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THE YEAR IN REVIEW: the biggest crypto losers of 2019

By Charlotte Ricca

It has been an unpredictable year for cryptocurrency with some altcoin prices staying strong while others took a substantial dive. Here, we take a look at the biggest losers

It’s been a volatile year for cryptocurrency. While some altcoins maintained a strong financial standing, others saw their prices take a dive. Here are the biggest losers of 2019.

Bitcoin

We can’t talk about volatile crypto, without talking about Bitcoin. Prices recently reached a six-month low, having declined more than 50 per cent from its 2019 high of almost $14,000.

While its most recent drop on November 24 to nearly $6,500 isn't as bad as others on this list, it was still pretty substantial, taking a -21.5 per cent tumble in just one month.

One of the key reasons for its downfall is China's anti-crypto crusade. BTC saw a brief surge in late October, when it recovered more than $2,000 in a few hours, following Xi Jinping's statement supporting blockchain. However, President Xi slammed cryptocurrencies again on November 19, which came as more bearish news.

Bitcoin’s next halving, which is due to take place in May 2020, could have a positive impact. There were notable price gains following previous halvings in 2012 and 2016.

Bitcoin Gold (BTG): -43.87 per cent, current market cap $107.5m

The cryptocurrency that emerged as a hard fork of the main Bitcoin blockchain in October 2017 used to be in the crypto top five, but now it is way down the list in 45th place. It was outperforming BTC in September but things went downhill from there.

According to the founders, this is because BTG has never paid for listings or media coverage.

Ethereum Classic (ETC): -38.4 per cent, current market cap $444.5m

Ethereum Classic is a somewhat controversial cryptocurrency, born as a result of the Ethereum’s fork on July 20, 2016. It is not supported by the Ethereum Foundation but has a lot of love from the crypto community.

The first six months of 2019 were pretty good for ETC but since then things have been decidedly rocky. Things could improve in 2020 if Ethereum decides to implement the anti-ASIC consensus algorithm ProgPOW, which could see ASIC miners move over to Ethereum Classic.

Zcash (ZEC): -38.23 per cent, current market cap $220m

Zcash lost more than 66 per cent in the past 12 months. There was an uptrend in June but it was downhill from there for the privacy-focussed coin. Things were already looking bearish and then ZEC got delisted by Coinbase UK in August, which saw its price drop even further over the final few months of 2019.

DASH (DASH): -34.94 per cent, current market cap $478m

At the end of September DASH got delisted by exchanges OKex Korea and Upbit, following regulatory requirements from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

FATF is an international organisation created to combat money laundering. A recent ruling states that all crypto businesses (including exchanges) need to collect and share users' data when transacting with $1,000 or more.

This is bad news for privacy coins such as DASH, which conducts transactions on public ledgers without exposing an individual’s address or identity. However, as it is up to local governments to enforce the new rules, DASH may yet recover its losses.

FURTHER READING: THE YEAR IN REVIEW: Top traded cryptocurrencies of 2019

FURTHER READING: THE YEAR IN REVIEW: The big UK high-street brands that shut up shop in 2019

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