Most and Least Volatile Cryptocurrencies, Rated for 2018

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Whether you’re looking for a safe, long-term asset or hoping to make a killing before Christmas, volatility matters. At the same time, it’s a metric rarely used by most cryptocurrency sites.

Here, we have gathered the 10 most volatile and the 10 least volatile out of the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market cap, as sourced from CoinMarketCap.com. Each currency is measured by its average daily rate of change over three periods of time: the past 12 months, the 24 hours prior to this writing and the winter market correction as measured from November 1 through February 28.

Currencies less than one year old were left off this list as they are too new to establish a baseline of stability. Further, as this list measures volatility, it has been assessed in absolute values. A negative change was treated the same as a positive one; the only metric was the volume of daily change averaged over the relevant period.

Least Volatile Cryptocurrencies

CryptocurrencyYears TradedPrice Variance: 1 YearPrice Variance: November - FebruaryPrice Variance: 1 DayMarket CapScoreTotal Volatility
Tether30.30%0.58%0.10%$2.7 Billion4.2Most Stable
Bitcoin53.73%5.37%0.45%$109 Billion4.5Most Stable
Ethereum34.21%5.39%2.39%$19 Billion3.8Most Stable
Dash44.74%6.08%1.63%$1.6 Billion3.6Moderately Stable
Binance Coin14.79%8.02%0.59%$910 Million3.05Average
Litecoin54.88%6.81%1.96%$3.1 Billion3.7Moderately Stable
Monero45.04%6.68%0.62%$1.7 Billion3.35Moderately Stable
Zcash25.22%6.25%1.44%$568 Million2.9Average
Ethereum Classic25.25%7.51%1.19%$1.1 Billion2.95Average
XRP55.33%8%2.74%$10.7 Billion3.2Moderately Stable
Decred25.34%6.88%0.58%$313 Million3Average

Single year price variance is the most important factor in our analysis at 35 percent. This is to correct for the distorting effects of short-term variations in favor of long-term trends. It is not, however, the only metric we used because many other structural factors go into both evaluating and predicting stability.  Even single-year stability may not reflect the future performance of an asset, even though it is a powerful indicator.

The second most important factor, at 20 percent, was a currency’s stability during 2017/2018’s cryptocurrency decline. Corrections like this happen when a market has been overinflated and typically result in prices moving closer to actual, and stable, reflections of asset value.  Single assets which do not move much during a major correction are likely ones which were already priced close to actual value originally. As a result, consistent pricing through this November – February selloff is a strong indicator of a currency that is already correctly valued and which will therefore likely retain a relatively consistent price.

Single day pricing made up 10 percent of our analysis. While high volatility over a single day can reflect an unstable asset, this is an indicator prone to externalities. Outside factors such as overall market movement or emotional trading can heavily influence an asset’s single day value far more than inherent volatility.

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Most Volatile Cryptocurrencies

Items To Be RatedYears TradedPrice Variance: 1 YearPrice Variance: November - FebruaryPrice Variance: 1 DayMarket CapScoreTotal Volatility
Tron16.93%12.25%1.90%$1.2 Billion2.35Moderately Volatile
0x16.94%8.52%3.92%$298 Million2.4Moderately Volatile
DigiByte47%9.50%3.22%$251 Million2Moderately Volatile
Populous17.08%8.90%3.49%$131 Million1.75Most Volatility
Stellar47.10%9.22%0.05%$3.6 Billion2.6Moderately Volatile
Bytecoin47.75%8.70%1.18%$374 Million2.55Moderately Volatile
Verge48.12%12.46%1.94%$194 Million1.5Most Volatility
Waltonchain18.27%9.91%4.67%$133 Million1.1Most Volatility
Metaverse ETP18.70%8.93%9.96%$173 Million1.3Most Volatility
Nano18.95%13.66%2.40%$263 Million1.25Most Volatility

Years traded came to another 10 percent of our analysis. As any asset matures, it’s more likely to find its feet in the marketplace. The early days of trading for a new product, including a cryptocurrency, can involve substantial price swings as investors try to find a steady value. The longer a product has been traded, the more likely it becomes that traders have agreed on its value and generated a relatively stable position.

Finally, market capitalization came to 15 percent of our analysis. As with the weight of one-year price variance, this was to help correct for the outsized impacts to which small or short-term markets can be prone. The larger an asset’s market capitalization, the more trading and money it takes to meaningfully change its price. A small and lightly traded asset, on the other hand, has far more potential volatility because even a handful of trades can change pricing.

Volatility is a key metric for absolutely any investment, and particularly cryptocurrencies. It’s likely that volatility will remain high for the time being as this market continues to find its role both as a consumer product and an investment class. Traders should pay attention to how often and wildly their investments fluctuate and build their portfolio accordingly.

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