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EXPERIMENT – Tracking Top 10 Cryptos of 2019 – Month Twenty-Two – UP +66%

See the full blog post with all the tables here.

And learn about the history and the rules of the Experiments here.

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Month Twenty Two – UP 66%

The 2019 Portfolio had a solid month, and was the best performer of the Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiments.  Most of the cryptos ended October in positive or neutral territory, while the losses of the worst performers were no biggie (at least for crypto).  


Question of the month:

In early October, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) charged this crypto exchange with illegally operating an unregistered trading platform.

A) Bittrex

B) Binance

C) Bitmex

D) That other crypto exchange that starts with the letter “B”

Scroll down for the answer.


Ranking and October Winners and Losers

After losing quite a bit of ground in the rankings in September, the 2019 Top Ten rebounded a bit in October.  Only BSV finished down on the month, down two places (from #9 to #11) and dropping out of the Top Ten. The rest either held or climbed:  EOS, Tron and Stellar each advanced one position each and Litecoin picked up four places and was able to rejoin the Top Ten. 

It’s good to have LTC back in the familiar confines of the Top Ten, as last month it found itself on the outside looking in, for the first time since the Experiments started back in January 2018.

40% of the crypotos that were in the Top Ten on January 1st, 2019 have dropped out: Tron, Stellar, BSV, and EOS have been replaced by BNB, DOT, ADA, and LINK.

October Winners – Big Poppa BTC had a great month, finishing up +25%. Second place goes to LTC, up +17% in October, followed by BCH, up +14%.

October Losers – The losses were moderate this month, but the L for October goes to BSV, which lost -7% and fell out of the Top Ten. EOS was second worst performing, down -5%. 

For overly competitive nerds, here is a tally of which coins have the most monthly wins and losses during the first 22 months of the 2019 Top Ten Experiment: 

Tether is still far ahead in terms of monthly victories (7).  That’s more than twice as much as second place BSV, BTC, and ETH.  And although BSV is up 74% since January 2019, it dominates the monthly loss count: it has now finished last in nine out of twenty-two months (paying attention, swing traders?).  And XRP is still the only crypto that has yet to notch a monthly win.

Overall update – BTC’s lead increases, XRP back to the basement, 2019 Top Ten pulls ahead of other Experiments.

BTC extended the lead it carved out last month over second place ETH in October. The top two are up +262% and +191% respectively, followed distantly by Litecoin, which is up +79% since January 2019. The initial $100 investment in BTC is currently worth $369.

For the first time since April 2019, BSV has dropped out of the Top Ten.

Twenty-two months into the 2019 Top Ten Index Fund Experiment, 70% of the 2019 Top Ten cryptos are either flat or in the green. After barely escaping the basement last month, XRP has once again sunk to the bottom of the pack, down -33% since January 2019.

At +66%, the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio has pulled ahead of the 2020 Top Ten Portfolio’s +61% gain and both are far, far ahead of the 2018 group , which is down -74% (more on that below).  

Total Market Cap for the entire cryptocurrency sector:

Since January 2019, the total market cap for crypto is up +215%. The overall market gained about $50B in October, ending the month just over the psychologically important $400B mark. This is now the highest month-end level since the 2019 Top Ten Experiment began 22 months ago.

Bitcoin dominance:

After spending much of the year locked in the 65% range, BitDom took a short break in the summer to dip it low, but then has picked it up slowand has now popped back up to 63%.   As always, a high Bitcoin dominance signals less of an appetite for altcoins. Zooming out, the BitDom range since the beginning of the experiment in January 2019 has been between 50%-70%.

Overall return on investment since January 1st, 2019:

The 2019 Group gained $122 in October, so after the initial $1000 investment, the 2019 Top Ten Crypto Portfolio is worth $1,660. 

For some context, here’s a look at the ROI over the life of the first 22 months of the 2019 Top Ten Index Fund experiment, month by month:

Unlike the completely red table you’ll see in the 2018 Top Ten Experiment, the 2019 crypto table is almost all green. The first month was the lowest point (-9%), and the highest point (+114%) was May 2019.

At +66%, the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio is now the best performing out of the three Experiments but not by much: the 2020 Top Ten Portfolio is up +61%.

Speaking of the other Experiments, let’s take a look at how the 2019 Top Ten Index Fund Portfolio compare to the parallel projects:

Taking the three portfolios together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line: 

After a $3000 investment in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 Top Ten Cryptocurrencies, my combined portfolios are worth $‭3,537‬ ($264+ $1,660 +$1,613).

That’s up about +18% for the three combined portfolios, compared to +11% last month.

Here’s a table to help visualize the progress of the combined portfolios:

To sum up: +18% gain by dropping $1k once a year on whichever cryptos happened to be in the Top Ten on January 1st, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

But what if I’d gone all in on only one Top Ten crypto for the past three years? While many have come and gone over the life of the experiment, only five cryptos have started in Top Ten for all three years: BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC. Let’s take a look at those five:

Up until this month, Ethereum would have been your best bet.  As of the end of October, it’s basically a tie between BTC and ETH. Both are up +121%, (although BTC is technically $21 ahead of ETH). 

On the other hand, if I had followed this world’s slowest dollar cost averaging approach with XRP, I’d be down -32%.  With BCH I would have just about broken even. 

Alright, that’s crypto. How does crypto compare to the stock market?

Comparison to S&P 500:

I’m also tracking the S&P 500 as part of the experiments to have a comparison point with traditional markets.  The S&P continued to fall from an all time high in the summer, and is now up +30% since January 2019.  

The initial $1k investment I put into crypto 22 months ago would be worth $1,300 had it been redirected to the S&P 500 in January 2019. +30% is not a bad return at all.  But the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio is up more than double (+66)% over the same time period.

That’s 2019. But what if I took the same world’s-slowest-dollar-cost-averaging $1,000-per-year-on-January-1st crypto approach with the S&P 500? It would yield the following:

  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2018 = $1220 today
  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2019 = $1300 today
  • $1000 investment in S&P 500 on January 1st, 2020 = $1010 today

Taken together, here’s the bottom bottom bottom line for a similar approach with the S&P: 

After three $1,000 investments into an S&P 500 index fund in January 2018, 2019, and 2020, my portfolio would be worth $3,530.

That is up +17.6% since January 2018. Compared to a +17.9% gain of the combined Top Ten Crypto Experiment Portfolios.  You can also compare against five individual coins (BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC) by using the table above if you want.

It’s small, but that tiny 0.3% difference in favor of crypto.  That’s now seven monthly victories for the S&P vs. three monthly victories for crypto, all clustered in the second half of the year. 

Conclusion:

Thanks mainly to Bitcoin, October was a good month for crypto and a good month for the 2019 Top Ten Portfolio. As traditional markets have struggled over the last few months, crypto seems to be headed in the opposite direction.  I’m looking forward to seeing if those trends hold in the last few months of a crazy year.

Take care of each other out there, stay safe.

Thanks for reading and for supporting the experiment. I hope you’ve found it helpful. I continue to be committed to seeing this process through and reporting along the way. Feel free to reach out with any questions and stay tuned for progress reports. Keep an eye out for the original 2018 Top Ten Crypto Index Fund Experiment and the 2020 Top Ten Experiment.


And the Answer is…

C) Bitmex

In October, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed money-laundering and other charges against BitMEX for illegally operating in the US.


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