For anyone who was paying attention, 2017 was a great year for digital currencies.
In the space of 12 months, the total market value of these digital assets surged more than 3,000 percent, according to CoinMarketCap data.
While the broader market’s performance was impressive, this article lists the five best-performing currencies, as well as the variables that fueled their sharp rise.
Ripple’s XRP token climbed more than 35,000 percent in 2017, additional CoinMarketCap figures show.
Much of this gain took place near the end of the year, where XRP’s value skyrocketed amid speculation of rising adoption and a possible listing on Coinbase.
The rumors that Coinbase might list XRP triggered some “huge buy orders,” analyst Marouane Garcon stated recently.
NEM, which stands for New Economy Movement, saw its digital currency XEM climb nearly 28,000 percent in 2017.
This platform, a smart asset blockchain, provides many different potential uses, ranging from enabling instant payments to creating a whole new digital currency.
In September, the NEM.io Foundation announced a partnership with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), which is tasked with fostering business activity in the Southeast Asian country. Since this organization helps promote collaboration between high-tech businesses, the partnership could spur greater use of NEM in the region.
Ardor is an innovative blockchain platform that leverages so-called “child chains,” individual blockchains that can, in turn, be leveraged by organizations.
These child chains allow the entities using them to create their own blockchain environments and still utilize the features of the Ardor platform, which include decentralized phasing, trading, and voting.
Last year, Ardor’s token, which trades under the ticker symbol ARDR, rose nearly 17,000 percent.
Stellar, a blockchain that can be used for cross-asset transactions, gained more than 14,000 percent in 2017.
This technology, which is similar to Ripple but decentralized, can process transactions in a matter of seconds.
In October, Stellar and IBM announced a partnership with KlickEx Group that aimed to expedite cross-border payments.
Ether, which is used to fuel the Ethereum platform, climbed nearly 9,400 percent in 2017.
The digital currency enjoyed these sharp gains at a time when there is significant enthusiasm surrounding Ethereum, as well as the applications that can be built on the platform.
The platform’s smart contracts, which automatically fulfill contractual clauses when certain requirements are met, have also generated positive sentiment.
What can you learn from all this? For starters, adoption is crucial. If people use a platform, its digital currency is far more likely to rise in value.
Further, positive news can be quite helpful. NEM and Stellar both announced partnerships in 2017, which coincided with the sharp gains in their respective digital currencies.
Finally, keep in mind that a rising tide lifts all ships. In other words, if the broader digital currency markets attract significant investment during a certain year, this could cause many individual currencies to rise in value.
Digital currency investing is a complicated endeavor. Before making any particular investment, be sure to conduct thorough due diligence. There are many resources at your disposal, but one good way to stay abreast of the latest developments is to subscribe to the Bitcoin Market Journal newsletter.