Top Crypto Trends and Stories of 2024 (so far)by@sergey-baloyan
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Top Crypto Trends and Stories of 2024 (so far)

by Serge BaloyanApril 10th, 2024
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Memecoins are the most profitable crypto narratives of the first quarter of 2024. BRETT, WIF, Book of MEME, and Dogecoin20 are among the top performers. Memecoins outpaced the next best-performing crypto narrative, Real World Assets (RWA), by 4.6 times.
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Q1 2024 brought some fascinating shifts in the market, with certain sectors outperforming others. Here's a rundown of the most profitable crypto narratives that dominated the first quarter of 2024, along with their implications.

And if you run a crypto/DeFi/NFT project and you need a piece of advice on marketing and community building, you can [message me](mailto: [email protected]) directly.

Here is a Q1 2024 breakdown:

Memecoins: The Unexpected Champions

Who would have thought that memecoins would take the crypto world by storm in Q1 2024? With an astonishing average return of 1,312.6% across the top 10 memecoins by market cap, these playful tokens left other narratives in the dust.

Source: Cointelegraph

The standout performers were BRETT, which skyrocketed by 7,727.6%, and the viral sensation dogwifhat (WIF), which surged an impressive 2,721.2%. Newcomers like BOOK OF MEME (BOME), cat in a dogs world (MEW), and Dogecoin20 (DOGE20) also gained significant traction, highlighting the explosive growth of the meme coin sector.

This meteoric rise in memecoins outpaced the next best-performing crypto narrative, Real World Assets (RWA), by 4.6 times. Other narratives like AI, DeFi, and DePIN also saw moderate to strong gains, but none could match the sheer dominance of memecoins in Q1 2024. The surge in meme coin popularity attracted the attention of influential figures like Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, who sees the potential for these playful projects to contribute positively to the ecosystem and global community.

However, the inherent volatility of memecoins remains a significant concern, as highlighted by a recent Solana meme coin pre-sale debacle. Nonetheless, the Q1 2024 performance of memecoins has been nothing short of remarkable, solidifying their status as the most profitable crypto narrative of the quarter.

Implications: Memecoins demonstrate the power of community and virality in the crypto market. While they may be volatile and risky, their potential for massive returns has captured the attention of investors.

Real-World Assets (RWAs): Solid Returns

Coming in second place behind the meteoric rise of memecoins, Real World Assets (RWAs) generated an average return of 285.6% in Q1 2024.

Standout Performers

- MANTRA (OM): Surged 1,074.4%, solidifying its position as a leading RWA token.

- TokenFi (TOKEN): Gained 419.7%, demonstrating the growing investor appetite for RWA-based crypto assets.

Source: X

Outlier Performance

However, not all RWA tokens shared in the overall sector's success. XDC Network (XDC) bucked the trend, declining by 15.6% during the quarter.

Implications: RWAs continue to show promise as they bridge the gap between traditional finance and the crypto world. Their strong performance indicates that investors are increasingly interested in tokens backed by real-world assets. However, This outlier performance serves as a reminder that, even within the promising RWA narrative, individual token performance can vary significantly based on factors such as project fundamentals, market conditions, and investor sentiment.

AI Narrative: Triple-Digit Triumphs

The AI narrative secured the third-best performing crypto theme in Q1 2024, with an average gain of 222.0%.

Top AI Crypto Performers

  • AIOZ Network (AIOZ): Soared by an impressive 480.2%, cementing its position as a leading AI-focused crypto project.
  • (FET): Climbed 378.3%, demonstrating the growing investor appetite for AI-powered blockchain solutions.

Implications: The AI narrative's success highlights the growing importance of artificial intelligence in various industries. As AI continues to transform businesses and create new opportunities, the demand for AI-related cryptocurrencies is likely to increase.

DeFi and DePIN: Moderate but Steady

DeFi Narrative

The DeFi narrative achieved moderate returns of 98.9% in Q1 2024. This performance was partly driven by the Uniswap (UNI) fee switch proposal, which generated renewed investor interest in the DeFi sector.

Source: BeInCrypto

DePIN Narrative

The DePIN (Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks) narrative started the quarter in the red but finished strong with 81.0% gains. This category was led by the standout performances of:

• Arweave (AR): A leading DePIN project that saw significant price appreciation.

  • Livepeer (LPT): Another DePIN token that delivered strong returns during the quarter.
  • Theta Network (THETA): A DePIN project that also contributed to the overall gains in this narrative.

Implications: DeFi and DePIN show that decentralized finance and infrastructure solutions are here to stay. Despite facing regulatory challenges and market volatility, these sectors continue to grow and attract investors.

Layer 1, Gaming, and Layer 2: Room for Improvement

The Layer 1 (L1) narrative returned 70.0%, with Toncoin (TON) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) as the top performers. GameFi saw respectable gains of 64.4%, while Layer 2 (L2) solutions lagged behind at 39.5%. Stacks (STX) and Mantle (MNT) were the strongest contenders in this category.

Implications: While L1, gaming, and L2 solutions didn't perform as well as other narratives in Q1 2024, they still offer significant potential. Improvements in scalability, interoperability, and user experience could help these sectors catch up and thrive in the future.

To draw a conclusion, the first quarter of 2024 was all about the memecoin revolution, with RWAs, AI, and DeFi also making significant strides. The comparatively lower performance of L2s and GameFi serves as a reminder of the challenges in capturing investor attention in the fast-paced and unpredictable crypto market.

P.S. Check out my previous articles on AI at HackerNoon: