Digital Currencies Like Bitcoin and Ethereum Surpass a $55 Billion Total Market Cap

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The total market cap of all digital currencies has increased by another $5 billion in just days, continuing a bull run the likes of which have never been seen before in this space.

In just under three weeks, the total market cap of all digital currencies has risen from $30 billion to now $55 billion, with $10 billion added since last week.

The total market cap for all digital currencies surpasses $55 billion – image from coinmarketcap

The majority market share continues to be held by bitcoin which currently enjoys a $30 billion market cap, but it’s share has been falling considerably from around 95% to now just over 50%.

Ethereum follows in having a steady second biggest market share, swinging recently between an $8 billion and $9 billion market cap following an astonishing rise from $1 billion around two months ago.

The platform has been endorsed by a number of household brands which have announced pilots or experiments in many diverse areas, in the process increasing its utility and network effects.

It has also seen an ICO boom, with hundreds of millions raised, launching a number of token projects now valued at more than $1 billion in total. It has now recently began experiencing a doteth boom after the launch of ethereum name service (ENS).

Recently, ethereum has taken a pause price wise, going sideways. In the meantime, an old digital currency has made a comeback, rising from an irrelevant market cap to $8 billion in days, adding $6 billion in just one day.

No one really knows what caused this stupendous rise. Their online community appears nearly non-existent. News that some Japanese banks may be using the platform might have justified some price increase, but $6 billion in one day appears on the surface to be artificial.

So most expect the currency to dwindle back where it came from, but there is an opening for a third position. Ripple, perhaps, might maintain it at a far lower market cap than currently, as might litecoin which has attracted the attention of some bitcoin small blockers due to its activation of segwit and expected launch of the Lightning Network.

A new coin has risen, NEM. They’ve gone up from around $60 million in March to a current market cap of $1.1 billion. They were launched prior to ethereum, so their focus seems to have been improving upon bitcoin.

That they do, according to their official website, by allowing you to “make/buy/sell/trade assets and goods worldwide.” A nice feature in 2015, but far too limited compared to eth’s powerful smart contracts.

So, why is the market suddenly giving it value? They are to hardfork upgrade so that Catapult can be implemented. After a very brief look, catapult appears to be similar to sidechains. That is, you can create your own chain with whatever parameter connected to the public blockchain. Their whitepaper for the upgrade says:

“A major challenge for financial institutions is the inherent inefficiencies of multiple ledgers within their systems. A blockchain solution with multiple ledgers for multiple assets provides a transformation approach to addressing this issue.” They further say:

“The end result of the Catapult solution is a strong and highly customisable blockchain solution that can be utilised by financial institutions as a basis to form its core operating platform in the long term.”

It’s an interesting and old idea, probably implementable in both bitcoin and ethereum. So, when considering which sidechain to use, one would probably want to consider which platform will have the greatest attention, network effect, and thus security as well as development power.

So, NEM’s rise might be temporary, but who knows. There is clearly a lot of innovation going around within currencies and between currencies, except for bitcoin. That has stagnated at the protocol level but is breaking new paths as far as awareness of the currency is concerned.

 

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