Largest Gainers of 2023
The largest gainers of the year 2023 are BONK with 7,059.4%, followed by Injective at 2,851.9% and Kaspa at 2080.5%. Render Network's RNDR and Solana's SOL rounds up the top 5 with 1,032.9% and 923.8% gains respectively. Other top gainers in 2023 include: Conflux's CFX, Fetch.ai's FET, WEMIX, Stacks's STX, and Immutable's IMX.
In general, cryptocurrencies had a positive year in 2023. While most assets had quite significant gains, a few others had even higher gains that hit four digits.
This article discusses some of the best-performing crypto assets in the year 2023. It considers assets in the Top 100 category, by the end of the year.
Solana-based memecoin – Bonk tops the list with an impressive 7,059.4% gain in 2023 following a dramatic run.
Other assets that made the list include Solana’s resurgence, Kaspa, a Layer 1 blockchain, and AI projects like FetchAi and Render network.
This article was updated in January 2024 to reflect price movements of the year 2023 by Joel Agbo.
The 2022 bear market extended into the first quarter of 2023. The crypto market opened for the new year (January 1, 2023) at a total capitalization of just over $850 billion with Bitcoin trading below $17,000. On December 31 2023, the crypto market cap reached over $1.7 trillion, more than doubling in size while Bitcoin closed the year at a 150% gain. This is according to data obtained from CoinGecko. Contributing to this growth are factors general to the whole space such as institutional adoption and organic recovery from the bear market slump.
On an individual note, certain crypto assets have seen off an impressive year with gains ranging from 50% to four-digit percentage gains. While most assets tapped from the general progress of the space, the biggest gainers saw extra growth due to technological and marketing progress made in the year. Here let's discuss some of the biggest gainers from cryptocurrencies ranked in the top 100 and some factors that contributed to the growth.
Bonk (BONK) – 7,059.4%
BONK was having quite a normal year until the last quarter of the year. The dog-themed memecoin based on the Solana blockchain took off in the last weeks of October and for the next two months, it climbed to impressive positions, becoming one of the biggest memecoins by market cap only behind Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogecoin (DOGE). It also became the first memecoin in the Solana ecosystem to hit the $1 billion mark and is also the face of memecoins in the Solana ecosystem. On December 15, 2023, it hit an all-time high of $0.000034, a 15,680% rise from its lowest price, recorded just about a year earlier. Daily trading volume also peaked during this time, reaching over $1.7 billion on 16 December.
Bonk is famed for its resilient community. Just like other memecoins, it draws its push from community activities and persistent evangelism. The memecoin launched as an airdrop to the Solana community on December 25, 2022, and has since then taken over the ecosystem and spread across other networks. According to the project, Bonk is available in over 10 blockchain networks and has been integrated into more than 120 protocols including its own AMM DEX – BonkSwap.
The memecoin took off following growing interest in Solana and the ecosystem which saw Solana's price grow to over 5 times. Other projects in the Solana ecosystem also appreciated during this time. Bonk’s proposed 30 million BONK token airdrop to Solana-based smartphone – Saga – users also drew attention to itself.
On December 13, 2023, US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced that it would be listing BONK on the following day. The announcement and the listing caused a significant uptrend, which grew the value of the proposed airdrop and interest in the Solana Saga. A mutual growth in value of the memecoin and the smartphone further contributed to the price growth.
Bonk (BONK) was also listed on Binance on December 15, 2023. These events pushed Bonk to the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap, hitting the $1 billion mark and becoming the third largest memecoin, behind Shiba Inu and DogeCoin. It is the highest gainer of 2023 with 7,059.4% growth in value.
Injective (INJ) – 2,851.9%
With a 2,851.9% growth in 2023, Injective delivered one of the highest gains recorded in the crypto space in 2023 for a top 100 asset. INJ traded at $1.27 on the first day of the year and grew to over $7.40 before the last quarter of the year. Following a series of positive developments around the project, its value grew over the last quarter of the year to an annual high of $44.57 on December 24. It closed on 31st December at $37.49 per token. Trading activities generally spiked during this time as daily trading volume crossed $590 million on December 16, 2023.
Injective is a Layer 1 blockchain built for decentralized finance. In January 2023, the Injective team raised $150 million to further developments on the network and projects in its ecosystem. Injective claims to be building an ecosystem for DeFi projects on Cosmos. Thanks to projects in its ecosystem like Helix and DojoSwap, the Injective ecosystem saw an inflow of users in 2023 and a spike in financial activities on the network contributed significantly to the price action. Injective also formed a partnership with Google Cloud on October 24, 2023, for its data management project. The project team also teased technological upgrades to the network with the Volan upgrade expected to be deployed on the testnet in early January 2024.
