The difference a year can make! This time last year was a period of celebrations in the cryptocurrency community. Pretty much every currency was going through a major bull-run and big green candlesticks were appearing all over the markets. Almost all major cryptocurrencies were creating new record-highs on a daily basis - and Bitcoin was yet to hit the all-time high of $19,700. 

A year later, however, the picture is quite different. The markets are going through a rather dull period and almost all currencies have fallen by 60-80% from their all-time high. Bitcoin, which was over $14,000 this time last year - is currently struggling to cross $4,000. Let us take a closer look at the top 10 cryptocurrencies this time last year vs the top 10 cryptocurrencies today:

Top 10 Cryptocurrencies: First Week of December 2017

Source: Historic Screenshot from Coinmarketcap

Bitcoin was the biggest name in the markets with a market cap of $232 Billion - having almost hit $14,000 at this point in time. A couple of weeks later, Bitcoin would soar to hit its all-time high.

Ethereum was a constant number-two to Bitcoin, standing in at a market cap of $42 Billion, priced in at $445. A month later, Ethereum would surpass $100 Billion in market capitalization and hit an all-time high of $1,400 before the bloodbath of 2018 begins.  

Another interesting note here is how well Bitcoin Cash had been performing this time last year. A currency which was barely four months into the markets, Bitcoin Cash had surged to the third position of the markets, with a market cap of $21 Billion. 

The fourth-largest cryptocurrency was IOTA, with a market cap of $11.5 Billion - which was all set to hit its all-time high of $5.17 in a few weeks. IOTA has since taken quite a hit, as it currently trades at $0.23. 

Ripple’s position is one of the most surprising ones here. This is just before Ripple went on its massive growth rally which upped the price of the currency by 36,000%. Notice the price of Ripple at this point in time: $0.23 - which is all set to hit $3.84 shortly. Ripple’s market cap was soon to get a major boost, even taking over Ethereum at one point in time in the weeks that followed. 

Litecoin was ranked in at #6, followed by privacy-centric cryptocurrencies of Dash and Monero at #7 and #8. Bitcoin Gold was another interesting name which had been making a decent progress in late 2017. Following a number of forks of the Bitcoin blockchain, Bitcoin Gold is perhaps one of the most successful forks after that of BCH. At number 10 was NEM (XEM) - almost a month later, NEM would be in the midst of a major controversy as the Coincheck hack would result in over $500 Million worth of NEM being stolen. 

Let us now take a closer look at the top 10 cryptocurrencies of December 2018

Top 10 Cryptocurrencies: First Week of December 2018

Source: Coinmarketcap

Bitcoin is the only name which continues to maintain its position in this list. The currency has always been the number 1 cryptocurrency by market cap right since its debut. However, the market cap has been struck down to quite a low - from $232 Billion to just $60 Billion.  The price too, has taken a strong beating: from almost $14,000 to below $4,000 in a year. 

At the second position is Ripple, which was ranked fifth this time last year. The currency has replaced Ethereum from its number-two position for well over a month now. On an interesting note, if you take a year-on-year comparison of Ripple’s market cap, Ripple is still $3 Billion ahead of where it was this time last year. 

Ethereum has slid down to the third position, having lost a significant portion of its market cap. The currency had a market cap of $42 Billion this time last year, and was priced in at $445, but currently trades at $95 and has a market cap of just $9.6 Billion. 

At the fourth position is Stellar (XLM), which was ranked in at #14 this time last year - and had a market cap of $2.1 Billion. Stellar continues to have a similar market cap but has taken a significant leap in the rankings table, as it now stands among the market heavyweights. 

Standing in at the fifth position is Tether (USDT), which has grown at an impressive pace. The currency was ranked in at #21 this time last year. However, due to the recent price drop and market bloodbath, it appears that investors are showing more faith in stablecoins than ever before. Tether’s market cap has grown from $830 Million last year to $1.8 Billion this year. 

Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV stand in at #6 and #7 positions respectively. A little over a year after it was created, Bitcoin Cash split into Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV after a hard fork which took place in November 2018. Had this fork not taken place, Bitcoin Cash would have had a market cap of $3.6 Billion, placing it at the fourth position - however, since the split, the market cap has been significantly impacted. 

EOS, which was ranked 19th this time last year, is currently the eighth largest cryptocurrency by market cap. However, the currency’s market cap has actually shrunk as opposed to last year. EOS, at this point in time last year, had a market cap of $1.99 Billion - but currently stands at $1.6 Billion. 

Litecoin took a major beating over the course of the year, falling down to #9 in the rankings. At #10, stands TRON - which has made the most impressive jump in this list. TRON, at this point in time last year, was ranked in at #41 - and had a market cap of $256 Million. The currency has shown an impressive growth even in adverse market conditions - as it now stands in at a market cap of $889 Million - and is the 10th largest cryptocurrency.