In this article, we take a good look at how nothing seems to be able to keep the cryptocurrency market from bouncing back from its 2018 lows and discuss how their might actually be less to one particular coin’s rise – the biggest gainer of the last week – than meets the eye.

Bitcoin, Alts Continue Winning Streak

It was a decidedly good week for the crypto markets, as the price of BTC tacked on an additional 2.7%, allowing it to reach its highest price of the year. The total market cap of all coins grew by over $3.2 billion, a sign that traders are beginning to feel more bullish about the market’s prospects. With each passing day, the bear market bottom that was reached late last December slides a little bit further away, and confidence is slowly returning in the world of cryptocurrency.

The total market cap of all coins has climbed slowly but surely over the last 2 months. Source: coingecko.com

 

The SEC’s move to again postpone making a decision on the approval of 2 Bitcoin ETFs did not seem to have any negative effect on the market this time around, in stark contrast to what happened upon the issuance of such news in the second half of last year. Not even 2 different exchange hackings – Bithumb for $19 million and DragonEx for an undisclosed amount – could put a damper on bitcoin’s continued ascent toward the reaches of former glory.

With many potential catalysts for a price surge on the horizon (positive Bitcoin ETF decision, the launch of Bakkt crypto services for Wall Street-sized investors, and the imminent march toward a next BTC reward halving), it seems all but certain that bitcoin, as well as the altcoin market that always follows in its footsteps, will experience some serious gains before the end of year. This bullish outlook of course only remains in play barring any unforeseen catastrophic event, such as the onset of a global depression, a major war, or any other circumstance that could be cataclysmic to the whole of the world economy.

The Goodness Index: A Way to Measure Movers and Shakers

This week, we take an in-depth look at some of the biggest winners in the top 100 of all coins by market cap in an attempt to discover what is driving them particularly higher than the rest. We do this according to the rankings of own, uniquely-developed Goodness Index scale, which we have used to compare the top 100 coins several times in past articles. The Goodness Index (GI) is the result of an equation comprised of 2 variables defined by coin metrics, A and B:

  1. 24-hour coin volume divided by coin market cap (Vol/Mkt Cap, % total value of coins traded, reflects relative amount of coin trading activity),
  2. 7-day coin gain/loss minus bitcoin’s 7-day gain/loss (in terms of %, reflects relative gain/loss compared to bitcoin).

The formula for the index is thus as follows: GI = (A / BitcoinA) x B x 100. The point of creating the formula in this manner was to identify which coins had a comparatively large amount of recent volume and week-long gains versus bitcoin. For example, if a coin had a loss against bitcoin, its GI would always be negative, regardless of its volume. If a coin had a gain against bitcoin but low trading volume, its GI would be small, but positive. If a coin had a big gain against bitcoin on high trading volume, the GI would be a high, positive number. These are the coins that are the most interesting in our analysis.

Last week, the average GI score for all coins in the top 100 (minus BTC, which is always zero, and all stablecoins) was 21, which means in large most coins fared better than bitcoin. This is to be expected when the market moves upward, as altcoins are considered more volatile and higher risk investments than bitcoin. In contrast, when BTC moves down, altcoins tend to follow and suffer even bigger drops.

One Clear Winner Emerges from Last Week, Reasons Why Are Less Clear

With a GI standard deviation of 130 for last week, only 1 coin was considered to be statistically significant among the top 100, and that was newcomer TTC Protocol (TTC), with an unusually high GI score of 1,294 (as a frame of reference, most weekly high scores fall into the 100-200 range). With a 24-hour volume-to-market-cap turnover of 130% and posting a gain of 114% over the week, TTC shot up over 30 spots in the ranking to enter the top 100 for its first time ever.

So what is TTC Protocol, and how did it manage to double in price over the course of the last week? According to an article on Medium, TTC is a decentralized blockchain network with a Delegated Proof of Stake (DPoS) consensus algorithm. This puts it in the same category of coins as Bitshares (BTS), Lisk (LSK), and Cardano (ADA) – all of which are undergoing their own struggles with how to differentiate themselves from a herd of competitors. TTC started out as an Ethereum token with a modest crowdsale, not really registering on anybody’s radar. Perhaps because it is a China-based project, and due to a malfunctioning English version of their website that is devoid of content, it is hard to get a handle on what the coin is all about. Thanks to a Medium article, we know the following:

“The TTC blockchain is a public blockchain platform leading mass adoption of blockchain through its technological advancements and sustainable token economy model. TTC coins will be used for block production rewards and voting rewards along with other blockchain platform functions.”

This may not sound very specific, but it’s among the more specific bits of information publicly available about the project, which leads us to believe one of 3 things:

  1. It is not being advertised to an English-speaking investor base,
  2. Its developers are in stealth mode and want to keep the project a secret, or
  3. There’s not really much that’s interesting behind it at all.

On March 31st, the TCC Protocol main net was launched, and anticipation of this, the coin started to skyrocket on its 2 main exchanges (Upbit and Bittrex). Other Medium articles outlined how the token-for-coin swap would be completed, and what was included in the 2.0 version of the project’s white paper (which is good, because the original white paper can’t be accessed on the project’s website — nor can its team members, roadmap, or… anything). Still, most little-known projects don’t skyrocket several fold in price after the launch of their main net, so what is so special about the TCC Protocol?

April Fools? TCC is up 6-fold over the last month. Source: coinmarketcap.com

 

After scouring the internet for information, reading through social media feeds on Reddit, Twitter, and Telegram, looking for signs of what might help this project stand out from the hundreds of other coins to which it bears several similarities, we are forced to conclude there isn’t much special about this project at all. That is, other than its ability to manipulate the CoinMarketCap rankings to earn themselves a spot in the top 100 coins. One particular onlooker on the Bitcointalk forum seemed to hit the issue on the head with their comment in TCC’s announcement thread.

Thousands of investors visit CoinMarketCap every day looking to see who the biggest risers are, hoping to get in on the next big Ethereum, EOS, or TRON. Getting into the listing on the default home page of CMC is perhaps the best “free advertising” a coin can get. However, it is not completely free, as the project’s managers must spend a considerable amount of time and money trading their own coins back and forth on the exchanges where it is listed.

Seemingly every week, new coins make their way into CMC’s coveted top 100 list; much of the time this is due to careful manipulation of trading volume and price, as we have outlined in previous articles. We strongly suspect TTC falls into this category and will be expecting a major price decline to happen in a week or two’s time. After all, what goes up, must come down, especially when the reason why it went up was very unclear in the first place.

As points of reference to TTC’s stunning and outlier-esque GI score of 1294, the next four biggest winners of the week were:

  • NULS (NULS): GI = 113, +34% gain
  • Qtum (QTUM): GI = 94, +18% gain
  • Elastos (ELA): GI = 89, +44% gain
  • IOST (IOST): GI = 69, +36% gain

The bottom 5 losers for the week were:

  • ABBC Coin (ABBC): GI = -81, -19% loss
  • Enjin Coin (ENJ): GI = -10, -14% loss
  • Litecoin (LTC): GI = -6, +1% gain
  • Ethereum Classic (ETC): GI = -5, +0.5% gain
  • BitTorrent (BTT): GI = -4, -2% loss