The ethereum price exploded to a new all-time high on Tuesday, headlining an altcoin rally that briefly forced bitcoin’s market share below 50 percent for the first time in more than a month.
At the height of the rally, which was buttressed by a stagnant bitcoin price, the cryptocurrency market cap rose to a record $643 billion. However, the bitcoin price took a steep decline Tuesday morning, and the flagship cryptocurrency dragged the wider markets down with it. At present, the cryptocurrency market cap is $608 billion, which nevertheless represents a single-day increase of $13 billion.
The bitcoin price declined nearly $1,000 on Tuesday, from $19,130 on Monday to $18,191 today. This represented a 24-hour decline of five percent and reduced bitcoin’s market cap to $304.7 billion.
The reason for the reversal is not immediately clear. However, although the global average bitcoin price has touched $20,000 on several occasions, BTC/USD has not reached that milestone on major exchanges such as Bitfinex and Bitstamp. There is likely psychological resistance to crossing this historic threshold.
Additionally, the major driver of the recent rally — the launch of bitcoin futures — has now been fully-executed following Sunday’s listing of futures on Chicago exchange CME. Consequently, the bitcoin price’s recent euphoric run may be coming to an end — or, at the very least, the bulls may be taking a breather.
The same cannot be said of ethereum. For weeks, the ethereum price languished near $300 while bitcoin soared, but the second-largest cryptocurrency has entered December with a vengeance, and it has steadily chipped away at bitcoin’s dominant market share.
On Tuesday, the ethereum price ripped past $800 — and nearly passed $900 — to set a new all-time high at $882. Following the morning pullback, the ethereum price is trading at $824, which translates into a $79.5 billion market cap and represents a 24-hour gain of 12 percent.
Ethereum was not the only altcoin to benefit at bitcoin’s expense. Altogether, the altcoin market cap rose $25 billion for the day, enabling their combined valuations to pierce $300 billion for the first time.
The bitcoin cash price posted the most impressive single-day performance among top-tier coins, ending the day with a 21 percent rally. Earlier Tuesday morning, the bitcoin cash price had breached the $2,500 mark, but it has since settled down to $2,292 and a $38.7 billion market cap.
The ripple price increased by four percent, raising the fourth-largest cryptocurrency’s market cap to $30.5 billion, and fifth-ranked litecoin rose seven percent to bring its price to $344. Cardano posted a 10 percent gain, securing its status as the sixth-most valuable cryptocurrency, while IOTA was the lone top-10 cryptocurrency to post a single-day decline.
The dash price rose by seven percent, reaching $1,173 and raising its market cap above $9.1 billion. NEM, meanwhile, posted the second-best gain among top-tier coins with a 15 percent surge to $0.91.
Monero rounded out the top 10 with a five percent increase to $370. Monero now has a market cap of $5.7 billion, meaning that every top 10 cryptocurrency is worth at least $5 billion.
Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)CCN.com.
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