Race for second place as Ethereum reaches new high

There is a race going on today between two cryptocurrencies for second place in the market capacity charts. Ripple and Ethereum are both vying for the spot just behind Bitcoin, the two altcoins have posted strong gains during the Asian trading session today.

At the time of writing Ripple remains at second spot with a market capacity of $89.3 billion. XRP has performed extremely well over the past month surging from $0.26 to over $2.80, an increase of over 900%. The market has since corrected but the altcoin remains strong and did not fall back below $2 indicating that new levels of support have been found. It is currently trading at around $2.30.

Ripple has been boosted in recent weeks by news of greater acceptance by established banks and credit card companies in Asia. They are seeking to move away from the slow and expensive Swift protocol of interbank transfers and use Ripple’s blockchain instead. Couple this with the likely listing of XRP on Coinbase and the reasons for Ripple’s meteoric rise are clear.

Coinbase means easier access for more traders who can buy Ripple using fiat, this will increase demand and prices will surge. A $5 level for XRP is not beyond reach, especially if the exchange does take on the coin.

Recently knocked off its second spot is Ethereum which has also seen gains of 14% in the past 24 hours. It broke over $900 a few hours ago and reached a record high of $914 according to CoinMarketCap.com. ETH is still holding at $880, a rise of 90% from its trading level of $465 at the beginning of December. Ethereum has a current market capacity of $85 billion which puts it just behind Ripple at the time of writing.

Ethereum suffers a similar fate to Bitcoin where the network slows under heavy demand meaning transactions can be painfully slow. The roadmap for Ether includes an update called Casper which will solve some of these scalability issues and upgrade the blockchain. The idea is to bring Ethereum to the point where it can handle as many transactions per second as the Visa network. The initial test network for Casper has just been released which is why the price of ETH is hitting new records at the moment.

The race for second spot is likely to heat up in the next 24 hours as both altcoins continue upwards. Which one is your money on?

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