It seems like every day for the past month or so there’s been a cryptocurrency that is putting in big gains on the day or week. There certainly seems to be momentum for Bitcoin and the entire digital asset sector heading into the new year, with the potential approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs helping drive prices. With that in mind, let’s discuss ten digital assets that have the most momentum heading into the new year.
Closing Out 2023 With a Bang
Below we’ll discuss ten crypto coins and tokens that experienced something of a renaissance in the latter stages of 2023 and are heading into 2024 with momentum. For each digital asset we’ll discuss its recent price action and give reasons why it has bullish momentum. Other than the first asset, these aren’t in any particular order.
As you might expect, the cryptocurrency with the most momentum heading into 2024 is Bitcoin. Bitcoin doing well is allowing every other asset on this list to move up in price, and when spot Bitcoin ETFs are finally approved, it will be extremely interesting to see what happens to the market. Its deflationary nature is becoming increasingly attractive in this time of extreme and out of control inflation.
Bitcoin fell down as far as $15k USD during late fall 2022 amidst the collapse of FTX exchange, but Bitcoin has shown amazing resilience, up well over 100% in 2023 and now trading over $40k USD. Anyone who bought at the bottom has already more than doubled their money, while believers who have kept buying BTC using strategies like dollar cost averaging are also likely seeing serious profit. Trading around $44k with eyes towards $48k then $50k and beyond, it will be interesting to see how its price action shakes out over the rest of December and into 2024.
Following Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum is the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, trading at over $2.3k USD per ETH, and up over 80% on the year. Ethereum successfully switched from a proof of work consensus algorithm to a proof of stake one in September 2022. This switch dramatically reduced the network’s energy consumption and prepared it for future growth as the blockchain continues to be developed.
The popularity of Ethereum layer-2s such as Polygon, Optimism, and Arbitrum help ensure there will always be demand for ETH as it is the underlying utility token of those secondary layers. ETH still has some ways to go to get back to its all-time high, but with Bitcoin performing well, ETH is likely to continue to follow.
No top 10 digital asset by market cap has had a better year than Solana, not even Bitcoin. The blockchain network known for its transaction speed and finality has made gains of over 500% on the year, trading at over $100 USD a piece after starting 2023 at under $10 USD per unit.
Solana was doing extremely well in 2022 until the FTX collapse, and was one of the most oversold assets to be a part of the debacle. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that it was able to regain so much value. Solana does still have a long way to go to get back to its all-time high of over $250 USD, but it’s certainly heading into 2024 with wind at its back.
One of the biggest drivers of Solana’s gains this year was their new agreement with Visa, wherein Visa will use the Solana network for stablecoin payments of USD Coin (USDC).
The project that Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskinson left to work on, Cardano (ADA) is one of the most rigorous blockchain projects being developed. Cardano has low transaction fees, and its transaction speeds are increasing as updates are implemented. One of the best features of sending transactions on Cardano is the ability to bundle endless tokens into one transaction and still pay one low transaction fee.
For example, you can include ADA, multiple NFTs, and multiple different Cardano native tokens in one transaction and still just pay under 10 cents for it. This is in contrast to a system like Ethereum’s where you’d have to send ETH in one transaction, each NFT in a separate transaction, and each token in a separate transaction, and with separate transaction fees.
Cardano is focused on decentralized identity solutions, and one of their new projects Midnight (DUST) will be interesting for regulatory compliance purposes. Cardano started 2023 around 30 cents USD and recently jumped up to over 61 cents, but ADA has a long way to go to get to its all-time high of over $3. It certainly has momentum on its side though.
Polygon (MATIC), is the most popular layer 2 blockchain network built on top of Ethereum, meaning Polygon is an ERC-20 token. Polygon has most of the same apps that are available on Ethereum, but with cheaper fees and faster speeds, meaning you can use something like Uniswap at much lower costs.
Polygon has also signed deals with brands like Reddit, Starbucks, and Instagram, over the past couple years and seems to be the blockchain of choice for future products such as NFTs for major brands.
