Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency again.
The decentralized app platform was holding the number two spot, behind Bitcoin, since last spring, until it was briefly dethroned by banking-oriented Ripple in January.
But Ripple’s price is currently in free-fall — down 19.2% in the last 24 hours — while Ethereum is up 6.9% according to CoinMarketCap.
UPDATE: Jan. 8, 2018, 5:25 p.m. CET The main reason for Ripple’s sudden price drop was CoinMarketCap’s decision to quietly remove the prices of several cryptocurrencies, including XRP, BTC and ETH at Korean exchanges from the total average. Since cryptocurrency prices at Korean exchanges often vary significantly from those in other parts of the world, this decision caused Ripple’s market cap to instantly drop by roughly 20 billion. The change did not affect Bitcoin and Ethereum as much since the total volume of these coins traded on Korean exchanges is far smaller, in relative terms, than the volume of XRP traded in Korea. The change wasn’t announced on CoinMarketCap’s site or official Twitter or Facebook. It was only noted at the bottom of the “Markets” section of CoinMarketCap’s page for Ripple and other coins. Interestingly, even though this sudden change likely triggered some panic selling, Ripple’s chief cryptographer David Schwartz noted on Twitter that the new price of Ripple (aka the current price) is “more accurate and meaningful.”
The current price of Ethereum is $1,197.5 with a market cap of $116 billion. The price actually pulled back a little; earlier on Monday it briefly went to $1,261, a new record for the cryptocurrency.
Ethereum could be rising on the recent launch of a test network for Casper, a significant upgrade of the Ethereum protocol that would introduce a new way to how the network forms consensus. Furthermore, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin recently launched two subsidy schemes that should encourage third-party developers to work with Ethereum to solve its current scalability issues. These became painfully apparent in December, when a virtual cat trading game slowed down the entire Ethereum network considerably.
There’s also a constant stream of attention towards Ethereum as it’s currently the largest platform for initial coin offerings or ICOs. Startups have collected billions through ICOs over the past year, and new ones are cropping up daily.
Other large cryptocurrencies haven’t had such a good day. Bitcoin is down 8% in the last 24 hours, while Bitcoin Cash and Cardano — number four and five by market cap — are down 16.6% and 5.4%, respectively.
Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.
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