Ethereum is once again the largest altcoin by market cap, edging past Ripple’s XRP to reclaim the #2 spot. With less than $900 million separating the two, can ETH hold on to the lead?
Ethereum burst onto the crypto trading scene in July of 2015 and in less than seven months managed to climb the ranks to become the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Barring a handful of short-lived shifts, it managed to hold on to the #2 spot for more than a two and a half years.
In mid-November of 2018, however, the crypto community was shocked when Ripple’s XRP leapfrogged past Ethereum, usurping it as the #2 cryptocurrency. Not only that, but XRP managed to hold on to its position, its market cap exceeding that of Ethereum’s by more than $3 billion at times.
Ethereum and Constantinople Topple XRP
No doubt fueled in large part by its upcoming Constantinople hard fork on January 16th, Ethereum surged higher in both price and market cap, unseating XRP and relegating it to the #3 spot. At press time, less than $900 million separates ETH and XRP.
We are on track! Constantinople will most likely activate on Wednesday, Jan 16th, probably around 7am UTC. Current average block time is 14.48 seconds. 104407 blocks to go (6975593/7080000).
— Afri 🌩️ Jan 16 (@5chdn) December 29, 2018
The much-anticipated upgrade is slated to bring five separate Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) that will improve the network’s efficiency and fee structure as well as ease the transition from proof-of-work (PoW) to the more energy-efficient proof-of-stake (PoS) algorithm.
Ethereum Price Climbs 17% in 24 Hours
Like most cryptocurrencies, Ethereum was hit hard by the crypto market’s post-Christmas malaise, falling more than 25% to a low of $115.69. After a 3-hour gain of more than 12% on December 28th, ETH remained relatively stable heading into the new year.
New Year’s Day saw the price of Ethereum begin to trend upward – climbing from $133.79 to $156.93 – a gain of more than 17% in just over 24 hours. Currently, the price of Ethereum sits right around $153.00 according to CoinMarketCap.
Will the price of Ethereum continue to climb leading up to the Constantinople fork? What about after? Sound off in the comments below.
Images courtesy of CoinMarketCap, Shutterstock