That’s how well Bitcoin fares compared to altcoins

During a bull market, many altcoins can make far more profit than Bitcoin itself. Solana, Polkadot, FTT and Avalanche have outperformed BTC by more than 10x in 2021 in some cases. But what about the long term?

Who survived the bear market after 2017?

Anyone who has been around since 2017 or longer can certainly remember some of the big names from back then: NEM, Qtum, Verge, Nano, Lisk, OmiseGO or ICON, Stratis, Ark and Siacoin. However, they no longer played a significant role in the 2021 bull run. The “blue chips” among the Altcoin projects such as Ethereum, Ripple or Cardano were already represented at that time and will have to face the comparison with Bitcoin in this analysis – with surprising results.

Let’s start with one of the biggest surprises: Ethereum. Anyone who bought the low in December 2018 has made more percentage gains up to the all-time high in November 2021 than with Bitcoin, but from all-time high to all-time high ETH loses a whopping 43 percent against BTC measured in satoshis.

Ethereum vs Bitcoin. Source: Tradingview

Let’s continue with the #2 from December 2017, XRP. Things are looking a lot worse for the altcoin here. XRP had its all-time high against Bitcoin in May 2017. Compared to May 2021, it went down drastically by a full 84 percent, and the trend is still falling.

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XRP vs. Bitcoin. Source: Tradingview

It was even worse for the then No. 3, Bitcoin Cash (BCH). From November 2017 to November 2021, almost -98 percent was recorded here. The comparison for ADA is somewhat milder. Then No. 4 by market cap, while it has made fantastic gains against the US dollar from 2020 to 2021, the relative high against Bitcoin in August 2021 is still 29 percent lower than 2017.

Bitcoin outperforms (almost) all of them!

And there is also no winner in sight in the next places of the top performers of the time: Litecoin has been continuously losing Satoshi value since its all-time high in 2014 and is 95 percent lower at the time of going to press. IOTA, NEM, DASH, Stellar, Monero and EOS – they all lose between 99 and 84 percent against the leading digital currency.

Which Altcoin performs better than Bitcoin?

The list of losers compared to Bitcoin could be continued for a long time. But now to the winners of this comparison. Because they exist, altcoins, which have been able to increase their satoshi value since 2017.

  1. binance Coin BNB has gained a whopping 572 percent against BTC from January 2018 to May 2021, and at press time is still 472 percent higher than it was then. This makes BNB one of the best-performing assets in the crypto space and has already proven and sustained this strength through a bear market.

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binance Coin vs Bitcoin. Source: Tradingview
  1. The joke Dogecoin (DOGE), started as a pastiche of Bitcoin, has actually always been in a sideways range against BTC since its creation in 2013. In early 2021, however, this altcoin experienced a massive pump and has gained over 1,000 percent since January 2018 from its BTC all-time high in May. Since then, however, the Satoshi value has fallen again by 77 percent, and Elon Musk’s hype seems to have been behind this incredibly strong increase more than real substance.
  2. The “Oracle” Chainlink has significantly more substance. From January 2018 to August 2020, LINK was able to gain an astronomical 1,620 percent against BTC. After reaching this climax, however, a downward trend set in, but it is still up 240 percent since then.
Chainlink vs. Bitcoin. Source: Tradingview
  1. Filecoin (FIL) was still able to increase its satoshi value in 2021 compared to January 2018, but at the time of writing it was down a full 93 percent.
  2. AAVE has also had a bullish performance in 2021, marking its all-time high against BTC in May 2021, up 455 percent from January 2018. Currently, however, AAVE has dropped back to almost exactly this level.
  3. A similar, but somewhat stronger chart picture can be seen at THETABTC. From January 2018 to June 2021, it surged a whopping 890 percent against BTC. Since then, however, 78 percent has gone south again and more than three quarters of the overperformance has thus been given up again.

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Theta vs Bitcoin. Source: Tradingview
  1. Enjin Coin (ENJ) can also look back on a very stable performance against Bitcoin and is thus one of the more solid projects in the crypto space. Certainly, this altcoin benefited from the NFT hype of the past year. From January 2018 to November 2021, it surged 145 percent against BTC. After that, however, it also fell significantly again, one is currently moving 34 percent below the ATH of 2018.
  2. The final altcoin in this long-term high-performing round is MANA (Decentraland). From January 2018 to November 2021, BTC was able to outperform by 428 percent. The correction since then is 61 percent, but this project still looks comparatively strong.


Each bull run has its own outperformers among the altcoins that eclipse Bitcoin. Very few, however, have enough substance to be able to hold out in the longer term or even through a bear market like 2018 to 2019. The top gainers from 2021 will only have to face this test now. And with a look at history, the prognosis is daring that very few will pass it.


This article does not constitute investment advice, but merely technical chart observations regarding the past. Past considerations are no guarantee for future developments. The author holds several of the cryptocurrencies mentioned in this article.

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