The bitcoin price posted a minor pullback on Thursday, continuing a weeklong trend that has seen the most prominent cryptocurrency ease its foot off the gas after a meteoric early-month climb. Altcoins, meanwhile, continued to take advantage of bitcoin’s relative stagnancy to set new all-time highs, and, importantly, reclaim market share.
Despite bitcoin’s minor decline, the total cryptocurrency market cap managed to rise to yet another all-time high, peaking at $514 billion on Thursday morning. This constituted a single-day increase of approximately one percent.
Bitcoin investors have grown accustomed to seeing the value of their holdings soar with every passing day, but the bitcoin price has not made much sustained movement this week. Since last Thursday, the bitcoin price has increased by eight percent, but it has not been able to break through $20,000 — the next psychologically-important barrier — nor has it maintained any significant declines.
At the time of writing, the bitcoin price was trading at a global average of $16,714, which represents a daily decline of 2 percent and translates into a $279.8 billion market cap.
A contributing factor to bitcoin’s relative stagnancy is that traders appear to be re-allocating their holdings into the altcoin markets. While bitcoin fluctuates around $17,000, altcoin prices have been soaring — and the ethereum price has been leading the charge.
In the past week, the ethereum price has climbed by more than 66 percent, bringing the second-largest cryptocurrency to a new all-time high above $750, although it has since ebbed from that mark. At the time of writing, the ethereum price was trading at a global average of $711, which translates into a $68.5 billion market cap.
Nevertheless, ethereum is just a single cog — albeit, the largest one — in a comprehensive altcoin advance. Over the course of the past week, 13 altcoins in the top 15 have risen by at least 10 percent against the dollar, enabling the total altcoin market cap to leap by nearly $90 billion during that period.
On Thursday, the gains were less evenly distributed, but four cryptocurrencies in the top 15 — including the two largest Bitcoin forks — managed to post returns of at least 20 percent.
The bitcoin cash price posted a 24 percent gain, briefly crossing the $2,000 threshold before settling down to a present value of $1,965. Bitcoin cash now has a market cap of $33.1 billion.
Fourth-ranked ripple added 20 percent to its swelling market cap, which rose above $20 billion on Thursday. Litecoin and IOTA each suffered moderate declines, while the dash price had enough steam left in its rally to rise two percent.
Bitcoin gold, mimicking fellow BTC fork bitcoin cash, rose more than 21 percent to cross the $300 checkpoint for the first time since December 5. At present, the bitcoin gold price is $338, making it the eighth-largest cryptocurrency. Moneroand NEM, meanwhile, posted minor declines to round out the top 10.
Outside of the top 10, many altcoins posted moderate increases, enough so that the number of cryptocurrencies with billion-dollar market caps rose to 23 — a new all-time high.
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