Best and worst performing cryptocurrencies of January 2022

January 2022 was not a good month for crypto, but which coins bucked the trend?


January 2022 was not a great time for cryptocurrencies. The market, which had already been on a downturn caused by concerns about the Omicron variant of Covid-19, continued to fall, in a contrast to the same time in 2021. The total market capitalisation of crypto went from $2.2trn at the start of the month to $1.75trn at the end, a drop of just over 20%. While the overall story was bearish, not every cryptocurrency followed the trend in January. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst performing cryptocurrencies in January 2022.

Coins that performed well in January 2022


Ethereum fan token (EFT)

A serious contender for the best performing crypto throughout January was ETH fan token (EFT). This crypto, based on the Binance Smart Chain, aims to give people all the advantages of the Ethereum blockchain on BSC. It was launched in the middle of December and, as a new token, was well-positioned to dodge the worst of January’s decline. It started the month at $0.000000000233 and closed the month at $0.00000002268, a rise of more than 9,600%. In fact, that figure masks some of the gains EFT enjoyed in January, where a high of $0.0000001642 was reached on 16 January. 

FTX Token (FTT)

Another well-performing cryptocurrency across the month of January was the FTX Token (FTT). This crypto is the native token of the crypto derivatives platform FTX, and is one of the longest lasting, not to mention largest, cryptocurrencies on this list. Launched in the summer of 2019, FTT went through a boom period in the first month of 2022, opening at $38.31 and closing at $43.67, a rise of just under 14%. While this is not a massive price rise, at least not compared with the growth EFT enjoyed, it says something about the nature of the market that this was one of the best performing cryptocurrencies out of the top 100 by market capitalisation. 


Stablecoins are supposed to be stable, so you should not get much movement out of them if they are working correctly. On the other hand, a cryptocurrency that is linked to a network that produces a separate stablecoin is free to move up and down without causing too much panic. This was the case for ICHI, the coin of, a network which helps people create their own stablecoins. While it came onto the market in the summer of 2021, this coin went through a trend-shattering bull run in January. It opened the month at $5.21 and finished at $17.63. This performance helped it be one of the shining stars of the top 500 cryptocurrencies. 

Telos (TLOS)

Telos (TLOS) is another token that bucked the trends in January 2022. This coin is another crypto with a fair bit of history to it, launching in 2019. Telos bills itself as “The Blockchain Platform for Web 3.0” and promises the fastest version of the Ethereum Virtual Machine out there, and TLOS is its native token. Growing buzz and hype around Web3 will have helped TLOS out in January, and the coin rewarded its investors, moving up by more than 57% from an initial price of $0.5845 to $0.9184.

Coin infographic
January 2022 was bullish for crypto, but not every coin went up – Credit:

Coins that performed poorly in January 2022

Bitcoin (BTC)

When we talk about the cryptos that did badly in January 2022, we really do have to mention bitcoin. In terms of pure numbers, it is true that it was not the worst performing crypto, but, since BTC is the de facto standard bearer of crypto and how bitcoin behaves has an impact on the entire cryptocurrency market, its influence cannot be overstated. Put simply, BTC did really badly. It started the month at $46,311.74 and closed at $38,483.13, a drop of just under 17%. Even then, the end price represented a recovery of sorts from its monthly nadir, when it fell to $33,184.06 intraday on 24 January.

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Ether (ETH)

Bitcoin’s great rival, ether, also had a bad time in January, with the move away from bitcoin reflected as the price of Ethereum’s cryptocurrency fell. The coin started trading on 1 January at $3,683.05 and, while there was some initial upward movement, it soon started to drop, closing the month at $2,688.28, a drop of more than 25%. 


January was a bad time for bigger cryptocurrencies overall, and even in the world of play-to-earn, a sector that had really blossomed throughout 2021, the effects of the market downturn were felt. GALA, the native coin of a gaming platform which allows people to earn cryptocurrency by playing, was badly hit. It started the year at $0.4515 but was trading at $0.198 by close of play on 31 January, a drop of more than 56% in January itself.

Axie Infinity (AXS)

GALA was not the only play-to-earn crypto that had a bad time in January 2022. Axie Infinity had become the largest play-to-earn cryptocurrency after reports that people in the Philippines were supplementing their income by playing the game it is linked to started circulating in 2020. While the cryptoverse moved on from this news, and how widespread people making money off the game was, curiously, was never quite established, coupled with the fact that the original report was written by the director of a consulting firm which represents play-to-earn games and provides PR to the companies behind them, the coin had a good 2021. Things fell in January. The coin started off at $93.30, and closed at $52.28, a drop of nearly 43%. 


Another big crypto that took a hit was LUNA, the native coin of the South Korea-based Terra network. While LUNA has been seen as one of the largest decentralised finance, or DeFi coins out there, that did not help it turn against the bears in January. It started trading at $85.51, but despite some rises, with it spending some of the early part of the month above $90, the price dropped, first slowly, and then quickly, finishing the month at $52.34, a loss of just under 40% across the month. When we consider that LUNA’s all-time high of $103.33 came on 27 December, we can see quite how far it has fallen.


Which cryptocurrency has the brightest future?

This is a question to which there is no real answer. It will all depend on how you define bright, and how far into the future you want to go. Let’s remember, too, that crypto forecasts are very often wrong. You will have to do your own research and remember that prices can go down as well as up.

Which crypto will rise in 2022?

Again, there is no true answer to this, because we genuinely do not know. There are plenty of cryptos with potential but the history of cryptocurrency is littered with sure things that failed as well as coins and tokens that came out of nowhere to become major players. For instance, who could have predicted that DOGE could have had such a massive year-and-a-half, or that bitcoin would shoot to new heights and then halve in price before making a small recovery in the space of mere months?

Is it a good time to invest in cryptocurrency?

It might be. If we are currently in a dip, then it could be a time to get hold of a coin that might perform well at a low price. On the other hand, we do not know how the market is going to recover, how quickly that will happen or, indeed, if it will recover at all. You will have to do your own research, remember prices can go down as well as up, and never invest more money than you can afford to lose. 

Further reading

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