The New Year celebrations are coming to a close across the world, but thanks to the position of the time zones, the December 2 first saw cryptocurrency action from the Asian nations. This includes the big economic powers in the Far East, including China, Japan, and South Korea. There, the trading sessions that occurred managed to propel ETH to its new record price.
The value of a single ETH token reached $913 in the early hours of the day, presenting the cryptocurrency with a breakout chance that has so far calmed down a bit. But, being that the work week is only starting, there is almost a certainty that the bullish wave will attempt to push the digital currency near or over the $1k mark.
This is great news for anyone invested in the ethereum network or those who are developing in the same domain but focus on smart contract applications. For practically anyone, the rise in price showcases the power of the current runner-up for the top stop in the cryptocurrency field.
At the same time, the rise of ETH price coincides with a relatively weak showing of the bitcoin potential for growth this early in 2018. For some, events in both networks point towards the strong possibility of ethereum slowly but surely taking over as the dominant digital currency.
The day of trading in Asia provided the cryptocurrency markets with some big winners, among which ETH tops everyone else. As the part of the big 10, or the top digital currencies in terms of market cap, ethereum was the only one which managed to gain over 12% in value.
This provided the record value of its coin, but also a renewed interest in its ability to grow further in 2018. For many, the question is really can this year be the same as 2016 for bitcoin, which since they became ever-present, including being a means for online betting, purchases, and investment, among other things. This means that not many expect an astronomical rise in value (some are also hoping against it because it will inject a new level of instability and volatility).
Instead, traders and even more so, developers, are hopeful that the year could cement ethereum as a stable investment platform. From this position, the value could once more begin to rise as new investors become involved with it, similar to the process as it played out for bitcoin two years ago.
Only with this sense of a stable platform (not in terms of price, but functionality) can the price rise substantially and without huge drops that would wipe away the amassed value. Yet, for many analysts, the same can happen only if the bitcoin’s shine becomes even darker for most investors.
Bitcoin’s Weakening Position
Individually, bitcoin is still top dog among the cryptomarkets bit 10. But troubling clouds seem to be gathering on the horizon. The cryptocurrency market cap is still the biggest, but for the first time ever, the combined market cap of the other top four digital currencies surpasses it.
On Tuesday, January 2, bitcoin pretty stayed the same during the rush on the Asian markets. In fact, at some point, it began trading down, but then managed to surge back up. This was one of the reasons for experts to once again point out that the recent volatility of BTC made is practically meaningless as a payment means.
Instead, it is now more akin to digital commodity or even a version of cryptocurrency gold – this is why most investors, aside from day traders, invest in BTC with only a Hold strategy. They plan on waiting to cash in when the time is right, regardless if they need to wait weeks or years.
But, this leaves bitcoin in a tough position in 2018 where it needs to provide the market with something impressive that would allow it to keep the top stop. Currently, there are no hints that bitcoin has anything similar in the works, with most development being low-key. This could provide a foot in the door for the altcoins and their role in the global market was bitcoin is no longer the Alpha and the Omega.
The Case of Litecoin
Similar to many other ventures in the digital domain, like social media or eSports, ethereum has the unique possibility of trying to emulate the successes of other ventures. This is the reason why litecoin’s case is so interesting.
As a stable and well-functioning network, many experts have pointed to litecoin’s advantages for years now. But, it was just recently that it got a chance to strongly move out of its previous record-value zone.
Ethereum shares some characteristics with litecoin. It is run by a blockchain network that allows higher speeds of transactions, so its use as a method of payment is still not unfeasible. Like litecoin, ethereum has the technological edge but lacks the security of knowing its price will keep on rising because of it.
Additionally, there is the factor of the public limelight. One of the biggest developments for the bitcoin network was the start of futures trading on the big US financial companies. This is the news that defined the most of November and December 2017 for BTC and shot up its price to a level many believed to be impossible at the beginning of the year.
Litecoin, just like ethereum, does not have a proposition like this on the table. Also, there are no indications that one is being prepared. For the price to rise and stay in the new domain of over $1k, ethereum needs to have a big moment in the eyes of the public.
The sailing process for ethereum in this sense does not only cover its technical elements and traits. It also includes the ability of the network to handle media attention and trader/investor influx. While most individuals working in ethereum ecosystem probably believe they go this covered, no one can tell for sure until the surge comes.
If ethereum wants to keep a strong position once the surge had pushed it up, it must be able to flexibly scale up. If this abilitiy really is there, it could allow it jeopardize the position of BTC even more in the months to come.