Two of its best-known rivals of Bitcoin – Ethereum and Litecoin – have soared to new records. The crypto currencies have had some crazy runs in the recent time, however, mostly Bitcoin. This time, not Bitcoin, but Ethereum has been making the news for hitting a new all-time high and going past $600 price barrier for the first time.
According to the coinmarketcap.com website, the second largest crypto currency by market size is currently trading at $678.19, registering a positive change of 27.35% in the last 24 hours. The market cap of the digital currency jumped from $46 billion to around $51 billion in a day’s space. Ethereum, in last few weeks, had witnessed only marginal gains and was stuck around $460. It found momentum on Tuesday and went past the $500-mark.
The other big gainer of the crypto market in the past two days is Litecoin, which hovers around $303.82 as of now. The crypto currency registered an astounding 91% gains on Tuesday, to become nearly four times what it was worth a week ago.
What has fuelled the demand for Litecoin and Ethereum in the last few days is not clear, although one possibility could be speculators looking for a proxy as Bitcoin keeps getting pricier. However, there is speculation that some big banks, including United Bank of Switzerland (UBS), are mulling over a compliance program which might have resulted in ether gains.
Also read: Bitcoin: What's ahead for 2018?
Litecoin was launched in 2011 as a lightweight clone to Bitcoin, while Ethereum is unlike Bitcoin. Ethereum or ETH is more of a distributed ledger software for so-called token sales or “initial coin offerings.”
The biggest of them all, Bitcoin, had modest price gains this week so far, compared to the last. However, it stands firm above $17,000. Bitcoin had registered an all-time high last week, climbing to $18,353 on December 8, 2017.
As the crypto market keeps breaking records, the speculation around it keeps on mounting. A lot of industry experts have voice opinions against the crypto currencies, calling it "a bubble about to burst", “a gateway to illegal activities” and much more.
There are also those who don’t see rally stopping any time soon. There are speculations like Bitcoin could “hit $50,000 by the end of 2018” and “Bitcoin could soar to $100,000 over the next 10 years” and likewise.