The injective community also rallied around the project, contributing to the growth through community-led marketing programs. Other significant events that contributed to the growth include the Injective Ambassador program which integrated over 200,000 community members into the project’s marketing efforts. At the end of 2023, Injective sits in the top 35 after growing its price by over 20 times.
Kaspa (KAS) – 2080.5%
Kaspa ended the year 2023 at $0.106 per coin, a 2080.5% increase from its value on the first day of the year. It hit an all-time high of $0.15 on November 19, 2023. Overall trading data spiked during this time with peak values in the last quarter of the year. Daily trading volume crossed $170 million on November 18, 2023. Kaspa jumped to the top 100 ranks, even entering the top 30 briefly. Kaspa is the third-largest gainer amongst the top 100 ranked crypto assets.
Kaspa is a Layer 1 PoW BlockDAG with a focus on payment settlement in cryptocurrency. It claims to offer fast transaction settlement and low fees, relative to contemporary blockchain architecture. The BlockDAG narrative led by Kaspa’s breakthrough lasted for a while, with other assets in this sector including POS smart contract BlockDAG project – Taraxa – seeing impressive growth in value during this period. The Kaspa community was instrumental in the growth, Kaspa claims that its economic structure is similar to that of Bitcoin with a fair launch in 2021 and no vesting for the project team. The Kaspa community holds full control of the project.
During this period, Kaspa was listed on several top-tier exchanges, including a Perpetuals contract listing on Binance which grew the value considerably as the investors expected a spot listing could be on the horizon. On December 31st, 2023, a Kenyan store became the first merchant to integrate Kaspa as a payment option.
This is what #Kaspa was made for.— Kaspa (@KaspaCurrency) December 28, 2023
Introducing the 1st merchant in #Kenya to accept $KAS!
Watch now! https://t.co/2ftRAB3Vv6
Store: Mama Obama Shop, Kisumu-maseno
Using the #Kaspium Wallet.
Thanks to Jay Waminka our Kenyan Ambassador!
More videos are coming!#DigitalSilver…
Render Network (RNDR) – 1,032.9%
RNDR is the fourth largest gainer amongst the top 100 crypto assets in 2023, rising in value by 1,032.9%. The GPU rendering project opened for the new year at $0.40 per coin and closed at $4.55 on December 31st, 2023, reaching an annual high of $5.17 on December 27, 2023.
Render Network rents out excess GPU power to creators in need of additional GPU. Artists or other content creators can rent GPUs from miners who have excess and idle GPUs. Artists on the GPU network can trade Render token (RNDR) in exchange for GPU power from node operators. The Render network runs the Proof of Render algorithm (PoR) – a variant of the Proof of Work algorithm. Artists can confirm that payment for their art has been made before they upload their art or content.
The Render network runs on Ethereum blockchain and uses the blockchain to create hash codes for the arts and send them to the node piecemeal for rendering. Upon confirmation, the fee paid by the artists to rent the GPU power is released to the node operators from the escrow. Render has continued to build on this application in the second quarter, releasing Request for Compute (RFC) on June 16, 2023.
The RFC release in June and the events around it contributed to the price performance in 2023. However, Render’s development continued after this with an expansion to the Solana network in December 2023. Other developments during this period included the BME (Burn and Mint Emission) launch on Solana and several projects with creators.
Solana (SOL) – 923.8%
Solana closes out the top 5 gainers amongst the top 100 crypto assets in 2023. Solana opened for the year at above $9.96 following the 2022 crash and closed on December 31st, 2023, at $102. Solana hit an annual high of over $112 in December. Solana’s price grew exponentially throughout the year following a renewed interest in the Layer 1 blockchain.
Solana-based smartphone – SAGA also started shipping in 2023, where events around the mobile device also drew wider interest to the blockchain network. In terms of adoption, the Solana network’s metrics spiked during the year with tons of new dApps and smart contract tokens debuting on the network, along with the new Token-2022 standard during the year. Many existing projects also expanded to the network as they explored improved user experience.
Conflux (CFX) – 735.5%
Conflux had quite a good start to the year in 2023. Within the first quarter of the year, the token value soared to a 20x gain, going from $0.02 on the opening day of the year to $0.46 on March 20, its annual high. Trading statistics also peaked during this time with daily traded volume reaching as high as $1.2 billion. Its price consolidated for the rest of the year, but still managed to close above $0.19. it is the sixth-highest gainer amongst the top 100 cryptocurrencies of 2023 with a 735.5% growth over the year.
