Few cryptocurrencies are in positive territory this year, as we reach the halfway point of 2018.
In the last six months, the total market cap of all coins has dropped from about $673 billion to $271 billion, as tracked by CoinMarketCap.
Binance Coin (BNB)
Out of the small handful of cryptocurrencies that are thriving in spite of the downward trend, Binance Coin has surged the most.
The token created by leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance is up about 53% in 2018.
In May, the price of Binance Coin shot up when the exchange announced that users with 500 or more BNB can earn double the commission rate through the company’s referral program.
Binance, one of the largest and most successful cryptocurrency exchanges, has outperformed its competitors by driving loyalty among its user base and promoting a generous rewards program.
#Binance Doubles Referral Rewardshttps://t.co/n0fIsaVdLu pic.twitter.com/4Sk8mBc04l
— Binance (@binance) May 18, 2018
On Binance, users can pay their trading fees with Binance Coin and get a 50% discount. In the years to come, that amount is expected to decrease.
Binance also uses 20% of its profits each quarter to buy back BNB and destroy them, a trend it plans to continue until it has bought back 50% of all the BNB in circulation.
The next cryptocurrency on the list is Aeternity (AE), which is up 44% this year. Aeternity is designed to enable high-speed smart contracts and DApps by moving them off-chain.
Off-chain scaling solutions address a critical issue for blockchain adoption in the real world. Managing high transaction volumes at fast rates will allow for the kind of disruption that blockchain promises, displacing legacy tech altogether or becoming fully integrated into existing frameworks.
The coin surged last month after Bithumb announced it would be listing AE on its platform.
Aeternity(AE) and NEM(XEM) will be listed on Bithumb Today! ?
— Bithumb (@BithumbOfficial) June 7, 2018
Finally, Loopring is up 27% this year.
The protocol for creating decentralized exchanges generated a lot of excitement with the release of its 2018 roadmap.
The platform is designed to run on any blockchain and is launching multiple tokens to make that vision a reality.
Loopring’s initial currency (LRC) is Ethereum-based, and it has also been deployed on NEO (LRN) and Qtum (LRQ).
Last month, UOne.io became the first functioning decentralized exchange (DEX) based on the Loopring protocol. DEXs are becoming increasingly popular alternatives to centralized exchanges, given the recent spate of exchange hacks.