4th Quarter Market Outlook: The CoinDesk Currency Index, Excluding Stablecoins

Helped by the performance of bitcoin, the CCX outperformed our wider market index (CCX) in Q4 2022. Dogecoin was the best performer.

AccessTimeIconDec 20, 2022 at 7:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 29, 2023 at 11:25 a.m. UTC

The CoinDesk Currency Index Ex Stablecoin (CCX) is designed to measure the market capitalization weighted performance of constituents in the CoinDesk Currency Index excluding stablecoins. CCX reflects the DACS as of the prior month, so the Currency sector refers to any digital asset acting primarily as a medium of exchange and unit of account running on a blockchain network with the ability to complete cross-border transactions without restriction. Digital assets in the Currency sector do not necessarily act as a store of value[1].

As of Dec 15, 2022, CCX lost 10.3% for the quarter to date (QTD), and included 25 digital assets assigned to seven industries in three industry groups according to the CoinDesk Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS).

  • 24 constituents remained in CCX the entire fourth quarter, with 21, or 87.5%, losing and three, or 12.5%, gaining.
  • Best performer: Dogecoin gained 42% and is part of the DACS Transparent DeFi Currency Industry assigned to the Transparent Industry Group. The meme coin had a massive surge shortly after Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover in late October, and continued to outperform over the quarter on (unsubstantiated) speculation that it might become the official cryptocurrency of Twitter.
  • Worst performer: Chain lost 57.6% and is part of the BaaS (Other) Industry assigned to the BaaS Industry Group. (NOTE: Both the best and worst performers are relatively small, with a combined total weight just under 3.1% of CCX at the end of the period.
  • Biggest asset: Bitcoin, comprising 86.5% of the sector. While it lost 11% QTD, it ranked as the 6th best performing asset in the sector. Many viewed bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency and the largest, as a source of stability amidst the chaos during the latter part of the quarter. According to The Block, bitcoin’s on-chain volume is down significantly, from $6 billion daily at the start of the quarter to $3 billion daily. Bitcoin blockchain network difficulty remains near all-time highs, however, and consequently miner revenue per terahash per second has continued its year-long downtrend, from 8 U.S. cents to 6 cents in this quarter.

Commentary and outlook

The Currency Sector’s fourth quarter filled investors with thrills and worries alike: On-again, off-again tokens such as dogecoin (DOGE) and litecoin (LTC) performed well, even as bellwether bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, faced multiple threats.

Bitcoin (BTC) was down 11% for the quarter as traders felt the continuing nervousness over the market uncertainty thanks to the Federal Reserve’s hawkish stance.

“The probability of a recession is high,” crypto trader Thomas Kralow said in an emailed comment. “People lose their jobs, the Fed pivots too late and we will see the same situation that played out back in 2008. When the Fed pivoted there was a relief rally for S&P 500, but as the interest rates finally started going down the market crashed another 40%.”

Kralow pointed out that the markets bottomed when the fed funds rate was basically at zero, adding: “This doesn’t bode well for bitcoin in 2023, and we could potentially see its price fall to $10,000 or even lower next year.”

[1] As of Dec. 15, 2022, the CoinDesk Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS) was updated, and the definition of “currency” changed. However, the CoinDesk Market Index (CMI) Family will reflect the changes as of the January reconstitution in accordance with its standard methodology.

More from this report

(Fourth quarter performance as of Dec 15, 2022.)


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Jocelyn Yang

Jocelyn Yang is a markets reporter at CoinDesk. She is a recent graduate of Emerson College's journalism program.

Jodie Gunzberg

Jodie Gunzberg, CFA, is the Managing Director of CoinDesk Indices.

Max Good

Max Good is the Senior Index Research Analyst at CoinDesk Indices, based in Miami. Before covering crypto, he was a structural engineer with a BS in Architectural Engineering from University of Colorado - Boulder, and a MS in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois - Chicago.