The much-hyped cryptocurrency market made yet another remarkable record by breaking the US$700 billion point for the first time ever. This was a motivating event for the avid crypto enthusiasts who watched markets correcting significantly in the preceding two weeks before the jump. Shortly after mid-December 2017, the cryptocurrency markets gained significantly while the Bitcoin price dropped by more than 40 percent from its old all-time high of US$20,000.
According to that week’s data obtained from CoinMarketCap, the thriving cryptocurrency markets fell to a new low of US$422 billion shortly after they had crossed the US$600 billion mark on 19th Dec 2017. Since that time the markets have added in excess of US$270 billion to their gross valuations, a clear indicator that Bitcoin isn’t the only major facilitator of the jump. Rather, it is a credit of altcoins such as Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), and Ethereum (ETH) who have made a remarkable contribution to this rally.
In the two weeks preceding the jump, when Bitcoin had been seen consolidating around US$14,000 level, Ripple had outperformed in the cryptocurrency markets beating other strong rivals including Ethereum and grabbed position two spots on the cryptocurrency table in aspects of market cap. Just one week before, Ripple had jumped by more than 150 percent and is now trading at an all-time high of US$2.82 (at the time of writing this article), according to the CoinMarketCap. On the other hand, the market price of Ripple XRP increased significantly when an announcement was made by South Korean and Japanese banks that they were testing the Ripple XRP technology. A surge of orders followed thereafter mainly from South Korean exchanges.
Ethereum too has had an impressive performance and even contributed by a big shot to the incredible surge in cryptocurrency market valuations. At the start, with the crippling crash in the valuations, Ethereum reacted as well while the Ether tokens’ price fell to US$566 but has since recovered making an unprecedented jump to a new all-time high price of US$903.75, according to a report from CoinMarketCap. A huge chunk of the buying that has been done of late in Ethereum has been largely contributed by many orders from good performance Asian markets like South Korea, Singapore, and Tokyo.
Stellar – a less known cryptocurrency – has been seen making stealth moves in the cryptocurrency market. Created by the maker of Ripple, Jed McCaleb, Stellar jumped to position seven in terms of market cap valuation among cryptocurrencies. According to the information obtained from CoinMarketCap, the market capitation of stellar stood above US$13 billion and is now trading at US$0.68. Stellar has increased by over 700 percent in a mere one month. In the last 24 hours, for instance, its price has jumped by over 30 percent following the announcement made by the Hong Kong-based exchange firm OKEx to add cryptocurrency support on its platform.
This data indicates that the reliance of the cryptocurrency markets on the unpredictable price swings of the Bitcoin has waned considerably. It indicates that other established altcoins are showcasing great strength and influence in the market and are staging a huge competition to Bitcoin. Right now, the share of Bitcoin in the current cryptocurrency market has decreased to a record-low 37 percent. This shows that cryptocurrency investors are starting to show confidence in altcoins in addition to Bitcoin.
One major challenge that awaits Bitcoin developers is how to resolve the scalability issue. The network of Bitcoin blockchain was seen getting clogged up with increased investor participation which resulted in slow transaction speeds and high costs. To solve this and related issues, the inauguration of Lightning Network is going to be a huge a consideration. The fact that Global Cryptocurrency Market Exceeds $700 Billion Market Cap for First Time calls for revamp in operations by both Bitcoin and altcoins.