Over the past couple of years, cryptocurrency has been famous for its sky-high returns.

Ethereum (ETH 2.35%), for instance, has seen its price soar by nearly 800% over the past three years. Solana (SOL 2.17%) is up by more than 3,600% since its inception, and Shiba Inu (SHIB 0.79%) has skyrocketed by a staggering 23,600,000% since its lowest point in 2020.

It's often tempting to think about how much you could have earned had you invested early on. But crypto prices have been plummeting since late last year, and many investors may be wondering whether it's worthwhile to invest at all.

Is it still possible to make a lot of money -- and potentially reach millionaire status -- with crypto? It depends on your strategy.

Why crypto could still be lucrative

The most important thing to remember when investing in cryptocurrency is that it's a long-term strategy. While it's possible to make a lot of money in a relatively short amount of time, that shouldn't be the goal.

Volatility is extremely common in the crypto sector, and sometimes these downturns are severe. If you're aiming to become a millionaire overnight, that volatility will make it extremely difficult. However, despite these slumps, it's possible to see significant gains over the long run.

Case in point: Back in 2018, Ethereum's price plummeted by close to 95% over the course of the year. But if you had invested at its lowest point, you would have seen returns of close to 1,900% between then and now.

Although the crypto market as a whole has been struggling in recent months, that doesn't mean you can't make a lot of money over time. There are no guarantees that you'll become a millionaire, but if you invest in the right places and hold those investments for the long term, it's still possible to see significant returns.

The key to successful investing

To be clear, nobody knows for certain how crypto will fare over time. The entire sector is still speculative at this point, so even the strongest investments are not guaranteed to succeed. However,  the right strategy can improve your chances of making money over time.

Besides keeping a long-term outlook, it's also important to choose your investments wisely. While nobody can say for sure which cryptocurrencies will thrive over time, the ones with the most real-world utility are the most likely to succeed.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC 2.23%) and Ethereum, for example, are somewhat safer options simply because they're the most popular and widely used. Again, that doesn't necessarily mean they will succeed, but because they have more real-world utility than many other smaller tokens, it's more likely they'll stick around for the long term.

On the other hand, cryptocurrencies like Shiba Inu carry more risk. Shiba Inu's rise to fame was based largely on hype over substance, and although it's been making strides toward improving its utility, it still lacks a strong competitive advantage in the sector. While nothing is impossible in the crypto world, tokens like Shiba Inu will face an uphill battle.

When the entire crypto market is in a slump, it's easy to feel pessimistic about the future. But it's still possible to generate wealth by investing in crypto -- as long as you have the right strategy.

Nobody knows exactly what will happen with the sector, and it's impossible to say for certain whether investing in crypto will make you a millionaire. But with the right approach, you can give yourself the best shot at earning as much as possible.