Perspective on Altcoins

Today I would like to do a fun little exercise. Well, I think it's fun because I'm a crypto lover. If you don't like crypto, then you should probably stay well clear of my blog!

I spoke about the silliness of altcoin bashing last week, so I'm not going to delve into that again. Suffice to say: I believe in the cyclic nature of markets, and that altcoins will rise again. There ARE signs that that rise has started (meaning that altcoins have bottomed), but that has yet to be confirmed.

For today's exercise I'm going to look at the following hypothetical situation:

Say I put $100 into the top 20 altcoins. What would they all be worth if they then got back to their All Time Highs?

I will be using the CoinGecko top 20. I know that most people prefer CMC, but I like the added functionality that CoinGecko offers. For example: with CoinGecko I can easily see how far each coin is from its All Time High (ATH).


Below is a table which I constructed to display those figures. Remember, in each case we are investing $100 at current prices, and then seeing what will happen if that coin gets back to its ATH.

1 BTC $214,59
2 ETH $800,00
3 XRP $1 162,79
4 BCH $1 315,79
5 USDT $132,28
6 LTC $613,50
7 EOS $694,44
8 BNB $194,17
9 BSV $199,20
10 XLM $1 265,82
11 ADA $2 857,14
12 TRX $1 219,51
13 XMR $862,07
14 LEO $200,80
15 OKB $168,07
16 LINK $168,92
17 HT $156,99
18 ATOM $206,19
19 NEO $1 785,71
20 IOTA $1 960,78

It's true that one shouldn't read too much into this: the playing field is not entirely level (for reasons such as some coins only being launched after the peak of the bull market). But what it does serve as is a semi-standardised benchmark indicator of potential ROI.

Yes, we all know that BTC is safer than altcoins, but I personally believe in chasing some higher potential ROI at the expense of a little more risk, and even a little bit of extreme ROI at the expense of massive risk. Note: being the top 20 coins, this table does not represent the "massive risk" section of the market - well..... that's debatable, we'll get back to that shortly.

Those are the numbers, the raw stats. Let's now dig into them a little deeper:

At a mere $214.59 return on a $100 investment, BTC looks positively pedestrian when compared to the average - and it is. This is the entire point of investing in altcoins instead of in BTC, that and helping many small projects to become part of our everyday lives - thereby greatly enhancing them.

However, and this applies to all the coins, these returns are only to get back to ATH. They do not include further market growth beyond that point! Only the staunchest bears would believe that BTC has already reached its ultimate ATH. Another term for such people is "idiots who should be ignored". As the ultimate crypto store of value, I believe that every portfolio should have BTC in it. I would consider 10-20% to be a good figure, though that is largely down to personal taste (and my own percentage is way outside that bracket at the moment!)

Moving lower down the table we see ETH returning $800. Wow, that's really not a bad potential investment! Ethereum remains the biggest and most popular crypto platform by far, and it is really the only one with many high quality DApps already running on it. No, your 100 casino DApps on your favourite chain are not "high quality". Even NEO - and you all know how much I love NEO - can boast only a small handful of good DApps at this stage. But Ethereum has hundreds of them, even if it is also packed full of trash coins which should, and probably will, die. The ETH team is also still very active and the platform continues to be developed, albeit that it misses target dates almost as badly as Cardano does! 😄 In summary, Ether is a fairly secure investment with possibly much higher returns than what BTC can offer.

You all know my feelings on Ripple. I mean XRP. I mean Ripple. Apparently XRP is Ripple when Ripple does good things such as forming major partnerships; but XRP is not Ripple when Ripple is criticised for e.g. being centralised or being a company full of ex-bankers. Oh how I hate Ripple and everything it stands for! BUT: like most dodgy investments, Ripple still has a LOT of support. I do not doubt that Ripple will once again see very good returns when the market runs. However, I could never condone investing in such centralised, anti-Satoshi rubbish - so if you want to hold Ripple, then you will be doing so without my support! The returns you may get on Ripple are better than those of ETH, but I would chose to put my money on ETH instead!

BCH and LTC remain viable alternatives to BTC, especially for smaller transactions. I believe that there is a strong future for such coins, a future in which BTC is the store of value, and such coins (you can add DASH, NANO etc to the mix) become the de facto mediums of exchange. It is interesting that BCH offers far higher returns than LTC when looking at their respective ATHs. I surmise that this may be because people once perceived BCH as possible legitimate competition for BTC, whereas LTC was only ever a coin that worked alongside BTC. The two coins are pretty even in my eyes.

Note Tether sitting between BCH and LTC, with a possible return of $132.28! I find that rather amusing! 😆

At $694.44 EOS is not looking as good as ETH. This should serve as a mild warning to EOS investors. I have long said that EOS is good, but over-hyped. I stand by that statement.

At $194.17, BNB is deceptive. As far as exchanges go, Binance is by far the most well known. Crucially, its ROI to ATH is less than that of BTC, which on its own should make the decision to buy BTC instead of BNB a simple one. But BNB is a special case, and I caution against writing it off. While my favourite exchange is KuCoin (and its KCS token), I can not ignore the fact that Binance is also launching programs, projects and platforms left, right and centre. It's very popular and I have great faith in its CEO. CZ has a brilliant mind and a comprehensive understanding of blockchain technology, business principles, international affairs and also a general sense of what a powerful agent of positive change cryptocurrencies can become.

