The cryptocurrency markets posted a minor advance on Tuesday, with gains concentrated among a small group of coins. The Bitcoin price and Litecoin price were the day's headliners, while Ethereum and other top cryptocurrencies struggled to tread water.
The cryptocurrency market cap briefly rose as high as $516.8 billion but has since receded to $507.9 billion. This represents a single-day increase of $7.2 billion and equates to an approximate advance of 1.4 percent.
The Bitcoin price headlined the rally, notching another advance on Tuesday to cross the $11,600 threshold for the first time since Jan. 28. Following a slight pullback, Bitcoin is trading at $11,388 on Bitfinex, which nevertheless represents 24-hour progress of about five percent. Bitcoin now has a $193.4 billion market cap, and the recent uptrend has enabled the flagship cryptocurrency to increase its market share to 38.3 percent.
Bitcoin's advance has been notable both because it occurred during Chinese New Year -- which often places sell pressure on cryptocurrencies -- and because US legislators appear to have formed a bipartisan consensus around regulating cryptocurrencies. That Bitcoin continues to rise even against this backdrop is a testament to its growing antifragility in the face of external threats.
The Ethereum price appeared determined to join Bitcoin in its surge, but it ultimately proved less buoyant than its older sibling. After briefly rising as high as $959, Ethereum slipped by approximately $25 and is currently priced at $934 on Bitfinex. The second-largest cryptocurrency now has a $91.9 billion market cap, which translates into an 18.2 percent market share and represents a single-day decline of about one percent.
The wider altcoin markets were a mixed bag for investors, with just one top 10-coin -- Litecoin -- achieving a noteworthy increase.
The Ripple and Bitcoin Cash prices each posted minor declines of more than one percent, reducing their prices to $1.10 and $1,503, respectively.
Litecoin -- ranked fifth by total market cap -- surged by approximately 10 percent, raising its price to $243 and market cap to $13.5 billion.
Cardano declined by two percent, leaving its market cap stuck below the $10 billion mark, while the EOS price dipped by just under one percent.
The NEO price held steady at $0.42 for the day, while Stellar and IOTA posted respective declines of five percent and four percent to round out the top 10.
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