January's Top Large Cap Crypto? Not Bitcoin or Ether...

Which coins saw big price gains in January? Data shows it wasn't a great month for the more name-brand assets.

AccessTimeIconFeb 2, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Dec 12, 2022 at 1:53 p.m. UTC

January turned out to be a difficult month for the cryptocurrency markets.

Bitcoin, the world's largest currency by market capitalization, dropped close to 30 percent, meaning its market capitalization shaved off billions after a torrid end to 2017. Meanwhile, excitement seemed to fade as the total value of all cryptocurrencies taken together topped out at $830 billion on Jan. 7, ending the month below $500 billion.

However, amid the gloom and doom, a few small-cap tokens managed to put on a good show.

For instance, names like VeChain, NEO, Populous and Stellar dominated the list of gainers among the top 25 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization (as of Jan. 31).

Here's a closer look at their performance.


Boasting an association with enterprise firms in Chinahttps://www.pwccn.com/en/press-room/press-releases/pr-150517.html, VeChain has been aiming to use an open blockchain network to revolutionize the internet of things (IoT) since late 2016.

But despite the partnerships, it hadn't garnered much attention throughout 2017's cryptocurrency boom, trading under $1 as recently as December, up from as low as $0.20 in November.

That seems to have now changed, as the blockchain recently announced it will be rebranding VeChain (VEN) into VeChain Thor (VET/THOR) this month, a plan of action that may have sparked the interest of investors eager to chase gains in a cooling market.

To date, the project has garnered attention from Chinese state media and has also partnered with the China National Tobacco Corporation to develop and implement blockchain solutions.



Sometimes referred to as "China's ethereum," neo has aimed to build a smart economy in much the same way as its larger competitor, though without the same enterprise fanfare.

Still, the retail market has shown a strong interest. Launched in Dec. 2016, neo weathered the storm created by China's ICO ban in September last year to rebound with a strong start to 2018, possibly due to its innovative features. (Notably, it differs from ethereum in a sense that it can't fork.)

The cryptocurrency is down 30 percent from the all-time high of $194.70.



Populous, an invoice and trade financing platform built on ethereum, aims to establish itself as a top player in the $3 trillion alternative business lending market.

Its token PPT surged in value last month reportedly due to increased interest among the investor community about its platform beta.

Lottery balls image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.