Outing the outperforming cryptos in a bear market

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Despite the gloom and doom that engulfed the crypto market in May 2022, some coins did well


The overall value of cryptocurrencies has fallen more than a quarter in May 2022,  from a little under $1.7tn at the start of the month to around $1.25tn on 26 May as we have found ourselves firmly in a crypto bear market. There have, however, been some coins and tokens that have done better than the average drop, and there have even been some cryptocurrencies that have risen in value.

TRX: TRON beats the bear market

TRX is one of the best performing cryptos this year - Photo: Alamy

One of the most notable cryptocurrencies to have done well at a trying time for the market is TRX, the native token of the TRON blockchain.

TRON hosts decentralised applications (DApps) much in the same way as Ethereum does. TRX is used to reward developers and can also be bought, sold and traded on exchanges. In recent weeks TRON has started supporting the USDD stablecoin. If the price of USDD, which launched at the end of April, drops below the dollar, then TRX is burned to help push the price up.

If this sounds a little bit familiar, it is rather like the way in which LUNA was burned to keep UST level with $1. While it is to be hoped that USDD will not suffer the same fate as UST, which would be very bad news indeed for TRON investors, it cannot be avoided that the launch of USDD has, in turn, had an impact on TRX in a good way. Investors who still, presumably, believe in the concept of the algorithmic stablecoin, despite the depegging of TerraUSD, have got their hands on TRX, hoping that as the coin is burned to support USDD, its price will rise.

In fairness, this is what has happened. At the start of May, TRON was worth $0.06277 but on 26 May it was worth around $0.081, a rise of 29% at a time when its rivals were, in the most part, losing a significant amount of value. It has been one of the best performing coins in the crypto bear market of 2022.

A detour into stablecoins

A quick diversion is in order. We have seen that part of the reason for TRON’s success in May is its link with the newly-launched USDD stablecoin. It is worth noting that, according to CoinMarketCap, the only cryptocurrencies in the top 100 to have shown any kind of uptick in price in the 30 days leading to 26 May 2022 are TRON and seven stablecoins: USDD, TrueUSD, DAI and Fei USD, all of which had risen by less than 1%. 

Monero: Beating the market

Monero has outperformed a bearish market - Photo: Shutterstock

Just because the market is down, that does not mean that a cryptocurrency cannot take losses and still do better than the market itself, or that a coin cannot make a recovery during the month. An example of this from May 2022 is Monero.

This cryptocurrency has attracted some controversy, because it serves as a privacy coin. It is decentralised and the team behind it claim that you do not have to entrust the safekeeping of your coins to a third party. Obfuscation techniques are also used to shield from public view the origins of transactions, as well as how much they are worth and where it it is being sent to.

Groups of users are involved in validating transactions and they do it in such a way that it is computationally impossible to determine who was personally responsible. This means that XMR has earned a reputation for being involved in illegal activities, such as money laundering. However, it has become comparatively popular in May. While its price has gone down by about 10%, outperforming the market as a whole, but still making a loss, that does not tell the whole story. On 12 May, the coin sank to a low of $119.30 which means that, since then, it has gone up by a little more than 60%. When we consider that the market has, on the whole, only recovered by about 8% since the lows of that day, when it dropped to being worth about $1.156tn, XMR looks like one coin that has done really well in the last fortnight of the month.

Ethereum classic: ETC bests ETH

Ethereum Classic
ETC has beaten both the market and ETH in May - Photo: Shutterstock

Another large cryptocurrency that tells a story of an overall loss but a shorter-term gain is Ethereum Classic. At a time where the likes of hard forks and rebranding are in the news with the upcoming launch of the new version of LUNA, it seems fitting to examine one of the first post-fork cryptos. While the price since the start of May has dropped by a little over 15% from $25.93 to $21.88, there has been a recovery since the depths of 12 May when it fell to $16.31, meaning that its price at the time of writing represented growth of around a third in the space of two weeks.

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What is also notable is the performance of ETH itself. Ether has fallen by a third over the course of the month so far, from $2,729.99 to $1,836.50 or so, underperforming against the market, while since 12 May, when it dropped to a low of $1,748.30, it has only recovered by around 5%, again less than the market as a whole. The contrast between the two coins is interesting, as ETC has been able to militate against more of the losses than the larger ether has. In a month where the coin’s Twitter account has been silent, people are coming to ethereum classic when the market is struggling.

