stellar, Bitcoin Cash, IOTA, and Litecoin have been replaced by Binance Coin, Tether, DOT, SOL, Doge, and SHIB.
October Winners and Losers
October Winners – ETH (+32%) takes the victory this month, followed by NEM, up +29% (bet you didn’t see that coming).
October Losers – Just one: ADA alone finished in the red, down -13% this month.
Tally of Monthly Winners and Losers
After forty-six months, here’s a tally of the monthly winners and losers over the life of the 2018 Top Ten Experiment.
With 11, Bitcoin has two more monthly wins than second place Cardano. NEM has finished last place most often (12 months out of 46).
Bitcoin is still the only cryptocurrency that hasn’t yet lost a month since January 2018 (although it has come very close a couple of times).
Overall Update – Portfolio ATH! ETH still leads the field, Dash worst overall.
After a rough September, the portfolio has narrowly surpassed its previous all time high (+71%) of August. Stellar’s strong October allowed it to join the green club, which only 4 out of the 10 cryptos can claim membership (BTC, ETH, ADA, and Stellar).
Overall, first place ETH (+502%) is ahead of BTC (+368%) and third place ADA (+191%).
The initial $100 invested in first place ETH forty-six months ago? It’s worth $604 today.
DASH is at the bottom, down -81% since January 2018 The initial $100 invested forty-six months ago is worth about $18 today.
Total Market Cap for the entire cryptocurrency sector:
The total crypto market gained over a half a trillion (with a “t”) in October and is now at an all time monthly closing of $2.6T. Crypto as a sector is up +448% since January 2018.
If you were able to capture the entire crypto market since New Year’s Day 2018, you’d be doing better than the Experiment’s Top Ten approach (+72%), the return of the S&P (+73%) over the same period of time, and each of the individual cryptos within the 2018 Top Ten except for Ethereum.
Crypto Market Cap Low Point in the 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Experiment: $114B in January 2019.
Crypto Market Cap High Point in the 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Experiment: $2.65T this month.
BitDom inched up in October, ending the month at 43.7% (compared to 43.2% in September). When looking at the entire 2018 Experiment time frame, BTC dominance is still near the low end. For context:
Low Point in the 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Experiment: 33% in January 2018.
High Point in the 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Experiment: 70.5% in August 2019.
Overall return on $1,000 investment since January 1st, 2018:
The 2018 Top Ten Portfolio gained $259 in October.
If I decided to cash out the 2018 Top Ten Experiment today, the $1000 initial investment would be worth $1,719, up 72% from January 2018.
Green is unfamiliar territory for the 2018 Top Ten Portfolio and a recent development. Over the first 46 months of the 2018 Index Fund Experiment, thirty-eight months have been in the red, with only eight months of green. And all eight of the green months have come in 2021.
Here’s a look at the ROI over the life of the experiment, month by month, since the beginning of the 2018 Experiment forty-six months ago:
Remember: no one can predict the value of any crypto tomorrow, let alone next month or next year. The 2018 Top Ten Cryptos was down -88% after one year, -80% after two years, -25% after three years. Be careful out there.
Combining the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Top Ten Crypto Portfolios
Alright, that’s that for the 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiment recap.
But I didn’t stop the Experiment in 2018: I invested another $1000 in the 2019, 2020, and 2021 Top Ten Cryptos as well. How are the other Crypto Index Fund Experiments doing?
2018 Top Ten Experiment: up +72% (total value $1,719) 2019 Top Ten Experiment: up +658% (total value $7,580) 2020 Top Ten Experiment: up +937% (total value $10,370) 2021 Top Ten Experiment: up +399% (total value $4,987)
So overall? Taking the four portfolios together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom bottom line:
After a $4,000 investment in the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 Top Ten Cryptocurrencies, the combined portfolios are worth $24,656 ($1,719 + $7,580 + $10,370 + $4,987).
That’s up +514% on the combined portfolios, an all time high for the Top Ten Index Fund Experiment. Here’s the combined monthly ROI since I started tracking it in January 2020:
That’s a +514% gain by investing $1k on whichever cryptos happened to be in the Top Ten on January 1st (including stablecoins) for four straight years.
Comparison to S&P 500:
I’m also tracking the S&P 500 as part of the Experiment to have a comparison point with other popular investments options.
The S&P 500 is up +73% since January 2018, so the initial $1k investment into crypto on January 1st, 2018 would be worth $1730 had it been redirected to the S&P.
When I combine the four Top Ten Crypto portfolios (taking the same invest-$1,000-on-January-1st-of-each-year approach with the S&P 500 that I’ve been documenting through the Top Ten Crypto Experiments) the yields are the following:
$1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2018 = $1,730 today $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2019 = $1,840 today $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2020 = $1,430 today $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2021 = $1,230 today
Taken together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom bottom line for a similar approach with the S&P:
After four $1,000 investments into an S&P 500 index fund in January 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, my portfolio would be worth $6,230 ($1,730 + $1,840 + $1,430 + $1,230)
That is up +56% since January 2018 compared to a +514% gain of the combined Top Ten Crypto Experiment Portfolios, a difference of 458 percentage points in favor of crypto.
Here’s a table summarizing the four year ROI comparison between a Top Ten Crypto approach and the S&P as per the rules of the Top Ten Experiments.
Many thanks to the long-time Experiment followers, appreciate you taking the time to follow along over the years. For those just getting into crypto, welcome! I hope these reports can somehow give you a taste of what you may be in for as you begin your crypto adventures. Buckle up, think long term, don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose, and try to enjoy the ride!
Feel free to reach out with any questions and stay tuned for monthly progress reports. Keep an eye out for my parallel projects where I repeat the experiment, purchasing another $1000 ($100 each) of new sets of Top Ten cryptos as of January 1st, 2019, January 1st, 2020, and most recently, January 1st, 2021.