Large-cap cryptos may have had a rough ride in February, but their so-called small-cap and mid-cap competitors didn't fare much better.
While bitcoin ended February with marginal gains, and the likes of litecoin and lesser-known DigixDao shined, names like ICON (ICX), NEM (XEM) and cardano (ADA) took a beating as the market turned south, CoinDesk data shows.
In fact, a majority of the top 25 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization suffered losses.
Quite clearly, these tokens may have been struggling to win back traders, a fact made clear by the broad-based crypto market recovery from Feb. 6 lows, which appears to have encouraged the crypto faithful to reinvest (even if the retail market has been scared off).
- Monthly performance: -53.78 percent
- All-time high: $12.04
- Closing price on Feb. 28: $3.55
- Current market price: $3.68
- Rank as per market capitalization: 23
While ICON aims to create a network of blockchain communities that can freely interact, its markets could have arguably used more interaction in February.
The blockchain's ICX token fell 53.78 percent in February and declined Friday to a two-month low of BTC 0.0003280 on exchange provider Binance. The ICX token rose to a record high of BTC 0.0009194 ($10.08) on Jan.30, possibly due to surge in investor interest ahead of ICON team's first annual summit (held on Jan. 31).
Still, the broad-based crypto market sell-off pushed ICX to a low of $2.40 on Feb 6, and in the subsequent days, the token failed to regain poise.
Its bitcoin exchange rate is now well below the low of BTC 0.0003911 seen on Feb. 6.
- Monthly performance: -48.8 percent
- All-time high: $2.09
- Closing price on Feb. 28: $0.40
- Current market price: $0.40
- Rank as per market capitalization: 13
NEM's XEM token has retraced close to 80 percent of the record rally it saw from July to January. Prices dipped below $0.40 on Feb. 6 and were seen trading around the same level at the end of the last month, according to CoinMarketCap.
Though, those who have been following the news might not be shocked.
The token was involved in a huge cryptocurrency heist in January, when hackers stole around $530 million worth of the digital asset from Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck.
Also, rumors have been doing the rounds that NEM will serve as an underlying platform for Venezuela's PTR (Petro cryptocurrency). It is widely believed that will be a game changer for NEM, but so far, Venezuela's decision to put its faith in NEM has not been able to put a floor under XEM.
- Monthly performance: -39.81 percent
- All-time high: $1.33
- Closing price on Feb. 28: $0.312581
- Current market price: $0.293047
- Rank as per market capitalization: 7
Cardano, designed to provide a new decentralized economy and to democratize financial markets in emerging markets, has seen solid gains since launch last year, winning favor with traders and developers. (It's now ranked second as per Github activity.)
Such a meteoric rise has bolstered comments from its team, with founder Charles Hoskinson (ethereum's former "CEO") proclaiming the platform will someday outperform both bitcoin and ethereum. However, price action suggests otherwise.
The cryptocurrency fell 39.81 percent in February, and was last seen trading at $0.28 on Binance. The daily chart shows ADA has created a large head and shoulders bearish reversal pattern with neckline support at $0.24.
A daily close below $0.24 will confirm a long-term bullish-to-bearish trend reversal and open doors for a drop to $0.10.
Balloon and tack image via Shutterstock