Bitcoin remains the largest cryptocurrency based on market cap, sitting at $254.2 billion out of the total $705 billion cryptocurrency total market cap. Although bitcoin still dominates a majority of the market, alternative coins or “alt-coins” are beginning to takeover the scene.
Bitcoin prices fell nearly 22 percent in the past month after hitting an all time high of over $19,000. Bitcoin prices were smashing all times high consistently, but the past month, prices have plummeted.
Bitcoin prices rose by 9 percent, now sitting at $15,100 on Wednesday morning, according to CoinDesk.
While originally the main three cryptocurrencies were bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin, alt-coins have now pushed forward knocking litecoin out of its number three spot. According to CoinMarketCap, bitcoin remains number, then follows ripple, ethereum, bitcoin cash, cardano, stellar, and then litecoin.
But unlike bitcoin, all these cryptocurrencies work differently in their own unique way.
“The altcoins today, in large part, are not trying to be bitcoin competitors,” said Lex Sokolin, global director of fintech strategy at Autonomous Research LLP in London, according to Bloomberg, “They are doing something else entirely.”
Ripple stole the number two spot after hitting a market cap value of $118 billion. Ripple prices surged from $0.25 just one month ago to a new high of $3.07, representing a 1128 percent increase in the past month alone.
Ripple has a lot of speculation revolving around it. Speculations such as South Korean banks adopting the cryptocurrency for its database or even it being added onto Coinbase, a popular exchange, sent Ripple prices up. Analysts foresee ripple revolutionizing the way banks operate.
Cardano has shown strong movement as it went from $0.11 to $1.08 in the past month, hitting a market cap of $27.9 billion. Most of the driver for Cardano is also purely based on speculation.
Stellar, another alt-coin, which surpassed litecoin recently, sky rocketed from $0.22 to $0.88 in just the past week alone. Stellar is sitting at a market cap of $15.9 billion. Stellar was able to rise due its faster transaction times than other coins. Transaction time takes usually 2 to 5 seconds, making it highly more attractive to traders.
Also notably, IBM has adopted Stellar to develop a cross-border payment system with banks.
Now that alt-coins are beginning to rise, analysts are foreshadowing the pop of the “bitcoin bubble.” Many people are calling the cryptocurrency scene highly and purely speculation based.
Bloomberg Industries commodity strategist, Mike McGlone says that once the speculations fade, the technological dominant cryptocurrencies will rise and someday overtake bitcoin.
“When the frenzy subsides, 2Gs should continue to gain on bitcoin, which has flaws and where futures can be shorted,” McGlone wrote in a note last week. “Ethereum appears prime to assume benchmark status, though bitcoin forks ripple and litecoin are the primary up-and-coming contenders.”
As for now, the cryptocurrency craze still remains highly speculative and whatever can grab a large group of investors attention. Sooner or later, major companies and banks will begin to adopt cryptocurrencies, which will possibly end coins that are inferior to others. Investors should still approach cryptocurrency with caution due to its unstable volatile nature.