Altcoins had one of their best days in recent memory on Thursday, as multiple top-tier coins posted double-digit price increases and capital flowed back into their markets from bitcoin. The bitcoin price, meanwhile, dropped 4% after the planned SegWit2x hard fork was suspended and the possibility of receiving another “crypto dividend” was shattered.
Altogether, the cryptocurrency market cap added approximately $1 billion to its swelling weight, ending the day at roughly $203.6 billion.
As CCN reported, leading proponents of the controversial SegWit2x hard fork issued a joint statement calling for the hard fork to be suspended indefinitely until consensus for the upgrade could be reached. While a large portion of the community is relieved that the hard fork will not be activated, the bitcoin price ended the day with a 4% decline, falling from $7,408 on Wednesday to $7,143 at present. The reason for this is that many traders had maintained larger bitcoin positions in anticipation of the SegWit2x airdrop that would occur following the fork. The promise of “free coins” dashed by the fork cancellation, they began to rebalance their portfolios to include more altcoins.
Despite this downward pressure, the bitcoin price has continued to hold above $7,000, primarily because avoiding the contentious blockchain split will yield benefits in the mid- and long-term. Consequently, it is likely that many investors and potential investors feel more comfortable purchasing bitcoin now that SegWit2x has been called off.
The ethereum price was one of the beneficiaries of the bitcoin price’s stumble. After spending the better part of the last month tethered to $300, the ethereum price sprang to life on Thursday and posted a 5% rally to bring itself to a present mark of $313. This gives ethereum a market cap of just under $30 billion.
The rally is even more impressive — or foolhardy, depending on one’s perspective — considering that there is still uncertainty about whether the community will attempt a hard fork to recover the $150 million or more in funds that were frozen by a bug in Parity’s multi-signature ethereum wallets.
Leading up to the scheduled date for SegWit2x, bitcoin had established overwhelming dominance of the cryptocurrency market cap. Now that a blockchain split has been averted, the bitcoin dominance index has begun to decline — at least moderately — and altcoins have come back in style.
But that rally did not begin at the top. Unlike most altcoins, bitcoin cash experienced a minor price decline today. This is likely connected to SegWit2x as well. Although improbable, many bitcoin cash proponents believed that a slugfest between the incumbent and SegWit2x bitcoin blockchains could cause bitcoin cash to emerge as a serious contender for the “Bitcoin” moniker, particularly if its hashrate gained a plurality among the three chains.
The ripple price, on the contrary, experienced a 3% increase, rising to a present value of $0.217. Litecoin traded sideways, while sixth-ranked dash rose by 6% to $320.
The most significant advances were concentrated in the bottom-half of the top 10, where four coins experienced double-digit price increases. The NEO price surged by 22% and currently sits near $33. NEM added 13%, as did monero, bringing their prices to present values of $0.205 and $113, respectively. The day’s best performer was IOTA, which assembled a 34% price rally to launch itself back into the top 10 and force ethereum classic down to 11th.
This widespread altcoin advance — coupled with bitcoin’s pullback — reduced bitcoin’s share of the total crypto market cap to 58.5%, which constitutes a 24-hour decline of 2.5%.
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