Yesterday, the cryptocurrency market was swimming in a sea of red. From the top 10 contenders to the lower market cap rising stars, assets were down across the board. Of course, there were a few outliers, including Bitcoin’s age-old rival: Ethereum.
Ethereum has been looking bullish going into the New Year. Well, until Wednesday, everything was looking bullish. On Monday, assets quickly recovered from a CoinMarketCap gaffe that took market prices on a ride, dropping crypto’s total market cap to as low as US$688 billion as investors sold in response to the site’s decision to remove South Korean exchange volume from high-value coins like Ripple.
Starting Tuesday night, the market’s bullish hot streak cooled into bearish cold feet and prices started to fall. Continuing into Wednesday morning, the change in sentiment had cryptocurrency’s market cap slouching to US$672 billion, down nearly US$80 billion from its US$752 billion valuation the night before.
Some currencies were hit harder than others. Ripple, for instance, fell to as low as US$1.70, down more than 50% from its all-time high from just last week. Stellar Lumens, another cross-border payment solution, is also struggling, as it dipped a bit below US$0.50 from its own all-time high of US$0.92. Meanwhile, Tron is out of the top ten, no doubt in reaction to allegations that its white paper was plagiarized.
Ethereum, however, is healthy as ever. At the time of writing, eight out of the market cap top ten were red, but Ethereum – along with Bitcoin Cash – is a beacon of green shining through the storm. The blockchain development platform is outperforming other major assets, as it reached a fresh all-time high of US$1,417 in the early hours of Wednesday. It’s continuing a rally that had its 7-day change up 50% on January 7. These moves have allowed it to retake its position as Bitcoin’s runner up, knocking Ripple back down to #3.
Ethereum’s prospering seems to have coincided with Bitcoin’s suffering. Even as cryptocurrency’s flagship asset has struggled to surpass the US$13,500-14,500 range, Ethereum has continued to rise. This hasn’t always been the case in the past.
Over the course of 2017, when Bitcoin wasn’t doing well, you could reliably expect the market to be doing poorly as well. This was to be expected when such a dominant asset hogged, on average, around 50% of the market’s wealth in 2017. Bitcoin had come into the year owning an unbelievable 85% of the market’s wealth.
Recently, though, Bitcoin’s dominance has been slipping. In the past week, its market dominance hit another new low of 32%, and it’s been steadily declining since December 2017. The last time it dipped under 40%, Ethereum was making its historic run-up during the alt boom of summer ‘17. Back then, Bitcoin’s dominance fell to its lowest ever at 37%, and now, it’s reached an all-time low yet again.
I’m not going to tell you this is the flippening, but I am going to say that, as it currently stands, confidence in Bitcoin is waning. On the other hand, confidence in Ethereum seems to be steady, as it’s been a stable asset during this dip.
Bitcoin’s rival is bulking up, and it’s looking like it’ll be harder to ignore in 2018.
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