Ripple started 2021 on a bad note. In late December 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against Ripple and its executives, stating that if they had engaged in an unregistered securities sale.
The argument of the SEC was that XRP was not a token but security. The lawsuit led to XRP being delisted on some exchanges, including Coinbase. Moreover, the value of XRP dropped drastically. While the lawsuit is still ongoing, XRP has shown some slight recovery in prices.
However, the performance of Ripple this year has been overshadowed by other cryptocurrencies that have created record highs. XRP is yet to reach its all-time high of above $3, despite the strong bull market this year.
Some of the tokens that have outperformed XRP in 2021 include the following:
1) Solana (SOL)
One of the tokens that have completely outshined XRP this year is Solana. The Solana network is the fastest blockchain in the world because it uses a proof-of-history protocol. This protocol allows the Solana network to gain a high level of scalability by offering low fees and fast transaction processing.
Solana's yearly gains currently come in at over 10,000% because of the growing adoption of its blockchain. The TVL of the blockchain is currently at over $14 billion, which is a major gain from around $400 million in the mid of this year.
Solana is currently ranking as the 5th largest cryptocurrency with more than $67 billion in market capitalisation. This is a notable gain, given that in mid this year, Solana was ranking below the top 10 coins.
XRP's market cap currently stands at around $47 billion, showing that Solana has outperformed the coin that has clinched the top-10 position for most of the year.
While XRP is yet to reach its all-time high, Solana continues to attract much interest from investors, and its record high of $241nwas achieved last month. Moreover, Solana was recently added to Grayscale's digital assets investment trust.
Considering all of the above factors, it is definite that XRP's gains do not come close to what SOL has achieved this year. Moreover, Solana is expected to continue growing, which is not the same case for XRP, which is still shadowed by the SEC case.
To learn more visit our Investing in Solana guide.
The other cryptocurrency that has also outperformed XRP this year is Dogecoin. In fact, Dogecoin has outperformed most, if not all, of the cryptocurrencies this year. Dogecoin started the year with a major uptrend, which is not what one would say for XRP.
Moreover, when XRP was trying to recover from a major tumble in late December and early January, Dogecoin made notable gains and pushed towards the top 10 rankings. At some point, Dogecoin surpassed XRP in market cap by becoming the third-largest cryptocurrency in market capitalisation.
What is surprising about the case of Dogecoin surpassing XRP is that the former is a meme token with zero use case. Dogecoin was created during the early years of Bitcoin to mock the primary cryptocurrency. However, earlier this year, it gained the endorsement of Elon Musk, and it shot to the top 10 listing and reached an ATH of $0.75.
On the other hand, XRP has a strong use case because of the underlying Ripple blockchain. Ripple is a payments network that facilitates the transfer of payments across borders. The Ripple blockchain has also been adopted by major payments networks, but this has not allowed it to reach the level of popularity that Dogecoin has seen.
While XRP is currently ranking higher than Dogecoin by market capitalisation, the same cannot be said for the token's adoption level for everyday payments. Dogecoin is currently the third-most utilised cryptocurrency for payments in the real world after Bitcoin and Ethereum.
To learn more visit our Investing in Dogecoin guide.
The other cryptocurrency that has also outperformed XRP this year is Cardano. Cardano has dominated the top 10 crypto ranking listing for a long time, just like XRP. However, unlike XRP, Cardano has not fallen below this list this year, and it has made notable gains during the same period.
Unlike XRP, Cardano hit an ATH during the last month of Q3. This was after the network implemented the Alonzo hard fork upgrade to bring smart contracts into the network. From this upgrade, Cardano reached an all-time high of around $3.25 because of increased utility for the ADA token.
Cardano is still ranking higher than XRP in terms of market capitalisation. Cardano ranks as the sixth largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of over $53 billion, while XRP ranks as the seventh-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of more than $47 billion.
At some point this year, Cardano ranked as the third-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin and Ethereum, and it held these levels for a while. This has not been recorded with XRP this year; hence Cardano's performance has definitely outshined what XRP has managed to do.
To learn more visit our Investing in Cardano guide.
While Ethereum is not a major competitor of Ripple, its gains this year have still outperformed XRP significantly. As XRP was fighting the effects of Ripple's case with the SEC, Ethereum was finding a strong footing in the decentralised finance sector, and it has emerged as the top network for DeFi.
Ethereum and XRP are some of the oldest cryptocurrencies in the market. The two cryptocurrencies have made major gains over the year, but in 2021, Ethereum outshined XRP.
Unlike XRP that retreated below the top 10 ranking at some point this year, Ethereum has clinched on to its position as the second-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. The adoption of the network by DeFi developers has created a strong use case for it, given that it now ranks as the best store of value because of its growing utility.
Ethereum's gains this year stand at around 670%, which is a big difference with XRP's yearly gains that stand at around 50%. Moreover, while the two tokens were launched during the early years of the crypto market, Ethereum has dominated the altcoin market, while XRP continues finding competition from rising tokens.
To learn more visit our Investing in Ethereum guide.
5) Shiba Inu (SHIB)
Last but not least, we have Shiba Inu. Shiba Inu is also another popular meme token that has found dominance in the market. Shiba Inu's performance this year has overshadowed most cryptocurrencies, as its yearly gains stand at over 70,000,000%.
Shiba Inu is one of the meme tokens created out of inspiration from Dogecoin. Like most meme coins, Shiba Inu has no use case, but its developers launched the ShibaSwap DeFi platform earlier this year to allow staking.
Nevertheless, the utility for the SHIB token does not compare to XRP's utility, given that the latter is a native token for a major payments network that has created partnerships with reputable payments firms such as GME Remittance.
Shiba Inu recently reached a record high, which, as aforementioned, has not happened with XRP for the past four years. Moreover, SHIB's gains have led to the token being listed on major exchanges such as Coinbase, which delisted XRP earlier this year after the SEC case.
Shiba Inu recently entered the top ten rankings, and while it was unable to flip XRP, its trading volumes show that it is an active trade on exchanges. At the time of writing, SHIB's trading volumes were two times XRP's trading volumes, depicting the high buyer interest in the meme token.
To learn more visit our Investing in Shiba Inu guide.
XRP did not have a good run this year because of the case filed against Ripple by XRP. While it made a recovery during the bull market earlier this year, it has still underperformed compared to other cryptocurrencies that have registered massive gains this year.
While the gains made by XRP this year are still small, the token still ranks as one of the best ones to hold for the long term because of the potential of the underlying Ripple blockchain. The Ripple blockchain has gained massive adoption in being used for cross-border payments.