The cryptocurrency market cap came within $11 billion of its all-time high on Tuesday, signaling that the ecosystem has recovered from the late-December downturn that temporarily caused more than $200 billion in capital to evaporate from the markets. This rally has been altcoin-driven, and, as the bitcoin price continues to languish below $14,000, the flagship cryptocurrency’s market share has reached a historic low.
Cryptocurrency valuations climbed a combined $30 billion leading into the first regular business day of 2018, bringing the cryptocurrency market cap to $642 billion. This represented a single-day increase of five percent and placed the cryptocurrency market cap within striking distance of $653 billion, the all-time high it set in mid-December as the bitcoin price approached $20,000.
The bitcoin price took a wavy course to begin the year, but it managed to assemble a minor day-over-day increase on Tuesday morning. After fluctuating between $12,795 and $13,898, the bitcoin price ended the day at $13,484 on Bitfinex for a 24-hour gain of about one percent. Accounting for the moderate premiums of Asian cryptocurrency exchanges, the global average bitcoin price is now $13,792, which translates into a $231.4 billion market cap.
Notably, bitcoin’s market share is now at a historic low. After boasting a dominant 68 percent stake in the market as recently as Dec. 8, bitcoin now accounts for just 36 percent of the total cryptocurrency market cap.
Ripple and ethereum continued to jostle for the second spot in the market cap rankings, and — following an ethereum price rally — the contest was neck-and-neck.
The ripple price achieved a four percent increase, a moderate gain that raised its global average price to $2.34 and market cap to $90.6 billion.
However, this rally was eclipsed by that of the ethereum price, which soared by fifteen percent to set a new all-time high above $900. By the time of writing, the ripple price had ebbed back to $842 on Bitfinex, leaving its market cap at $85.2 billion.
At this level, ethereum is worth just $5.4 billion less than ripple, meaning that a relative increase of seven percent should be sufficient to restore ethereum’s status as the second-most valuable cryptocurrency.
The altcoin rally extended throughout the wider markets, raising the total altcoin market cap above $400 billion for the first time.
Altogether, every top 10 cryptocurrency posted at least a minor single-day advance (as did 87 of the top 100), and three rose by more than 10 percent.
The bitcoin cash price rose by one percent, enabling the fourth-largest cryptocurrency to once again crack the $2,500 barrier. The cardano price rose 12 percent, raising its market cap above $20 billion for the first time in its short history. The litecoin price rose seven percent, bringing it just below $250.
IOTA and stellar posted the best performances among top 10 cryptocurrencies, rising 16 percent and 32 percent, respectively. Stellar now has a market cap of $10.3 billion, making it the eighth most valuable cryptocurrency.
Ninth-ranked NEM rose three percent to $1.09, raising its market cap to $9.8 billion, while the dash price saw an eight percent increase to $1,143 to round out the top 10.
Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)CCN.com.
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