Here's How Much You'd Have if You Invested $1,000 in the Biggest Cryptos 3 Years Ago

by Lyle Daly | Published on Sept. 29, 2021

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Wealthy man in a suit counting money.

Image source: Getty Images

Thanks to a few big winners, you'd be sitting on much more money than you started with.

The hardest part of investing in crypto is choosing which coins to buy. One way to solve this is taking a diverse approach where you invest in several major cryptocurrencies. It's like building a balanced portfolio in stock investing.

But does this strategy also work with crypto investing? To test it out, let's look at how well you would've done if you spread $1,000 across the largest coins three years ago.

For this scenario, we're looking at the results of $100 investments in 10 of the largest 11 cryptos as of Sept. 9, 2018. Why 10 of the top 11? One cryptocurrency that was in the top 10, Tether (USDT), was excluded because it's a stablecoin designed to maintain a price of $1. For that reason, it's not a common cryptocurrency investment.

In total, this would have led to over $6,000 in gains. Here are the results for each crypto.

1. Bitcoin

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $6,300.86
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $46,391.42 (+636%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $736.27

Bitcoin (BTC), the first cryptocurrency, has been a fixture at the top and typically leads the crypto market. It hasn't been the biggest gainer over the last three years, but it has delivered impressive results.

2. Ethereum

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $196.92
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $3,427.34 (+1,640%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $1,740.47

Launched in 2015, Ethereum (ETH) rapidly grew in popularity and value. It was the first crypto to offer a programmable blockchain for developers to use. It has been the second-largest cryptocurrency for the last three years and has gained over twice as much as Bitcoin over that same timeframe.

Our top crypto play isn't a token - Here’s why

We’ve found one company that’s positioned itself perfectly as a long-term picks-and-shovels solution for the broader crypto market — Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and all the others. In fact, you've probably used this company's technology in the past few days, even if you've never had an account or even heard of the company before. That's how prevalent it's become.

Sign up today for Stock Advisor and get access to our exclusive report where you can get the full scoop on this company and its upside as a long-term investment. Learn more and get started today with a special new member discount.

Get started

3. XRP

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $0.28
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $1.09 (+289%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $389.29

XRP (XRP) is the native cryptocurrency for Ripple, a protocol for international payments. An SEC lawsuit against Ripple has slowed down XRP, which currently isn't available to trade on many top cryptocurrency exchanges. However, it still ranks in the top 10 by market cap.

4. Bitcoin Cash

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $481.19
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $661.23 (+37%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $137.42

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is a Bitcoin alternative with faster transaction processing. It has done reasonably well as an investment, but other types of cryptocurrency have done much better.

5. EOS

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $4.97
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $4.82 (-3%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $96.98

EOS (EOS) is a platform that focuses specifically on decentralized apps (dApps) for businesses. It's the only cryptocurrency on this list that has lost value compared to where it was three years ago.

6. Stellar

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $0.19
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $0.33 (+74%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $173.68

Stellar (XLM) is a blockchain network that offers fast transactions with minimal fees. Payments process in a matter of seconds and cost a fraction of a cent. Even though it's most useful for money transfers, its price has also gone up over the years.

7. Litecoin

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $54.92
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $180.38 (+228%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $328.44

Created in 2011, Litecoin (LTC) is one of the earliest Bitcoin alternatives offering more efficient transactions. It's not the most exciting cryptocurrency investment, but it tends to follow Bitcoin's price movements.

8. Cardano

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $0.08
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $2.52 (+3,050%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $3,150.00

The most successful crypto on this list is eco-friendly Cardano (ADA). Despite a research-based, slow-and-steady approach to development, it has skyrocketed in price. At the time of this writing, it's the third-largest cryptocurrency.

9. Monero

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $106.22
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $261.43 (+146%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $277.69

Monero (XMR) offers transactions that are private and untraceable. That has given it a reputation as the drug dealer's cryptocurrency of choice, but it's also popular with everyone who values privacy in crypto.

10. Dash

  • Price on Sept. 9, 2018: $193.36
  • Price on Sept. 9, 2021: $202.43 (+5%)
  • What a $100 investment would be worth now: $104.69

Dash (DASH) is a digital payments system that focuses on usability. It hasn't done much as an investment recently, but to be fair, it's intended to be spent as a digital currency.

The results

If you put $100 apiece in those 10 cryptos three years ago, your $1,000 investment would now be worth $7,134.93 -- an increase of 613%.

That's mainly due to just two cryptocurrencies. Cardano delivered nearly half the total gains in this scenario, and Ethereum was responsible for about 27%. Bitcoin was the only other cryptocurrency to see the kind of huge price gains investors hope for.

Cryptocurrencies are notoriously unpredictable, but there are a couple lessons we can take from these results:

  • Building a portfolio of different cryptocurrencies is a smart approach. It's hard to know which ones will grow the most, but by spreading your money around, you have a better chance of getting in on the biggest gainers.
  • Just because a crypto is at the top of the charts doesn't mean it's finished growing. Cardano, Ethereum, and Bitcoin were already big three years ago, but they've kept building on that success.

About the Author