The month of December continued on with the bullish charge from November and crypto investors were hopeful of more of the same going into January as well, which turned out to be a cautiously bullish month for the market overall.
With more gainers than losers in January, the market started preparing to dissect the information coming from the SEC regarding the legal framework and final approval of Bitcoin ETFs, which has long been an anticipated tailwind among crypto enthusiasts.
As January comes to a close, it has become evident that it was a month for some of the smaller projects, such as the likes of PENDLE and SUI, which were among the top gainers of the past 30 days.
Looking forward to February and what it has to bring, the Crypto Fear and Greed Index has somewhat stabilized at 56/100, showing a neutral outlook as the market anticipates a major bull run starting from May, while the Main Street of the United States is bracing for a slow recession, according to various equity analysts.
Crypto analysts from Weiss Crypto Investor Review newsletter argue that the market is showing hidden signs of Bitcoin bullishness as traders steady themselves for new developments over the coming months.
Top 5 Gainers
January saw the likes of Pendle and Sui take the market by storm, which has proven to be a period of “less is more”, with smaller cryptocurrencies taking over the bullish momentum started all the way back in November.
Double-digit growths were not uncommon among cryptocurrencies with market caps of $500 million or less.
Pendle (PENDLE) +96%
The only crypto that came close to closing January on a triple-digit gain, Pendle investors have had a month to remember.
Pendle is a yield derivative layer for DeFi applications, allowing investors to lock in yields and shield themselves from market volatility. Pendle closed the month of January with a gain of 96%, which is one of the highest monthly gains recorded by the coin since its ICO in 2021.
Pendle has proven to be an especially lucrative long-term investment, as the coin was trading as low as $0.05 in July 2022 and has since reached a market price of more than $2.5.
A price correction is likely in the short-term future, as investors cash out on their long-term gains.
Sui (SUI) +66%
Web3 infrastructure provider Sui was once again among the top gainers of the month. The coin has had an amazing run since the September-October period, having gained over 300% up until the start of February.
SUI is also a relative newcomer to the global crypto market, as the coin had its debut in May of last year, which makes it difficult to fully evaluate its annual performance. However, it is evident that after a major dropoff since the ICO, Sui has found its footing and has grown to a higher price than it was during the ICO.
A future price correction seems likely for Sui, especially after such a surge from the lows of October 2023. Short-sellers could find SUI to be an attractive target in the short run, before the market heads into a bullish direction.
Ronin (RON) +45%
Ronin has been one of the top-performing coins of the past 30 days. Ronin is an EVM blockchain that allows developers to build games using player-owned economies.
As the crypto market enters into a long-term bullish trend, the demand for new crypto games increases considerably, allowing Ronin to take advantage of more market opportunities.
Investors should be pleased by RON’s performance in January, which has seen the coin gain 45% in market value over the period.
The price of the coin in the coming months is likely to go through a correction after such a sharp rise. However, as the market dynamic shifts from neutral back to bullish, RON could be on the verge of another bullish run.
Celestia (TIA) +21%
Celestia, which is a modular data availability network and infrastructure provider, is a relatively new player on the global crypto market, having entered exchanges in November, 2023.
The month of January has been memorable for TIA investors, as the coin closed out the month with double digit growth — gaining 21% in market value. Whether this gain in price can be a consistent trend on the coin remains to be seen. It must be noted that Celestia’s market cap since its ICO has reached over $2 billion, which shows solid growth over the past 3 months of trading.
Favorable market trends and upcoming ETF developments can increase the demand for TIA’s services, triggering another bull run on the coin. In the meantime, however, any further price increases can be attributed to market speculation.
Pyth Network (PYTH) +15%
The market data provider for smart contracts, Pyth Network, has had a broadly positive month in January, gaining over 15% over the past 30 days and taking its place among the top gainers of the period.
With over 400 data feeds, 45+ blockchains and 250+ apps, Pyth Network is showing significant growth and the investors in its coin are taking notice. However, PYTH is still a relatively small player on the crypto market, with a market cap close to $0.5 billion. The past performance of the coin is difficult to measure, as PYTH only had its ICO in November, 2023.
However, with a growing business and new client apps, Pyth continues to grow and market dynamics can more than likely boost the coin into new highs in the future.
Top 5 Losers
Among the top losers of January were previous investor favorites that gained massively during the month of November. The likes of FTT, GALA, Algorand, and Filceoin, were some of the top performers of the past few months and as the market treads with more caution, investors are cashing in on their gains.
FTX (FTT) −36%
The FTX token has been one of the top gainers in November, after which the coin gradually found its footing and the price started to stabilize.
January has been more harsh for FTT investors, as the token lost over 35% of its market value during the period. Despite such a steep drop, the annual performance of the token still remains positive at a 8% gain.
However, a major issue surrounding FTT, after the FTX debacle, has been the lock-up of FTT tokens into circulation, which increases the risk of volatility for FTT holders. The long-term future of the project remains uncertain and traders should be cautious when dealing with the token.
Filecoin (FIL) −35%
Another coin that has seen an increase in market activity over the past few months, Filecoin has endured a difficult month in January, losing 35% of its market value over the past 30 days.
This comes at a sharp contrast to the end-of-December explosive gains posted by the coin, which saw the price jump from $5.8 to $7.70 over the course of a couple of days. As of this writing, Filecoin is trading below the $5 mark and investors will be hopeful of more tailwinds coming in the future to turn the tables around and return to a bullish trend.
GALA (GALA) −34.5%
Cryptocurrency game platform GALA has long been one of the most active currencies on the market, with frequent major swings in either direction. January has been difficult for GALA holders, as the coin dropped over 30% in value, which adds up to a 60% loss over the year.
New investors might see this as an opportunity to enter the market and buy up GALA at a discounted price before the market regains its bullish momentum. Whether this actually happens remains to be seen, however, analysts are broadly optimistic of a bullish run on the crypto market coming soon.
Algorand (ALGO) −34%
Decentralized blockchain ecosystem Algorand has long been a popular cryptocurrency among investors. However, January has been a difficult period for ALGO, which saw its market value decline by almost 35%.
The annual loss for the coin is comparable to the monthly loss at 33%, which puts ALGO firmly among one of the worst-performing coins of this past year. However, December’s performance indicates that January might be a short-term pullback and Algorand could be poised for a bullish run in the coming months.
The coin has dropped from $0.245 in December to $0.159 as of this writing, which is a steep decline for a period of little over a month.
Bitcoin SV (BSV) −30%
Bitcoin SV was launched in 2018 after a hard fork of Bitcoin Cash. The end of 2023 was especially eventful for BSV, as the end of December saw the price of the coin more than double from $50 to as high as $110.
January has been a different story, however. BSV has lost 30% of its market value after a gradual sell-off coming from the holders that captured the December price jump. Any positive piece of news surrounding Bitcoin could propel BSV back into the bullish momentum, which is what most investors will be eyeing in the near future.
Overall, the month of January was an important but less flashy month for crypto investors and as BTC ETFs come online and investor capital enters the market, February could be the start of a gradual rise in market momentum, culminating in May.
As for the gainers and losers of January, smaller crypto projects were the drivers of value creation this month, while the top gainers of the November boom have shown signs of decline as investors cash out on their gains.
The Fear and Greed Index also shows some patience among the investing crowd. With the traditional finance and investment professionals warning of a tough and bearish year ahead for listed equities around the world, crypto and the regulatory environment surrounding the asset class could be the driving force for bullish market momentum across 2024.
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