2022 was a devastating year for cryptocurrencies, especially when looking at how they performed in 2021. Coming from the highs of November 2021, when most top cryptocurrencies reached their peak valuations of all time, things started to turn to worth very shortly, and by January of the same year, we could already see that we were entering a rough bear market.
Because of this, when we take a look at the best and worst performing cryptocurrencies of 2022, there are no best performers, except one. Because of this, when saying the best performers, what we mean in reality is that cryptocurrencies had the least bad performance among the top 30 cryptos. This should not be surprising, as after reaching these high valuations in what looked like a very short time period, the fall was expected, but this type of fall was certainly a surprise. Things even got worse, when the second largest crypto exchange FTX filed for bankruptcy, and people started to question other exchanges as well. Most crypto exchanges were spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertisements and marketing, even when cryptocurrencies were struggling a lot, this fueled the fall even further, as beliefs for these exchanges were falling and falling.
So which cryptocurrencies suffered the least and which have suffered the most? This is the question we will be answering today in this crypto market overview of 2022, by taking a look at the top 5 best and worst performing cryptocurrencies of 2022. The following report is prepared together with the investfox.com analytical team.
Top 5 best performing cryptocurrencies
We don’t know what is more surprising, the fact that only one crypto inside the top 30 has shown positive gains last year, or the fact that any cryptocurrency has shown positive results. This cryptocurrency that we mention is OKB, while the closest crypto to it ended the year with an 8.6% loss.
Considering how the year went, this 8.6% loss can be seen as positive, as there are cryptocurrencies that have managed to lose ten times more. So now, let’s take a look at these best performing cryptos individually.
The only cryptocurrency inside the top 30 that has shown gains in 2022 is OKB. This is a native cryptocurrency of OKX exchange, the same way BNB is for Binance. There is no single reason as to why OKB has seen this growth in 2022, and it can be simply attributed to its utility for those that trade on the OKX exchange.
This growth does not mean that OKB had the best year possible, as it had its ups and downs.
Following the first market downfall, OKB was losing its value, and when UST, then popular stablecoin lost its peg and dragged its sister coin Luna with itself, OKB took a massive hit as well and fell as low as $9.
OKB also had a downward spike during the collapse of FTX, as people became skeptical of cryptocurrencies operated by exchanges, but ever since then it has recovered, and at the closing of 2022, OKB was trading $26 and continued its growth into 2023 as well.
Leo Token -8.6%
The second-best performing cryptocurrency of 2022 is LEO Token, which despite being the second-best token last year, still managed to lose 8.6% of its value.
This shows us how bad of a year this has been for cryptocurrencies in general, but Leo Token can hold its head high, as compared to some other tokens, the losses they suffered are nothing compared to them.
For those that don’t know, LEO is a utility token created by iFinex and is used on platforms operated by them, such as the crypto exchange BitFinex. Just like OKB, there is no one outstanding reason as to why the LEO token did not suffer huge losses, and the way 2022 went for this token is thanks to the utility it brings and its wide range of usage across all iFinex platforms.
Once the FTX collapsed, LEO also took a hit, just like OKB, but soon after Bitfinex released confirmable information about their holdings to the public, proving that they have reserves and are not operating like FTX. This helped this token a bit, and thanks to that and its utility, it ended the year on a good note compared to almost every other token.
The third best-performing crypto of 2022 is Tron, also known as TRX. Tron is a fully decentralized DAO, that aims to help the full decentralization of the internet with blockchain technology and different Dapps operating on this blockchain.
Having lost 11% of its value in 2022 is nothing to be happy about, but considering the year in general, there is a bright side to it. After the initial collapse of crypto at the start of 2022, Tron started to grow up until June 13, and then suddenly fell on June 14th.
After this Tron started to follow the general market trend and became quite volatile, and then suffered another blow when FTX collapsed. But ever since then, Tron started to pick up the pace, and by the end of the year, it was on the rise, which continued into 2023 as well. Currently, Tron is still on the rise, and this year alone it already grew by around 14%.
Quant, which is the 30th largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization and barely made this list, is the fourth best-performing cryptocurrency of 2022.
This year has been plenty uneventful for quant which resulted in Quant losing its value, but this uneventfulness has also helped it to stay afloat and don’t lose way more. Quant is a network that helps the digitalization and decentralization of businesses.
They help banks and other businesses move to cryptocurrencies and integrate them into their operations. Up until October 2022, Quant had an up and down year with prices going up and down, but then once October came about prices rose, thanks to a few partnerships Quant acquired, but then soon started to fall once again, which resulted in a negative year in general.
But at the end of the year, Quant started to grow once again and continued this growth in 2023 as well.
The last best performing cryptocurrency on our list is Monero, which despite being the 5th best performing token inside the top 30, still managed to lose almost a fourth of its value.
Monero started off the year pretty well, as it managed to gain most of the value it lost during the December/early January crash cryptos suffered the year prior.
But ever since reaching its highest valuation of the year at the end of April, Monero started to lose its value quite fast and in just two months it had managed to lose more than 50% of its valuation.
From that point onwards, Monero started to go up and down and went into a volatile state.
