On the first day of this year, the market capitalization of Ripple’s XRP token was slightly ahead of Ethereum by a few million dollars. Now, only six months later, Ethereum has eclipsed XRP and climbed to a value almost double that of its main competitor in the crypto charts.
Statistics from cryptocurrency market information site Coinlib.io show that XRP had a market cap at $14.72 billion on the first of January this year – slightly higher than Ethereum’s $14.45 billion market cap. However, jump ahead to today and you’ll see that Ethereum has drastically increased in value: now worth a whopping $32.74 billion and almost twice that of XRP’s $16.97 billion.
The change highlights the increasing interest in Ethereum despite the media focusing their attention largely on Bitcoin of late. Earlier this year, the individual price of ETH broke above the significant $300 level, a price it has not seen since August last year. While a mild correction followed that saw it drop back down to $275, it appears to have now found a strong position about $300.
A year of developments
It’s been a good year for Ethereum, with several major steps being taken towards ensuring the successful launch of ETH 2.0 early next year. The transition to ETH 2.0 will move the project off of its current proof-of-work (PoW) consensus model and create a new network with a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus model dubbed Serenity.
The initial stage in the transition, ETH 2.0 phase 0 (zero), has been scheduled to take place on January 3rd, 2020, although Ethereum developers say this date may still change. With the creation of Ethereum 2.0, developers hope to improve upon the decentralization of the network while increasing resilience and security and minimizing complexity.
While many would be expected to see these developments as promising, not everybody shares the positive sentiment regarding Ethereum. Adamant Capital founding partner Tuur Demeester recently posted a response to an Ethereum-promoting tweet by Spencer Noon in which he states that ETH 2.0 “lacks credibility”.
He went on to imply that since smart contract and token issuance is coming to Bitcoin, Ethereum’s main selling point might become redundant. The ability to create tokens using Ethereum’s ERC-20 protocol has long been the driving force behind the success of the project. Some believe that if Bitcoin provided a platform with the same functionality, developers would begin using it instead.
The price of Ethereum is up 8.3 percent this month currently trading at $306.66 but some analysts believe the price may falter soon since the ETH/BTC trading pair continues to move in a descending triangle pattern. A move below the horizontal support line that has held throughout this year could spell further losses for Ethereum in the short to medium term.
Mark Hartley is a Microsoft-qualified IT professional and freelance writer specialising in travel and technology. He has travelled to 42 countries worldwide and spent time working on the trading floors of some of the biggest interdealer brokers in London, where he helped integrate cryptocurrency technology into the IT trading infrastructure. You can contact him on twitter @splshrollstmble or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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