The cryptocurrency markets rang in the new year on a high note, with the majority of coins and tokens in the top 100 posting moderate gains against the US dollar. The bitcoin price, though still far from its all-time high, rose above $13,550. Ethereum, meanwhile, took the first step toward reclaiming the second spot in the rankings from ripple, which was one of the few cryptocurrencies to post a single-day decline.
Against this backdrop, the cryptocurrency market cap once again floated above the $600 billion mark and currently sits at $602 billion. This $18 billion advance translates into a single-day increase of about three percent.
The bitcoin price set the tone for the day, rising a modest two percent on the global markets even as traders continue to ponder how South Korea’s new bitcoin exchange regulations will affect the flagship cryptocurrency’s local and international valuations.
On Bitfinex, bitcoin is currently trading at $13,187, while — buttressed by South Korea — its global average its $13,570. This translates into a $227.7 billion market cap, which is roughly 13 times the size of the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem on January 1 of last year.
To the surprise of all but a few XRP diehards, ripple entered 2018 as the second most valuable cryptocurrency following a remarkable year-end rally. Despite this recent performance, however, the ripple price was one of the few cryptocurrencies to post a single-day decline on Monday. On Bitfinex, the ripple price slipped below the $2 mark, while XRP’s global average declined three percent to $2.25.
This pullback reduced ripple’s market cap to $87 billion, perhaps presenting ethereum with an opportunity to reclaim its spot as the second most valuable cryptocurrency. On Monday, the ethereum price increased by five percent and is currently trading at $743 on Bitfinex. Its global average, though, is $768, which works out to a $74.3 billion market cap.
Assuming a static ripple price, ethereum needs to increase by 17 percent to pass XRP in the rankings. Based on the market’s current state, this does not appear likely to happen today. However, if ripple’s Monday pullback is the first signal that its breakneck rally is running out of steam, ethereum could once again boast the second largest market cap in the near future.
Despite poor performances from several top cryptocurrencies, the total altcoin market cap rose by $9 billion on Monday, bringing it to a present value of $375 billion.
Following ripple’s example, both bitcoin cash and cardano posted minor declines for the day, dipping one percent and three percent, respectively. The litecoin price, meanwhile, returned a three percent increase, putting at least a temporary halt to its recent downtrend.
The IOTA price managed to assemble a one percent increase, and NEM’s eight percent leap brought its price above dollar parity. The dash price, meanwhile, rose by two percent, ensuring its status above the $1,000 mark.
The day’s top performance came from stellar, a newcomer to the top 10. The stellar price rose 25 percent to $0.42, bringing its market cap to $7.4 billion and providing it with a $2 billion edge on 11th-ranked monero.
Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)CCN.com.
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