During this period it still managed to gain some value bit by bit and managed to end the year with losses of -23.3%. For those that don’t know, Monero is a cryptocurrency aimed to create anonymity, and transactions made using this crypto will keep both sender and receiver of the funds anonymous.
Top 5 worst performing cryptocurrencies
Now we move to the worst-performing cryptocurrencies of 2022, where most of the cryptocurrencies managed to lose more than half of their value. Considering the fact that 2022 was a horror year for cryptocurrencies, the numbers these tokens have lost should not be that surprising. With Solana losing more than 80% of its value, this list is filled with well-known tokens inside the top 30. So without further ado, let’s take a look at which tokens performed the worst last year.
To say that Solana had a bad year, it would be saying it nicely. Once hailed as the killer of Ethereum, Solana had the worst year among top cryptocurrencies and it was caused by a combination of many different factors.
The first factor that went into play was how unreliable the network was during the first half of the year when the Solana network was overloaded for multiple days each week and transactions were not going through.
This combined with the general bear market that was going on, caused Solana to fall from $170 all the way down to $30, from April to June.
From that point onward, Solana remained at around $30 – $40 and could not grow, and one of the reasons for that was Ethereum’s update and removal of Ethereum mining. When Ethereum moved to proof-of-stake protocol, one of the aces Solana had over Ethereum was gone, and they managed to lose quite a bit of users to Ethereum.
But what put the final nail in Solanas coffin in 2022, was the FTX collapse. FTX was one of the major holders of Solana, and when word got out of FTX’s wrongdoings and spending of customer funds, Solana took a massive hit, and some experts even started to suggest that FTX was propping up the price of this token, with their activities. With all of this combined, Solana managed to lose over 94% of its value and ended the year trading at just under $10.
The second worst performing crypto of 2022 was Avalanche, which became the prey to the general bear market and the collapse of Terra Network. Avalanche was one of the fastest-growing tokens in 2021 when it managed to grow from $11 to $130 in 4 months but as good of a rise as it had, the fall was even more bitter.
At the start of the year, when crypto winter came about, Avalanche went into a highly volatile state and prices were going up and down. But the biggest blow it took was when Terra Network and its two biggest cryptocurrencies UST and Luna lost almost all of their value, as Avalanche had close ties to this network.
During this time avalanche dropped all the way back to a $16 valuation, before gaining some value back by August, when it was trading for $30, But from that point onward, it started to lose value once again and ended the year trading for just $16 and a loss of just above 87%.
Another big token that took a massive hit in 2022 was Polkadot. Just like every other token on this worst performers list, Polkadot had massive growth in 2021, when its value grew by 500% in a span of 4 months, but then started to fall and it started the year on a very bad note already, managing to lose almost 50% of its then peak value in 2 months.
Polkadot is a blockchain network that allows different networks and blockchains to communicate with each other and exchange data and make transactions. The reason as to why prices fell so much, can not be attributed to one problem, and it was mainly caused by the bear market and other major crypto collapses that happened in 2022.
The first hit it took was during the Terra Network collapse when the price went from $23 all the way down to $6. From that point onward, the price of Polkadot remained in that range and was trading for around $5 – $6, up until November. From then, the token took another small hit from the collapse of FTX, and it ended the year trading just above $4.
Cardano is the only cryptocurrency on the list of worst crypto losers of 2022, that despite losing over 80% of its value, still remains the 8th largest cryptocurrency on the market.
The reason for this downfall is the general bear market and unlike some other cryptocurrencies here, Cardano simply became a victim of Bitcoin’s downfall.
Cardano started the year on a loss when it went from trading for $1.35 down to $1.13 in just 10 days, but then it started to recover a bit and in one week the price was up to $1.60. But from that point onward it started to go on a downfall and prices went from $1.60 down to $0.80.
But during the end of March and beginning of April, just like Bitcoin, Cardano recovered a bit and prices went up to $1.20. This was the last bright spot for Cardano in 2022, as from there it started to lose value throughout the whole year, without having any significant rises in price, even for a bit. Cardano ended the year trading for $0.24 and a loss of over 80%.
Chainlink started the year on a good note. After the prices crashed from the high of May 2021, Polkadot went into 2022 on a good note, with its price going from $19 to $27 during the first 10 days of the year.
But then Chainlink joined the direction of the market and prices started to fall. In just 2 weeks, from January 10 to January 24, the price of Polkadot fell from $27 all the way to $15. After this Polkadot went into volatility up until April with prices going up and down, but failing to break the $20 resistance.
From April Chainlink started to follow Bitcoin‘s fall and by May it was trading for $7. Being in a rough bear market, Chainlink failed to recover and from that point, it was trading in the range of $5 – $7 and ended the year with a value of $5.44.
As we can see from just the numbers, it was a catastrophic year for cryptocurrencies. With only one crypto inside the top 30 gaining value last year, it has been one of the harshest crypto winners ever, and by the looks of things, it is still continuing in 2023.
This crash is even harsher when taking into consideration the growth crypto had in 2021 and how good things were looking.
We mentioned the worst and best performing cryptocurrencies in this list, but we also need to mention cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, XRP, Dogecoin, and Matic, all inside the top 10 cryptocurrencies. Each of these tokens also lost between 50% – 60% of their values and completed the worst crypto winter we ever had.