Bitcoin may bite the dust in 2018 after arrival of cryptocurrency rivals  

January 2, 2018 5:28 pm


Bitcoin started 2018 down, and it may stay that way as other digital currencies make their presence felt, as they already have.

For the first time since 2015, the cryptocurrency began a new year by declining, trading at $13,624 down 4.8% from Friday, according to Bloomberg.

That compares to a brisk stat last year, when Bitcoin rising 3.6% on the first day of 2017 to $998, data from coinmarketcap.com show. It ended the year up more than 1,300%, reaching 1800% at some points late 2017.

It still can’t make up its mind on Tuesday, as of this release.

On Tuesday, its market cap was $231.8 billion, or around 36% of the total value of all cryptocurrencies, the lowest in its history, according to CNBC, and 44% less from where it stood at beginning of 2017.

The total market capitalization of the entire cryptocurrency world stood at $640bn on Tuesday, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.

Bitcoin’s success looks to be fizzling as already other bandwagon riding cryptos are rising or have risen in value much faster than Bitcoin, if you can believe that.

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Bearish on Bitcoin

Bitcoin has still soared over 1,400 percent this year, but on CNBC’s “Futures Now,” The Gartman Letter editor and publisher Dennis Gartman reiterated his skepticism on Bitcoin’s meteoric rise, a view he has held for the past few months.

Gartman told CNBC that bitcoin will not only burn all those involved with it, but once it does there will be a rush into gold.

“When bitcoin falls, and it shall, it’ll trade under $5,000,” he said. “Whether it does it next week, next year, six months from now, it’ll happen. And then I think we’ll find at the margin money that had moved into bitcoin and away from gold will move away from bitcoin and into gold.”

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Ether is a keeper

According to Coindesk, ether, the cryptocurrency that powers the ethereum network the cryptocurrency is closing the books on a banner year for its value, having surged from $8 one year ago in January 2017 to more than $700 with a temporary push above $800.

By the time March came to a close, the price of ether was trading above $50, according to market data, and by May 1, it was at $80, and days later, surpassed $100 for the first time and hit $200 by June.

“The market was such that some observers began predicting the so-called “flippening,” during which ethereum’s market capitalization would surpass that of bitcoin,” said coindesk.

After a stunning crash to $13 on June 21, ether prices were back above $300 by months’ end and more price yoyo’s followed  in July before a return to growth in August, trading closer to $400, and by November, following more ups and downs, Ethereum passed $5o0, and in December reached 800 on the 19th before trading over $700 the rest of the way.

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Ripple causing waves, others catching up fast

According to Bloomberg, Ripple’s 53% surge makes it the second-Bbggest cryptocurrency. Close but not quite.

A week after the value of Ripple’s native XRP token topped $1 for the first time in history, the cryptocurrency surged again on December 29, rising 34%, reaching $1.87.

Coindesk said the price rally arrived after a long period of inactivity in the market, which had held steady at $0.20 over the past six months.

“As a result, the market capitalization of XRP is now catching up with those of ethereum and bitcoin, according to data site CoinMarketCap. XRP is now the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, with the value of its combined token supply now $72 billion.

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According to Quartz,a digitally native news outlet, as of Jan. 1, 2018, the biggest crypto winners in 2017 as measured by data provider CoinMarketcap was Ripple, which is touted as a new kind of payment system for banks.

The site said that the top 10 cryptoassets of 2017 did not include Bitcoin, which came in 14th place, and were led by Ripple which experienced a 36,000% gain, followed by NEM at nearly 30,000%. Ethereum was 6th at over 9000% growth.

Cryptoassets include standalone cryptocurrencies as well as tokens issued on the ethereum blockchain.

“Bitcoin fares slightly better when compared against rival cryptocurrencies, meaning tokens with their own blockchains, making it to eighth place in this ranking, although it’s still trounced by ethereum and litecoin,” said Quartz.

At 1318% growth, Bitcoin was below Litecoin’s 5,000 plus and Ethereum’s 9000 plus percent growths.

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Hadi Khatib
By Hadi Khatib
Hadi Khatib is a business editor with more than 15 years' experience delivering news and copy of relevance to a wide range of audiences. If newsworthy and actionable, you will find this editor interested in hearing about your sector developments and writing about it.



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