Conflux’s price movement in the first quarter of the year was influenced partly by a general recovery from the 2022 crash. However, Conflux had quite an eventful first quarter with partnerships with projects outside the crypto space and its high activity in the Chinese market. Conflux surged in January following its integration of Little Red Book, a Chinese social media channel. Users of the platform can display their Conflux NFTs on their social media profiles. Conflux surged further following its partnership with the Chinese Telecom for the development of blockchain-based SIM cards.
For the rest of the year, Conflux continued to build on the early success with a series of partnerships and expansions in the Chinese market. The Layer 1 blockchain network also continued to develop its network which it claims offers users cheaper fees and higher transaction throughput. The Conflux community also contributed to the price growth with assistance in the marketing and educational efforts as ambassadors and community members.
Fetch.ai (FET) – 647.8%
Fetch.ai closed on December 31st, 2023, at $0.69 per token: a 647.8% growth from the opening price of just over $0.10 per token. It reached an annual high of $0.76 on December 22, 2023. The AI project enjoyed a positive year thanks to the AI narrative and developments during this period.
Fetch.ai claims to be working on a technology that automates routine activities like booking a ride, booking a holiday space, and other human activities using AI algorithms. Fetch.ai’s agents are developed using AI principles to obtain information from the internet and are also trained to know personal preferences and be able to apply these to perform these activities on behalf of the users. An exhibition event participant displayed a personal shopping assistant developed using Fetch.ai’s DeltaV agent.
Fetch.ai claims that its recognition and execution algorithms can also be applied to many other cases and sectors including DeFi. For instance, FetchAi’s agents can detect arbitrage opportunities and trade these pairs on behalf of the users to generate significant profit.
Fetch.ai developed and marketed these tools over the years and recorded growth in value results mainly from these developments. Including a partnership with Bosch. Fetch.ai’s agents also saw significant adoption in 2023. Fetch also announced a partnership with Singularity, a decentralized AI project to improve the accuracy and intelligence of AI protocols. Fetch.ai token’s value also responded positively to this partnership. Fetch.ai is the seventh-highest gainer amongst the top 100 crypto assets in 2023.
WEMIX (WEMIX) – 607.0%
WEMIX jumped over 600% in 2023; the highest recorded price level in 2023 was $3.87 on December 08, 2023. WEMIX opened for the new year just above $0.35 and closed above $3. It is the eighth-highest gainer amongst the top 100 crypto assets.
WEMIX is a Layer 1 blockchain network that claims to nurture a large ecosystem of decentralized applications that stretch across different sectors. Applications on the WEMIX ecosystem include WEMIX PLAY, 40 Wonders, Nile, and WEMIX FI. WEMIX play is the ecosystem’s flagship gamefi dApp. According to the project, WEMIX play supports the web3 transformation of games by allowing game developers to build decentralized games and define every aspect of their games on the network. WEMIX.fi is the network's decentralized finance application, over $300 million worth of crypto assets are locked on the platform. Nile is the NFT dApp of the network, and WEMIX claims that Nile creates ‘a new civilization on the blockchain’.
WEMIX also introduced the fan token utility to the platform to allow creators to identify their loyalists and create an interactive platform for their holders through Papyrus, a communication application built on the WEMIX network.
WEMIX network and the dApp in its ecosystem saw a significant adoption in 2023 and this led to a positive spike in the value of the WEMIX token, climbing to the top 100 ranks and closing the year as one the best performers in token price growth.
Stacks (STX) – 570.3%
Stacks had a productive first quarter of the year, reflecting a 5x growth from the $0.22 token value on the opening day of the year. Stacks breached the $1 price level in March and continued its uptrend in the last quarter of the year, reaching an annual high of $1.6 on December 27, 2023, and closed the year at $1.56 a 632% growth. It is the ninth top gainer of the 2023, amongst crypto assets ranked in the top 100.
Stacks claims to scale the Bitcoin blockchain by using it as a settlement layer for its relatively higher throughput execution layer. It is a Layer 2 network for smart contracts and P2P transactions. It runs an autonomous state machine and consensus mechanism but publishes proof of transactions on the Bitcoin network. It contracts miners on the Bitcoin network to validate transactions executed on its layers through its Proof of Transfer (PoX) consensus algorithm. Stacks teased the Nakomoto release early in 2023 and has spent the year working on its delivery. According to the project, the Nakamoto release will bring significant changes to the network and the Bitcoin blockchain as well, it will allow the Stacks network to ‘write’ to the Bitcoin blockchain and open doors to many possibilities.
