A Big Day for Crypto
While 2017 saw market leader bitcoin making frequent headlines thanks to its soaring valuations, 2018 is already proving to be a big year for the second and third most popular cryptocurrencies, ripple and ethereum, respectively.
On January 4, ripple hit a new all-time-high of $3.317 per unit, and at the time of writing, it has a market cap of $137 billion.
Ethereum also hit a new high on the 4th, breaking the $1,000 threshold for the first time. The cryptocurrency currently sits at $1,027.27 with a market cap of just over $99 billion.
The value of a single unit of ripple or ethereum is still far below that of a unit of bitcoin (currently $15,125 per), and the leading crypto's market cap of $253 billion is almost twice that of its nearest competitor.
However, the silver and bronze cryptos are quickly closing that market cap gap, with ripple's market cap increasing by $49 billion and ether's by $26 billion just in the four days since 2017 drew to a close.
The Future of Money
Overall, the crypto market has surged from $17 billion to almost $770 billion in the past year. Based on the latest figures for ripple and ether, society's interest in cryptocurrencies clearly extends beyond a single coin.
As more and more people invest in crypto, be it bitcoin, ether, or ripple, the likelihood that this new form of currency is here to stay increases.
Governments and financial institutions are already warming to the idea. A future of faster, more secure financial transactions powered by crypto could be just on the horizon.
Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.