The world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization stayed the dominant player in the digital assets sector for much of this year. Still considered the smart – if rather safe – option by the market-savvy, Bitcoin posted a year-to-date (YTD) return of 164% as of Thursday, December 21st.

Meanwhile, Ripple Labs’ payment token XRP enjoyed modest and appreciable gains this year, with its YTD return up by 83%. This is seen as the result of a decision in its favor for a case brought before the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC.) The decision also bolstered interest in the token, as many crypto enthusiasts found themselves looking into the workings behind XRP.

Stellar’s token XLM was another big winner for this year with a YTD of 73%. This was something of a surprise, seeing how Stellar spent much of 2023 gearing up for Soroban, a major smart contract upgrade slated for the first few months of the new year.

Up and Coming

But those big three winners aren’t the only ones who had a good showing in 2023. INJ, the token created by fintech developer Injective Protocol, grew its value 32-fold from its initial value, making it one of the fastest Layer 1 tokens.

Likewise, GPU rendering network Render’s RenderToken found its value skyrocketing by a whopping 972%, following the network’s migration from Ethereum to the Solana platform. Consequently, Solana also posted major growth – 833% – for its own SOL token.

On the Other Hand…

Not everyone had a good 2023, though; where there are winners, there are also losers. Such was the case of the acrimonious collapse of Terra’s stablecoin Luna which never recovered from the downhill slide that began in May of last year. It’s now considered the textbook example when it comes to legacy failures in the digital assets scene.

Then, you have ETHW, a token from Ethereum spin-off EthereumPOW. When Ethereum’s primary blockchain officially became a proof-of-stake blockchain thanks to the Shapella upgrade which enabled staking withdrawals, most people lost interest in ETHW and kept their focus on the original.