Dismal? Not quite, but the crypto markets had a rough ride in February.
What began with a sell-off in bitcoin, one that pushed the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies to a 10-week low of $276 billion, has ended in a seeming recovery, with the total value hitting $450 billion Thursday to end February trading.
However, the numbers don't exactly tell the whole story. Comparing performance to January, the market saw a decline of 8.5 percent month-over-month, and a decline of 45.78 percent from its 2018 record high of $830 billion.
But that's not to say there weren't gains to be had. Bitcoin (BTC), the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, saw a "V-shaped" recovery, while fifth-place litecoin notched monthly gains.
Still, it was the lesser-known cryptocurrencies that performed best amid the broad-based gloom and doom, suggesting that after a flurry of retail trading to end 2017, enthusiasts are perhaps once again the dominant market force.
- Monthly performance: +136 percent
- All-time high: $597.66
- Closing price on Feb. 28: $555.44
- Current market price: $559
- Rank as per market capitalization: 25
DigixDao (DGD), an ethereum-based token, gained a staggering 136 percent last month, rising 90 percent in the last week alone to hit an all-time high of $597.66 Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap.
Courtesy of the meteoric increase, DGD is now the 25th largest cryptocurrency by per market capitalization, putting into large-cap territory.
For those new to asset's climb up the charts, the team behind the project are creating a new token called DigixGold (DGX), which will be backed by physical gold.
Holders of DGD can vote and approve project proposals and will receive a pro-rated share of DigixDAO's transaction fee on Digix Gold, denoted in DGX gold tokens. It is worth noting that DGD cannot be bought with fiat currencies and going forward the DGX token can only be bought with ethereum's ether token.
- Monthly performance: +24 percent
- All-time high: $375.29
- Closing price on Feb. 28: $202.9
- Current market price: $208
- Rank as per market capitalization: 5
Litecoin clocked a high of $251.90 on Coinbase's GDAX exchange on Feb. 20 as investors bought in to make free money via the litecoin cash (LCC) hard fork.
However, airdrop aside, gains could be associated with Litecoin Founder Charlie Lee asserting his belief that the cryptocurrency could overtake bitcoin cash in market cap this year. Further, LTC was also in the limelight due to Litepay launch.
Currently, LTC is trading at $205 on GDAX, having witnessed the bull exhaustion near the stiff resistance zone of $230-$240 earlier this week. Meanwhile, LCC (created on Feb. 20) is trading at $1.39 - down 31.13 percent in the last 24 hours.
- Monthly performance: +18.3 percent
- All-time high: $28.35
- Closing price on Feb. 28: $18.62
- Current market price: $19.22
- Rank as per market capitalization: 19
Having rallied more than 140 percent from the Feb. 6 low of $7.39, OmiseGo's ICO token ranks third on the list of gainers among top 25 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The project signed a deal with the Thailand government last month develop a payment system, as well as an identification system.
Also, it is one of the many ethereum-based projects that have come together to establish the Ethereum Community Fund (ECF).
Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Coinbase.
Litecoin image via Shutterstock