The crypto markets settled down on Wednesday, dipping just slightly below their previous day levels. The ethereum and bitcoin prices set a tepid tone with daily declines of about 1% each, although a few top-tier altcoins posted more significant movements.
The combined value of all cryptocurrencies entered the day at $144.6 billion. After progressing through most of the day on a slight incline, the markets reversed course Wednesday afternoon. At the time of writing, the total crypto market cap was $143.6 billion, representing a daily decline of less than 1%.
Earlier in the week, the bitcoin price appeared poised to cross the $4,500 threshold, but it has ebbed lower over the past two days. On Wednesday, the bitcoin price climbed as high as $4,352 but ultimately ended the day trading sideways. At present, the bitcoin price is $4,236, which represents a 24-hour decline of 1%. Bitcoin now has a market cap of $70.3 billion.
As CCN has reported, bitcoin’s mid-term price trajectory most likely depends on the Japanese and South Korean markets. If current trends continue, analysts expect that the bitcoin price will end the year between $5,000 and $6,000, depending on what happens with SegWit2x.
The ethereum price performed similarly to bitcoin, trading sideways between $290 and $299 for the entirety of the day. At present, the ethereum price is $294, which represents a 24-hour drop of less than $3. Ethereum maintains a market cap of $27.9 billion, and its near-term prospects will continue to evolve as regulators in major markets issue increased guidance on initial coin offerings (ICOs), which currently account for a significant amount of ether demand.
The majority of top-tier altcoins made little movement on Wednesday, but there are a few trends worth noting.
Most significantly, Ripple continues to place distance between itself and bitcoin cash. For most of bitcoin cash’s brief history, it boasted the third-largest market cap by a comfortable margin. However, Ripple surpassed bitcoin cash in late September and has not looked back. Following today’s 5% gain, Ripple is trading at $0.211, which translates into an $8.1 billion market cap.
Bitcoin cash, on the other hand, has fallen by more than 16% over the past seven days. A week ago, bitcoin cash was trading above $449; after today’s 6% decline, the bitcoin cash price is just $375. Bitcoin cash’s market cap is now nearly $2 billion less than that of Ripple.
Fifth-ranked litecoin held steady at $52. Dash climbed 5%, raising its price to $311. NEM declined 2%, dropping its market cap below $2 billion, while NEO dipped by 1%. IOTA and Monero each move less than 1% to round out the top 10.