Top 8 Profitable Crypto Narratives of 2024

According to a recent study by CoinGecko, meme coins emerged as the most profitable crypto narrative in Q1 2024, with an average return of 1312.6% across its top 10 tokens. This performance far surpassed other popular narratives such as RWA, AI, DeFi, and Layer 1 cryptocurrencies.

Memecoins Lead the Pack

The viral success of dogwifhat (WIF), which gained 2721.2% quarter-to-date (QTD), sparked the meme coin frenzy. Three new meme coins launched in March – Brett (BRETT), BOOK OF MEME (BOME), and cat in a dogs world (MEW) – also contributed to the narrative’s success. Compared to its launch price, BRETT recorded the highest returns at 7727.6%.

RWA and AI Follow Closely

RWA and AI narratives were the second and third most profitable, with returns of 285.6% and 222.0%, respectively. MANTRA (OM) and TokenFi (TOKEN) led the RWA narrative with gains of 1074.4% and 419.7% QTD, respectively. In the AI space, AIOZ Network (AIOZ) and (FET) were the top performers, posting returns of 480.2% and 378.3%, respectively.

DeFi and DePIN Show Moderate Gains

In Q1, the DeFi and DePIN narratives achieved moderate returns of 98.9% and 81.0%, respectively. Ribbon Finance (RBN) was the standout performer in the DeFi space, gaining 430.8% QTD following its pivot to Aevo and successful token launch. Arweave (AR) led the DePIN narrative with 292.5% gains.

Layer 1, Gaming, and Layer 2 Underperform

Layer 1 (L1) and GameFi narratives posted returns of 70.0% and 64.4%, respectively. While Solana (SOL) gained 91.9% QTD, Toncoin (TON) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) were the top-performing large L1 cryptos at 131.2% and 130.5%, respectively.

Layer 2 (L2) was the least profitable narrative, with a 39.5% gain. Established Ethereum L2s like Arbitrum (ARB), Polygon (MATIC), and Optimism (OP) underperformed, while Stacks (STX) and Mantle (MNT) recorded stronger returns.

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Methodology and Disclaimer

The study examined the performance of the most popular crypto narratives from January 1 to March 31, 2024, based on CoinGecko data for the top 10 tokens’ average daily price returns compared to the start of the quarter or the first day of available price data for tokens launched during the quarter.

The representative tokens in each narrative were selected by their market capitalization ranking on the last day of the quarter. This study is for illustrative and informational purposes only, and should not be considered financial advice.

In Q1 2024, meme coins dominated the crypto narrative landscape, with returns far exceeding those of other popular narratives. Investors should closely monitor emerging trends and exercise caution when investing in any cryptocurrency or financial asset as the crypto market continues to evolve.

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Vignesh Karunanidhi
Vignesh Karunanidhi

Seasoned crypto writer with deep passion for blockchain and cryptocurrency