After increasing by around 1,000% since the beginning of the year, Solana’s market capitalization has climbed to over $37 billion, overtaking Ripple (XRP) to become the fourth-largest non-stablecoin cryptocurrency in circulation.
After an abysmal 2022, at the beginning of 2023, Solana’s market cap stood at just $3.66 billion. This put it behind altcoin heavyweights like Cardano (ADA) and Polygon (MATIC). It was even outpriced by meme coins Dogecoin (DOGE) and Shiba Inu (SHIB).
Throughout the year, however, market gains almost every month have seen Solana emerge as one of the highest-climbing altcoins in 2023. Finally breaking past $80 on Wednesday, December 20, the token surpassed XRP’s market cap for the first time in more than a year.
With year-to-date gains of over 80%, XRP hasn’t had a bad 2023, it has just been outshone by SOL. The same can’t be said for BNB, however.
BNB first emerged on the podium of top cryptocurrencies in October 2021. It overtook Solana, Cardano and XRP the previous month. By November, the token concluded its ascendancy that year to hit a record market cap of over $106 billion.
The ensuing market crash wiped out over half of BNB’s value in the next six months. By that point, BNB had secured a lead of more than $10 billion over its closest rivals. Even at the bottom of 2022’s bear market, the altcoin held its position as the third-largest cryptocurrency after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), not including stablecoins.
Throughout the first half of 2023, BNB sustained a market cap of over $40 billion, holding its place at the top of the table. But when the SEC sued Binance in June, it triggered a mass selloff that saw the price of BNB crash by around 25% in a week.
Even the crypto market rally that boosted the price of Solana and many of its peers from mid-October onward has failed to restore BNB to its former glory.
As the end of the year approaches, BNB has only just returned above its January price range. With Solana snapping at its heels, the token will need to reclaim the ground it lost in June and then some if it is to retain the altcoin crown.