Ethereum Overtakes Ripple to Claim No. 2 Spot

According to statistics provided by CoinMarketCap, in the last twenty-four hours, Ethereum has enjoyed a 3% price surge, taking its value to more than $120 per token while Ripple’s price remains stagnant. However, its main competitor, Bitcoin, has also enjoyed a healthy gain of around 5% over the last week and is currently trading at around $3,600 following news of a Litecoin network upgrade.

A cryptocurrency, fintech, and blockchain writer for Forbes, Billy Bambrough, believe that Ethereum’s sudden run of good luck can be attributed to major holders (known as “crypto whales”) of the cryptocurrency making sudden trades of around $8.5m Ether in the past twenty-four hours.

The latest market capitalisation figures now show Ethereum in second place (at over $12.6n), with XRP (Ripple) in third place (at $12.5b) and Litecoin in fourth (at $2.6b).

Despite the fact that the significant price drops experienced by Bitcoin during the first weeks of 2019, one of eToro’s senior market analysts (Mati Greenspan) says that cryptocurrency “price movements over the last week have been encouraging”. But he also warns that while Litecoin’s “impressive price surge of around 40%” looks positive, “we’re not out of the bear market just yet”.

He goes on to say that “before the bulls can sharpen their horns in earnest”, “Bitcoin needs a strong breakout above the psychological level of $5k”.

Although it’s been a good week for Ethereum, Ripple (XRP) hasn’t fared so well, despite enjoying a series of rises in 2018.

While Charlie Lee’s Litecoin seems destined to remain in fourth place on the market, the 10%+ rise that it enjoyed last week helped to boost its competitors – Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum.

In late 2018, Litecoin experienced lows of around $22 – a drop of 93% from its record high. However, the coin’s rapid rise in January 2018 allowed it to race past two of its key rivals - Bitcoin Cash and EOS.

In other market news, the co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors in New York, Tom Lee, believes that 2019 will bring about higher prices for cryptocurrencies. While he denies that this year will be the “mainstream breakout year” for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Mr Lee expects “prices to be staging a visible recovery” by the end of 2019.

One of the reasons for his positivity lies in Fundstrat’s most recent market analysis report which cites the weakening of USD as a possible factor in Bitcoin’s future price recovery. The company also predicts that general interest in cryptocurrencies may increase as a result of Binance’s recent decision to allow credit card payments on its trading exchange.

Fundstrat’s co-founder, Tom Lee regularly comments on the crypto market via his Twitter account, and just last week, he posted that “exchanges which offer fiat to crypto are key to expanding the enabling infrastructure, and make cryptocurrency both usable and establish it as an asset class”.

By Laura Kilby