- Ethereum hits a fresh record-high of around $US880 on Tuesday.
- Last week it was surpassed as the second biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation by Ripple.
- Ethereum’s surge comes as bitcoin remains under pressure.
LONDON – Cryptocurrency ethereum posted a fresh all-time high on Tuesday morning, shaking off the troubles that have dragged down the price of its better established rival, bitcoin, in recent weeks.
By 1.00 p.m. GMT (8.00 a.m. ET) on Tuesday, the price of ethereum has climbed more than 12% to trade at around $US847. Earlier in the morning it climbed as high as $US880, it’s record high, as the chart below illustrates:
Ethereum, which has been the second biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation for some time, saw that crown come under threat during the Christmas period after a huge surge in the price of XRP, a currency created by Ripple that is focused on bank transfers.
As Business Insider’s Frank Chaparro noted late in December, the cryptocurrency has been on a tear since Ripple’s Asian subsidiary and a group of Japanese credit card companies announced a new consortium Wednesday. The consortium aims to identify how blockchain and distributed ledger technology can be deployed in credit card payments.
Some in the crypto markets believe that because XRP is now backed by this consortum, it could be more successful in finding a successful practical application for blockchain.
According to coinmarketcap.com, Ripple’s total capitalisation is now around $US91 billion, while ethereum’s is roughly $US85 billion.
“A fierce battle is playing out in the crypto world at the moment between Ethereum and Ripple,” Mati Greenspan, an analyst for eToro said in an email on Tuesday morning.
“While Bitcoin has been declining in market share, Ripple was on a massive run. The logic is that if bitcoin fails to replace the banking system, the current institutions may just use the Ripple network to integrate blockchain technology, speed up transactions, and lower prices.”
Ethereum’s fresh high comes as bitcoin remains under pressure after dropping from $US19,000 to around $US13,000 in a matter of days.
Bitcoin is starting the new year on the back foot, with investors betting that the digital currency has further to fall. Bitcoin futures, which launched in early December, are down over 7% on Tuesday.
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