2019 Global Crypto Market Review

A look back on the global crypto market in 2019 when altcoins, DeFi, and governments came into play.

OKEx
OKEx
Jan 9 · 5 min read

Summary

  • Bitcoin beat major asset classes in 2019 despite the fluctuations.
  • Ex-BTC market cap ended flat, but smaller altcoins outperformed.
  • Key themes to watch: Halving, DeFi, CBDC, and more.

Bitcoin outshines major asset classes

Bitcoin outperformed major asset classes massively in 2019 despite a volatile market condition. The performance highlights bitcoin’s character as an effective hedge of global risks and stagnation, as well as a high return risk-on asset.

Figure 1: Bitcoin vs. Macro Assets Yearly Returns (Source: Tradingview)

Less volatile but still…

Price volatility remains one of the focuses for crypto investors, and our data suggested that BTC has been less unstable on a monthly average basis, although it has still fluctuated. OKEx BTCUSD Index produced a monthly range of 1342.61 in December, that makes the 2019 monthly range average to 2653.183. The number is somewhat lower than the 2018 average but higher than in 2017. From that aspect, BTC prices have been less swing in 2019, although BTC largely remained highly speculative.

Table 1: OKEx BTCUSD Index Monthly Ranges (Source: OKEx)

Altcoins back to where it started

It’s a very different story in the altcoin space in 2019. The Crypto Total Market Cap Ex-BTC started at USD 52.66 bln at the beginning of 2019. It reached over USD 140 bln in mid-June, and that’s when BTC hit the year high of 13330 levels. However, as the prices of BTC retreated, the Ex-BTC Market Cap gave up most of its gains in 1H19 and finished the year at USD 55.90 bln.

Figure 2: Crypto Total Market Cap Ex-BTC (Source: Tradingview)
Figure 3: LINK beat major altcoins in 2019 (Source: Tradingview)

Conclusion

There was quite a lot of exciting development in the crypto space in 2019. DeFi, CBDC, China, Libra, bitcoin ETF proposals, and regulatory challenges, these are some of the key themes that shaped the cryptocurrency space in 2019.



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OKEx Blog

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World’s Largest Spot & Futures Cryptocurrency Exchange

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