In addition to events surrounding the Nakamoto release, a significant contributor to Stacks’ price growth is applications in its ecosystem which have also seen a positive year generally.
Immutable (IMX) – 480.3%
Immutable X opened for the new year below $0.40 and grew throughout the year, closing on December 31st, 2023 at $2.23 per coin. Thanks to an eventful first and last quarter of the year, Immutable X’s price spiked at both ends of the year. On December 28 2023 it reached an annual high of $2.49 per token. Immutable X’s price performance is the tenth highest recorded for a crypto asset ranked in the top 100 in 2023. During this period, trading activities for the asset spiked during this time as well, daily trading volume crossed $1 billion in December 2023.
Immutable X is a zero-knowledge Layer 2 network developed for gamers. It hopes to offer a better experience to gamers by allowing developers to deploy games on the Immutable X network and enjoy higher throughput and lower transaction costs.
Immutable X’s recovery in the first quarter of the year coincides with price recovery for most other top cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin. However, during this time Immutable X also delivered significant updates to the project and also benefited from the brief zero-knowledge rollup wave led by zkSync. The peak price of the first quarter was recorded on March 19th 2023 a few days after the zkSync Era mainnet launch. Immutable X built on this momentum for the rest of the year with notable updates. The main factor that fueled the uptrend in the last quarter of the year is Immutable X’s partnership with Ubisoft, a popular video game developer. In the announcement, Immutable X claimed that the partnership would allow them to combine the expertise of both companies to develop a mainstream web3 gaming experience.
Immutable 🤝 Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab— Immutable (@Immutable) November 9, 2023
Immutable, the leading web3 gaming platform, is joining forces with Ubisoft's Strategic Innovation Lab to create a new gaming experience to further unlock benefits for players through the power of web3.
This is another significant… pic.twitter.com/x3XvHwP0Zd
This is likely to be one of the catalysts that led to rapid growth in the price of IMX.
Bonus Mention: CorgiAI (CORGIAI) – 1,959%
CorgiAI token’s value moved an impressive 1,959% in 2023; it was originally the third highest appreciation recorded for a top 100 crypto asset as of December 28 2023, although it has since dropped to top 150 at the time of writing). CorgiAI was launched on July 11, 2023, on VVS finance and traded at $0.000137 at the launch date, following a brief decline to its lowest recorded level just above $0.00004, it appreciated exponentially throughout the last quarter of the year, reaching a record high of $0.0033 on December 24, 2023. It closed above $0.0022 on December 31st, 2023. Trading statistics for the asset peaked during this time as well, with the daily trading volume going as high as $8.8 million on December 25, 2023.
CorgiAI is a memecoin launched first on the Cronos blockchain before expanding to Ethereum and Solana blockchain. It follows the trend of dog-themed memecoins, just like other notable memecoins like Dogecoin, Shiba Inu, and Bonk. CorgiAI claims to combine the meme culture with AI applications which it hopes to develop in the future. It claims to promote communal existence with the G.O.A.L (Get Out And Live) Slogan. A portion of the total supply was distributed to selected communities as part of the launch airdrop, however, the asset didn’t quite take off until it was listed on Crypto.com exchange on November 7, 2023. CorgiAI expanded to the Solana blockchain on December 27, 2023.
The expansion to Solana contributed to the further growth of the asset's value. CorgiAI also hopes to launch an NFT project under the same brand name to power its socially structured meme tradition. The AI and memecoin narratives catalyzed CorgiAi’s growth, but the CorgiAI community was also vital for the project’s marketing.
Conclusion and Methodology
Bitcoin’s ride to a 150% gain in 2023 might be the biggest news in the space, but some assets have followed its lead and delivered even higher percentage gains. We discussed some of them over the course of this article. 2023 witnessed lots of narratives which culminated in significant gains for assets in each of the sectors. The AI narrative, RWA, and DePIN have been some of the highest-grossing ones, but others like memecoins, Telegram bots, and Layer 2 projects also had a reasonable ride.
This article only focuses on assets in the top 100 ranks as of 31 December 2023.
Having said this, note that this article only discusses the price performance of selected cryptocurrencies and is not financial advice. Always do your own research before investing in any crypto asset.
Josiah is a tech evangelist passionate about helping the world understand Blockchain, Crypto, NFT, DeFi, Tokenization, Fintech, and Web3 concepts. His hobbies are listening to music and playing football. Follow the author on Twitter @TechWriting001