I assess that if any blockchain company can become the next "Amazon", "Google" or "Microsoft", then Binance has the best chance of being that company. It is even possible that as other cryptocurrencies grow, so Binance may one day pass even BTC in terms of market cap! Don't laugh, just think about it...

BSV is a joke, as is Mr I-did-not-pay-now-I'm-back-in-court Faketoshi. It is sad that such people even exist, they are an ugly scar on the beautiful face of crypto. 'Nuff said.

Of the top 10 coins, XLM offers the second best potential returns (after BCH) on its climb back to ATH. Personally I consider it a little over-valued, but I far prefer it to its greatly overvalued and far more dodgy cousin XRP.

With the best potential returns of the lot (an incredible $2857.14 for a $100 investment) ADA does look like a prime choice! However, I urge you to remember what I have often said: that US investors are too fixated on US crypto in general, and also that ADA is way behind where it should be: many promises, no deliveries. Other platform coins have since moved far past it, even if market cap has yet to catch up to that fact.

At $1219.51 for $100, TRX is looking strong! It's not that high up that you would expect it to fall down the market cap ladder, the potential returns look good and Tron is a good product. True, like most of the platforms, it also lacks a large number of good DApps - but those will probably come with time. Justin Sun is a dynamic young entrepreneur with enviable levels of charisma, I think there is a high chance that he will lead Tron to success.

XMR has been quiet lately, which is not always a good sign. But I still see Riccardo Spagni on every episode of "Magical Crypto Friends" and he still seems enthusiastic. While they still have issues to iron out, Monero remains the biggest name in privacy coins, and that is NOT something to ignore! A potential return of $862,07 to ATH is only slightly better than that of ETH, but one could argue strongly in favour of privacy coins, based on the way that crypto regulations are going. With exchanges blocking ZCash (which I no longer endorse), it is clear that privacy coins are a threat to the financial centres of the world. If they do succeed, then XMR may well be the most successful of them all.

LEO has a relatively low potential return (very similar to that of BTC), easily explained because it is so new. However, it is the coin of BitFinex, and I have no love for that exchange. I'm still waiting for the whole dodgy BitFinex/Tether monster to come tumbling down. I'm happy to have closed my account there a long time ago, and I have no intention of having anything further to do with that exchange. I suggest avoiding it.

OKB is the coin of another big exchange, though honestly it isn't one of my favourites and there are other exchange coins which I would much rather hold. There's nothing inherently wrong with it though, and like LEO, its price is not reflective of it's potential, because it was only launched after the demise of the 2017/18 bull run.

To an impartial outside observer, the LINK figure of $168.92 should be very troubling! I keep saying that LINK is way too hyped at the moment. It's possibly the most over-hyped cryptocurrency of all (at the moment). LINK is not a new coin and it's not even a special coin in any way. Investors should be very worried that it is hovering so close to its ATH figure. I like LINK, but I would NOT buy it now!

HT is almost identical to OKB for the purpose of this post. I wouldn't put money there.

ATOM has low returns back up to ATH. But Cosmos has been around since 2014 so it... wait. What's that you say? Cosmos is a new coin? Oh yes, you're right. Cosmos is a 2019 coin which (to me) looks remarkably similar to Blocknet (BLOCK) - a coin which has been around since 2014. Why is that relevant? Because BLOCK has a market cap that is more than 130 times smaller than that of very similar Cosmos. What does that mean? It means that ATOM is all new coin hype. No thanks.

NEO's looking solid with a potential return of $1785.71 for its $100. It's well known how much I love NEO, and with the current blockchain developments in China (which I have been predicting since the China FUD in 2017), I love it more than ever.

IOTA is a dark (and largely forgotten) horse, sitting at the bottom of the list, but with a figure of $1960.78 per $100 should it make it back to ATH. That's the second highest in the table, and should not be ignored. I know there have been some criticisms of it, but I honestly haven't looked deep enough into IOTA lately to know if they are valid or not. As with everything in crypto - you should do your own research.


I believe that good altcoins (note: GOOD altcoins) stand to provide much better returns than Bitcoin will in the near future. Of course with the chance of greater returns comes greater risk. How much risk you are willing to expose yourself to will depend largely on your investing style and current financial situation - I recommend being safe rather than sorry. Having said that, the mere fact that somebody chooses to invest in crypto indicates that they probably have a pioneering spirit (it's still early days for crypto) and personally I already see BTC as a minor "risk". If BTC works, then it's logical that altcoins should work too, thus I invest a decent amount of money in them. As of yesterday, 43.2% of my crypto portfolio is in Bitcoin, which is actually almost the highest percentage it has ever been, a consequence of me holding my alts through the bear market.

I continue to invest slowly and carefully, some in BTC, some in altcoins (though I also keep missing the dips!). In the long-term I believe that altcoin investors will be richly rewarded, and I will continue to invest accordingly. Remember that the table above only deals with the top 20, there are many more coins out there. I suggest that people do their best to make decisions based on facts as opposed to emotional attachment. Crypto is often a sentiment game, but sentiment can't keep a coin going indefinitely.

Yours in crypto

Bit Brain

"The secret to success: find out where people are going and get there first" 

~ Mark Twain

"Crypto does not require institutional investment to succeed; institutions require crypto investments to remain successful" 

~ Bit Brain

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