The cryptocurrency market makes yet another record by breaching the $700 billion mark for the very first time. This comes as a new breather for crypto enthusiasts as the markets were seen correcting significantly in the last two weeks. After the mid of December 2017, the cryptocurrency markets corrected significantly as Bitcoin price crashed by more than 40% from its all-time high of $20,000.
According to the data from CoinMarketCap, the cryptocurrency markets crashed to a low of $422 billion having after crossing the $600 billion for the first time on Dec 19, 2017. Since then the market has added more than $270 billion to its valuations and what we are seeing is that it is not Bitcoin who is a major contributor to this surge. Rather, it is altcoins like Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH) and Stellar (XLM) who have contributed significantly to this rally.
In the past two weeks, when Bitcoin was seen consolidating around $14,000 levels, Ripple outperformed in the crypto markets beating strong rival Ethereum and currently grabs the number two spot in the crypto table in terms of market cap. In the past one week Ripple has surged by more than 150% and is currently trading to its all-time high of $2.82, at the press time, according to CoinMarketCap. The price of Ripple tokens XRP surged significantly on the announcement by Japanese and South Korean banks testing the Ripple technology followed by huge orders from the South Korean exchanges.
Ethereum too has performed extremely well and contributed majorly to the surge in crypto market valuations. Initially, with the overall crash in valuations, Ethereum too reacted as the price of Ether tokens dropped to $566 but has quickly recovered later with recently making a new all-time high of $903.75, according to CoinMarketCap. Majority of the buying done recently in Ethereum has been contributed by huge orders from the Asian markets like Singapore, Tokyo and South Korea.
Another not so famous cryptocurrency – Stellar is seen making silent moves in the market. Created by Ripple developer Jed McCaleb, Stellar has surged to the number seven spot in the cryptocurrency rankings as per market cap valuations. According to the data by CoinMarketCap, the market cap of stellar is now above $13 billion and is currently trading at $0.68. Stellar has surged by more than 700% in just over the past one month. In the past 24 hours, its price has surged by more than 30% following the announcement by the fifth largest Hong-Kong-based exchange OKEx, to add support for the cryptocurrency on its platform.
All this data shows that the dependency of the crypto markets on the price swings of Bitcoin has reduced considerably. It shows that other altcoins are showing great strength in the market over the past one month, and are putting a formidable competition to Bitcoin. Currently, Bitcoins share in the cryptocurrency market has dropped to a record-low below 37%. This shows that investors have now started showing confidence in other cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin.
One of the major challenges that lie ahead of Bitcoin developers is resolving the scalability issue. With huge investor participation, the Bitcoin blockchain network seems to have clogged up resulting in slow transactions speeds and higher costs. To ease up these issues, the development of Lightning Network will be a major thing into consideration.