The bitcoin price made a bullish leap on Friday, crossing $16,000 to reach its highest point of the year. The ripple price, meanwhile, declined nearly 11 percent as the weeklong altcoin rally appears to have hit a wall.
Bolstered by a resurgent bitcoin, the total cryptocurrency market cap rose to a new all-time high above $782 billion this morning and is currently valued at $779 billion — a 24-hour increase of three percent.
The bitcoin price did not have an enviable start to the new year. As altcoin valuations soared, bitcoin remained unable to break past $15,000, and it appeared helpless to prevent ripple, ethereum, and company from chipping away at its market share, which reached a historic low this week.
On Friday, however, the bitcoin price made a sudden leap past $16,000 on Bitfinex, bringing the flagship cryptocurrency to its highest point since Dec. 27. At present, the bitcoin price is trading at $16,093 against the dollar on Bitfinex, while its global average is $16,440. This translates into a one-day advance of 11 percent and provides bitcoin with a $276 billion market cap.
There was no clear trigger for the rally, although it may be a logical outgrowth of the recent altcoin surge. Traders may be swapping their altcoin profits for BTC, given that it is one of the few major coins to not experience a significant price increase over the past two weeks.
The ripple price posted its worst single-day performance of 2018 on Friday, dropping 11 percent to $2.82 on Bitfinex. XRP is still valued at a global average of $3.29, but this represents a $0.55 dip from the all-time high it attained yesterday.
The drop-off appeared to coincide with a Twitter post from Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong that stated that the company had not made any decisions to add any new cryptocurrencies to its brokerage or trading platforms. This contrasted with rumors that the company was preparing to make XRP the fifth asset supported on the platform, which is wildly popular among retail investors.
Despite the decline, ripple managed to maintain a considerable edge on third-place ethereum, which rose six percent for the day and crossed the $1,000 mark on every major exchange. By the time of writing, the ethereum price had dipped back below $1,000 on Bitfinex, but its global average was $1,027, which translates into a $99 billion market cap.
The altcoin markets had experienced indiscriminate rallies during the first week of the new year, and Friday brought the total altcoin market cap its first single-day correction of 2018. From Thursday to Friday, the combined value of all altcoin market caps declined from $502 billion to $495 billion.
Ripple led the retreat — which was far from comprehensive — but several other major altcoins posted significant pullbacks as well.
Fourth-ranked bitcoin cash rose by two percent, though this by no means constitutes a recovery from its dismal performance this week.
Cardano and NEM were each dealt a double-digit percentage decline following significant rallies. The cardano price fell by 16 percent, while the NEM price slipped by 13 percent. Both coins, however, managed to hold above dollar parity.
The litecoin price rose by nine percent, bringing a moderate reversal to its recent downtrend, but the day’s best performance came from TRON, which added another 30 percent to its surging market cap ahead of what investors believe will be a major partnership announcement.
The stellar price plunged by 18 percent, and the IOTA price rose one-half-of-one percent to round out the top 10.
Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)CCN.com.
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