The cryptocurrency markets saw rapid growth in May with quite a few outshining the largest by market capitalization, bitcoin.
The leading cryptocurrency drew most of the attention, rising 67 percent from $5,265 on May 1st to $8,900 by month’s end. A considerable amount of the gains happened in the lead up to the New York Blockchain event, that took place during the second week of May.
For instance, sharp rallies in bitcoin’s price on May 11 and May 13 pushed its price tag above $7,000 and then $8,000 for the first time in over a year.
Despite logging its best monthly gain since 2017 however, BTC ranks tenth on the list of May's best-performing cryptocurrencies, according to Messari.io data.
Names like Chainlink (LINK), Dent (DENT), bitcoin SV (BSV), Holochain (HOT) and bitcoin gold (BTG) took a clear lead, each rising between 65 and 256 percent against their respective trading pairs with the U.S dollar.
The total capitalization of the broader market excluding bitcoin reflected the growth by rising to $125.6 billion on May 30th– its highest value in nearly 10 months.
The performance of individual altcoins when paired against BTC fared much worse, however.
Ether’s pairing with BTC, for example, found itself still unable to scale its 200-day moving average for much of the month, and at the time of writing has only increased roughly 2 percent since May 1 whereas its USD pair is currently up over 60 percent in the same time span.
Such a discrepancy between the performance of both pairs can be attributed to bitcoin's price rally inflating the USD value of most altcoins while devaluing in BTC terms.
That said, a number of cryptocurrencies were able to flash strong performances in both categories, case in point being the top five performers for the month of May seen below.
Top 5 Monthly Performers In May
| Price: $197 | MCAP: $3.5 billion | Percent Change: +231 percent
The crypto project aptly named ‘Satoshi’s Vision’ claims to be the “original bitcoin," by restoring BTC’s first protocol while stating that it can massively scale with increased stability.
Bitcoin SV had a remarkable run during May and was the clear leader during the second half of the month after prices broke out on May 21, bringing it back above the elusive $100 price tag.
Prices peaked at $252 according to data from Bittrex after landing itself in overbought territory and triggering a pullback, as shown by the daily relative strength index (RSI) exceeding a value of 70.
BSV/USD remains bullishly bid above a technical resistance level of $148, but a strong close below could re-expose the $90 support in the coming weeks.
| Price: $1.01 | MCAP: $364.3 million | Percent Change: +96 percent
Chainlink’s (LINK) staggering 200 percent rise in mid-May suffered a setback as the monthly close approached, but today remains 96 percent up on the month, placing it firmly in 2nd place within the top 5 performers for May.
Concerns are now building for greater drawdown, courtesy of a candle close below the 38.2 percent Fibonacci retracement line on the daily chart, exposing the neutral pivot along the 50 percent retracement at $0.84.
Prices remain bullishly bid above the 200-daily moving average (red line) and above a key resistance that became support at $0.68, but expect a pullback if its price breaks below the neutral 50 percent retracement.
| Price: $0.001747 | MCAP: $124.1 million | Percent Change: 78 percent
DENT is a token issued on the ethereum blockchain that aims to facilitate global communications via its platform and service offerings.
Its performance on the month was bullish to say the least, concluding May with a 78 percent higher price than it started and ranking as the 3rd best performer of the month.
However, recent market developments have thrown into contention the short-term bullish trend as prices dipped below a key support by the time the monthly trading period came to a close.
Similar to that of LINK, the longer term view remains bullish while trading above the 200-day moving average (red line), which looks set to complete positive crossover with the 100-day moving average on another significant upward move.
| Price: $26.71 | MCAP: $475.8 million | Percent Change: +64 percent
Bitcoin Gold (BTG), yet another bitcoin fork, changed BTC’s proof-of-work algorithm from SHA256 to Equihash, rendering specialized mining equipment obsolete in an attempt to democratize the mining process.
Traders heavily favored BTG buy opportunities in May, leading it to place as the 5th best-performing crypto this month, outperforming other notable bitcoin forks such as bitcoin diamond (BCD) and bitcoin private (BTCP).
BTG’s rising channel spanning more than four months looks set to break down courtesy of a rising wedge (bear reversal pattern) residing within the channel's most recent price action. In addition, a long upper wick on the daily timeframe is evidence strong sell pressure still exists above $30.
Should momentum falter here, a drop in value toward the 61.8 percent Fibonacci retracement line at $20.34 may be in the offing, but will remain bullish so long as the channel pattern holds.
| Price: $0.002165 | MCAP: $288.4 million | Percent Change: +74 percent
Holochain (HOT) is a decentralized application platform that uses peer-to-peer networking for processing agent-centric agreement and consensus mechanisms between users.
Beginning in late May, HOT managed to break a key resistance zone of $0.0016, carving out a further 57 percent rise in value before prices peaked at $0.0027 on May 29.
From there it has been a downhill battle for HOT with the forfeiture of the 38.2 percent retracement line opening up the neutral pivot point at $0.0018 (50 percent retracement).
If prices continue to falter, buying pressure is likely to support HOT near $0.0016 due to it being a previous resistance zone.
Disclosure: The author holds no cryptocurrency assets at the time of writing.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.