Ethereum Overtaken As World’s Second Largest Cryptocurrency

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Ethereum was finally overtaken as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency behind global leader, Bitcoin.

After some serious growth recently, banking-oriented Ripple surged more than 40 per cent Friday to an ‘all-time high’, overtaking Ethereum, according to site CoinMarketCap.

Ripple’s price rose 42.7 per cent over the past 24 hours according to the website, and its ‘market cap went up to $73.6 billion’.

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This is the first time another cryptocurrency has overtaken Ethereum since back in May when Ripple had a brief surge in price – which is exactly what’s happened again.

At the time of writing, Ripple is back in third with a market cap of $70,321,620,075 and Ethereum is in second at $73,039,868,326.

According to CNBC, Ripple is the name of a San Francisco based start-up company ‘using blockchain technology to develop a payments network for banks, digital asset exchanges and other financial institutions’. It certainly looks promising for Ripple, which is growing.

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On December 22, almost all cryptocurrency saw a dip – Ethereum (down 20 per cent), Bitcoin Cash (down 30 per cent), Litecoin (down 21 per cent) and ‘nearly every high-profile altcoin lost value over the last 24 hours’, according to Coinmarketcap.com.

Ripple was up seven per cent, and was reportedly just one of two coins to remain green.

And yesterday, the price of Bitcoin plummeted again after investors were worried by the news of South Korean authorities banning cryptocurrency trading.

Bitcoin fell almost eight per cent during Thursday morning trading, having recovered slightly from an earlier low, according to prices listed on CoinDesk.

It comes after authorities in South Korea have ‘put forward new legislation that would ban anonymous cryptocurrency accounts’, writes Huffington Post.

This apparent legislation is also set to 'stop banks from settling bitcoin exchange trades between parties that are unidentified, and give regulators the power to shut down cryptocurrency exchanges if necessary'.

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Earlier in December South Korea was said to be considering a capital gains tax on cryptocurrency trading, and banned the use of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) which allow investors to exchange cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin for proprietary 'coins' linked to firms or projects.

The latest price drop follows losses last week, when Bitcoin fell 36 per cent.

We’ve been seeing a steady decline in the cryptocurrency since the peak on Sunday December 17, including a massive drop to $17,000 on Tuesday December 19.

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Emil Oldenburg, a co-founder of Bitcoin.com, dumped his coins just last week saying they were as ‘good as useless’.

Speaking to Swedish tech site Breakit, the tech expert said bitcoin is the ‘most risky investment you can make’ and this drop only seems to support that statement.

He said:

It’s an extremely high risk. I’ve actually sold all my bitcoins recently and switched to bitcoin cash.

It costs a lot to transfer bitcoins to and from the stock exchanges. When I sold my BTC I had to pay $50 and wait 12 hours for the transaction to go through because of this.

He revealed Bitcoin.com had ‘stopped developing new services for the old bitcoin network’ and now primarily focuses mostly on bitcoin cash, which was launched in August.

The old bitcoin network is virtually unusable. It’s at bitcoin cash that the solutions are, that’s where I see a future.

Despite its recent dips - and even freezes - the cryptocurrency everybody is talking about is still up on the year, having started at around $900 US back in January.

Judging by all the activity in 2017, it's looking like a very interesting 2018 in the world of cryptocurrency.