When it was accused of being a security in the lawsuits against Binance and Coinbase, Polygon’s price took a significant hit. However, MATIC has recovered well throughout the rest of the year, getting back to the price it was at to begin it. It still has a long way to go to get back to its all-time high, meaning there’s certainly room for growth.
Chainlink is the oracle darling of the crypto community, and it has seen a fairly dramatic price increase in 2023. LINK is up over 150% on the year and trading at over $14 USD a piece after starting the year around $5 per LINK. LINK’s momentum began in the last week of October, following an announcement from Vodafone Digital Asset Broker (DAB) of a proof of concept on trade document transfer with Web3 services platform Chainlink Labs, Sumitomo Corporation, and InnoWave.
The three companies used Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) with DAB to provide security and interoperability across Internet of Things (IoT) devices at the edge of a network. The concept showed the potential for secure, trustable, and traceable data for use in smart contracts and even blockchain and AI applications. Real world application of LINK gives it a lot of momentum heading into the new year.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Though it hasn’t experienced the price movement that any of the other assets on this list have, Binance Coin has some momentum on its side heading into 2024. With Changpeng Zhao settling with the US Department of Justice and resigning, Binance as a company and BNB as an asset can start moving forward again.
BNB hasn’t done well on the market since the legal issues first arose earlier this year, but it has maintained its place among the top 5 digital assets by market cap the entire time. Binance is still the number one exchange by trading volume in the world, and with BNB providing trading discounts and the Binance Smart Chain ecosystem being fueled by it too, there’s no reason to expect BNB to do anything but well in the coming year.
Even before the collapse of FTX, Avalanche was struggling to maintain its price in 2022. AVAX began 2022 at a price of over $100 USD a piece but was only $11 a piece when 2023 began. Since then, AVAX has been extremely dormant, even still trading around just $12 at the beginning of November 2023. But since then it has absolutely pumped up and is now trading at over $41 a piece. It still has some way to go to get back to its all-time high of over $146 USD, but it’s got momentum on its side heading into 2024.
Ripple Labs finally won their long fought legal battle with the SEC in summer 2023. The legal victory proved that XRP was not a security as it had been accused of being by the SEC, and thus the SEC had no legal grounds to go after Ripple Labs.
Ripple had been delisted by many exchanges over the years of these court battles because it was labeled as a security. However, with the victory, the asset’s price shot up, moving 47 cents USD to over 80 cents USD within 24 hours of the announcement. Its price has since settled around 62 cents USD in the months following.
The SEC’s appeal of the court’s decision has also been denied, and they’ve also had to drop their charges against Brad Garlinghouse and Christian Larsen, two of Ripple’s executives. Though XRP didn’t shoot up again with this news, it has good momentum heading into the new year, and they have a new agreement with Uphold exchange to bolster cross-border payment infrastructure.
Tron went up more than 90% in 2023. It started the year trading around 5.5 cents USD and is now over 10 cents per TRX. Justin Sun’s project has performed well through the year. Perhaps surprisingly, the Tron blockchain has the second highest total value locked (TVL) of any blockchain network, only behind Ethereum. There’s over $7 billion in digital asset value locked into the Tron network.
Apart from being a fast network with low fees, Tron is the most popular place for stablecoins, especially USDT. Ethereum has stablecoins worth $65 billion in market cap, but Tron has $45 billion, with 91% of that being USDT. This makes the Tron network perhaps the most liquid place to use USDT, and since USDT is the most popular stablecoin, it makes it an attractive network for anyone who uses it. The network is averaging almost 5 million transactions a day according to the Tronscan block explorer, showing the momentum is more than just price action heading into 2024.
With the potential approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs looming, the entire digital asset market really has momentum heading into 2024. The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs is also likely to lead to other crypto assets such as Ethereum getting spot ETFs as well. This could start an avalanche of new money into the sector in the new year, and it will be great to see how things shake out for crypto prices as a result.