Woodcoin: a rising LOG

Woodcoin has risen from obscurity in May - Credit: Woodcoin.org

If we move away from the bigger coins, one cryptocurrency that has done very well is woodcoin (LOG). It has been around for a long time and, to be blunt, it had not done terribly much. It first came onto the open market in 2014 and had been ignored by all but the collectors of the most arcane cryptocurrencies, its success in May has been remarkable. The self-described “logarithmically growing money supply” which operates a “decentralised, mineable, proof-of-work public ledger” has shot up and up so far in May, starting the month at $1.94 before dropping to $1.80 on 12 May and then more than doubling in price to $3.70.

This means that, since the beginning of the month, it has risen by more than 90%. What remains something of a mystery, though, is why a long-standing also-ran altcoin has managed to become a bit of an eyecatcher over the course of the month. It might be worth pointing out that the coin has launched a blog and an app in May, thus making it a bit more prominent. Its claim to only use renewable energy in its mining process might also be winning it some fans at a time when more and more people are getting concerned about the environmental impact of crypto. What cannot be denied, though, is that it is, according to CoinMarketCap, the best performing cryptocurrency out of the top 1,000 by market cap in May 2022.

Wirex token: delivering the goods?

Wirex token
Wirex token has beaten the bears in May - Credit: Wirexapp.com

Another cryptocurrency that has shone at a dark time for the market is wirex token. Unlike the other cryptocurrencies that we have talked about so far, WXT is a token, meaning it does not operate on a blockchain of its own. WXT is designed to boost the widespread adoption of crypto via a payment card and an app. The token has performed very well in May, with the migration of a fifth of its holdings onto Ethereum and the news that it had launched a new NFT-friendly wallet and payment methods, along with the announcement that it had reached 150,000 customers in North America, all of which news boosted the price throughout the month.

WXT started 1 May at $0.008804 before the events involving UST and LUNA saw it drop to $0.008031 on 12 May. It then moved to around $0.0109 on 26 May. This meant that, over the course of the month, it had risen more than 23% at a time when the market had fallen by a little more downwards. In terms of the two weeks between 12 and 26 May, it had gone up by more than 35%, nearly four times the growth of the market in that time. 

CONTRACOIN: bringing it home

Contracoin has shot up in the last week - Credit: Contraction.network

Finally, CONTRACOIN is another of the best performing cryptos in May 2022, notable for the short space of time in which it has boomed. The token, which is based on the Ethereum blockchain, is designed to help people traverse the global real estate market. While it has been around since early 2020, it was a pretty niche token until fairly recently. In May it has risen from $0.5056 at the start of the month to about $0.896 at the time of writing, a rise of more than 77%.

That only tells part of the story, though. As recently as 19 May, it was trading at a low of $0.3006, which means it has almost tripled in value over the course of a week. That is remarkable at any time, but over a time period when the market has a whole has displayed minimal growth, with many crypto prices dropping, it is worth taking note of.

Final remarks

A word of caution: just because a cryptocurrency is doing well now, that does not mean that it will continue to perform positively. Had we done a similar list for the first four months of the crypto bear market of 2022, there is little doubt that we would have talked about LUNA and how well it was doing. That coin’s collapse into virtual worthlessness led to the crypto bear market that we are seeing today. Ultimately, despite what some people might want you to believe, there is no best crypto to buy in a bear market. As ever with crypto, it makes sense to do your own research and act with due caution.  


In terms of cryptocurrencies, yes. The overall size of the market has shrunk considerably over the course of the year and, with the market crisis caused by the depegging of UST and the collapse of LUNA, May has been a bad month so far. People are more inclined to sell than to buy, so that means that we are experiencing a cryptocurrency bear market.

Technically, every crypto out there has the potential to grow in future. That is not to say that they will, though and, with cryptocurrencies being highly volatile, there is every chance that prices could do down as well as up. You will have to be careful and do your own research.

It would be wrong to single out any crypto as being one that can boom in 2022, because we don't know what will happen for sure. You will need to do your own research, never invest more than you can afford to lose, and remember prices can go down as well as up. 

Further reading

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