How cryptocurrency ethereum looks set to overtake bitcoin — in one cha
Just as Wall Street is paying more attention to bitcoin, a rival is increasingly threatening to become the top dog among cryptocurrencies.
Ethereum’s market capitalization has neared bitcoin’s, as shown in the chart below from CoinMarketCap.
As of June 18, bitcoin US:BTCUSD (shown in orange on the chart) accounted for 38% of the combined market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies, down sharply from 87% on Feb. 25.
Blame the erosion on ethereum (shown in purple), which on that date made up 32% of the total market cap, up from just 5% in February.
Bitcoin has since regained some ground, accounting for 44% of the market cap as of mid-July vs. ethereum’s 24%.
If ethereum’s market cap overtakes that of bitcoin, then “The Flippening” will have happened. That is the term that many people are using to refer to that shift, according to a post at the Flippening Watch blog.
Bitcoin’s market cap currently sits at about $42 billion and its price was under $2,600 at last check, according to data from CoinDesk and CoinMarketCap. Ethereum’s market cap recently stood at $22 billion and its price at around $240.
By some metrics, ethereum already has eaten bitcoin’s lunch.
It has “almost five times as many nodes in its network as bitcoin, meaning more people are using their computers to support it,” a Motherboard report notes. Ethereum also has more transactions per day, the report adds.
But some traders remain skeptical of ethereum:
In the screenshot in the above tweet, ICO refers to an initial coin offering, a new way to raise money. One startup reportedly raised nearly $150 million this week via an ICO.
As their prices have soared, cryptocurrencies increasingly have attracted the attention of Wall Street’s analysts.
A Goldman Sachs technical analyst issued a bearish take on bitcoin in June, leading the Zero Hedge financial blog to quip that “probably means that bitcoin is set to make new all-time highs shortly.”
Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley analysts have predicted that cryptocurrencies will not rally that much more unless they get “governmental acceptance,” including more regulations.
This story was first published on June 14, 2017.