10 Digital Currencies Now Have Market Values Totalling Over $1 Billion

The number of digital currencies that have exceeded a market value of $1 billion is 10 with values ranging from $1.3 billion to $70 billion.

The top 10 cryptocurrencies with market values exceeding $1 billion include bitcoin, ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash, IOTA, litecoin, NEO, NEM, dash and ethereum classic.

 

Bitcoin, the Number One Ranking Currency

In first place is bitcoin with a market value amounting to $70 billion. At press time, it is trading at $4,245, which has seen a 5.42 percent rise over the past 24 hours and a 27.03 percent increase in the last seven days.

After recently scaling the $4,000 mark, there is still huge demand for the digital currency. This is despite the 1st August user activated hard fork, which saw the creation of bitcoin cash. It remains to be seen how far bitcoin can go, but many are predicting it can easily reach $5,000 and even higher.

Ethereum Drops Below $300

Second place ethereum had attained the $300 mark again after flirting with the price for some time last week. Now, it’s trading at $297 with a 0.68 percent rise in 24 hours and 11.23 percent increase in seven days. Its market cap is worth $28 billion.

At one point, it looked as though ethereum may push bitcoin off the top spot as it steadily gained on the digital currency. Now, though, that doesn’t look likely. The currency has come a significant way since the beginning of the year when it was trading at $8.24, according to CoinMarketCap.

Ronnie Moas, Standpoint Research founder, believes it can go much further. He’s predicting that by 2018, ethereum’s price will be listed at $400.

Ripple Maintains Third Place

At the beginning of August, Ripple has lost its third place position to newcomer bitcoin cash; however, it has since reclaimed the third ranking spot.

Currently trading at $0.169272, it has a market value amounting to $6.7 billion. Over 24 hours its value has increased by 0.47 percent, but within seven days it has dropped in price by -5.95 percent. The digital currency is doing well to maintain hold of third place, but for how long?

Newcomer Bitcoin Cash Falls into Fourth

Bitcoin cash is the newest digital currency to enter the market. It’s also one that has entered the top 10 field so soon after its launch.

Created by supporters who wanted a solution to bitcoin’s scaling issues, bitcoin cash has garnered support since it entered the scene on the 1st August.

At the time of publishing, it is trading at $299, which has seen a slight drop in value over 24 hours of -2.96 percent. Yet, it has increased by 4.02 percent in the past seven days. Ranking third when it first came on the scene, it had a market value of nearly $12 billion. Now, though, it’s currently sitting at $4.9 billion.

At its peak, bitcoin cash was trading at $727 on the 2nd August. However, the chart below indicates a steady decline in price.

At its lowest, bitcoin cash was trading at $201 on the 5th August. After making it easier to find blocks for the digital currency its price peaked up slightly, but it has yet to see $700 figures again.

IOTA Grabs Fifth Place, Pushes Litecoin into Sixth

IOTA has shown some positive returns on its price in August. As such its price has steadily increased over the month. At the time of publishing, the digital currency is trading at $0.885418 and has seen an 18.37 percent in the past 24 hours. Over seven days, its value has increased by 87.29 percent.

This surge in value is believed to be down to the fact that it has announced collaborations with several groups such as a non-profit organisation helping refugees. Joining the $1 billion club on the 4th August, IOTA currently has a market value of $2.461 billion.

Litecoin is Close Behind in Sixth

Sixth place litecoin is close on the tails of IOTA with a current market value of $2.401 billion. It’s currently trading at $45.66 and has seen a -0.70 percent in 24 hours and -0.33 percent in the past seven days.

Over the past couple of years the price of litecoin has remained within the $3-5 range. However, it wasn’t until April 2017 that its price increased. This was helped along by the activation of SegWit on its network. The support of litecoin on Coinbase also played a role. At its highest litecoin has achieved over $50.

Moas is of the opinion that by 2018, litecoin could easily see it trading at $80. It remains to be seen whether or not the digital currency achieves this price, but it is steadily rising in price, which is giving confidence to many of its traders.

‘Chinese Ethereum’ NEO Takes Seventh

Formerly known as AntShares, NEO – known as the Chinese Ethereum – has a market value worth $2.3 billion. Since undergoing a rebrand the digital currency has soared in value.

In the past 24 hours, it has seen a 1.17 percent increase, but over the past seven days its value has jumped by 154.80 percent. It’s trading at $46.63.

This chart, alone, indicates how far NEO has come in 2017.

NEM Takes Eighth Place

Grabbing hold of a $2.094 billion market cap value is NEM. It’s currently trading at $0.232741, but has seen a -12.14 percent decrease over the past 24 hours and a -13.89 drop in seven days.

As can be seen NEM has experienced a surge in price over the first half of 2017. As we continue into the second half it remains to be seen if the digital currency can produce a higher price.

Dash Falls into Ninth

With a market cap of $1.471 billion, Dash is currently sitting in ninth position. At the time of publishing it’s trading at $196, but has seen a -3.43 percent drop in 24 hours. Over seven days, however, its value has risen by 1.29 percent.

On the 6th July, its value was trading at $222 when its market value was listed at $1.648 billion.

Ethereum Classic Makes Number 10

In tenth place is ethereum classic with a market cap value of $1.3 billion. Even though this is the original ethereum before a hard fork took place, which saw two ethereum coins, the community hasn’t shown too much support for the original version.

At the time of publishing this altcoin is trading at $14.14, which has seen a -1.81 percent decrease in 24 hours and a -7.81 percent drop in seven days.

As shown from the chart above, it was back in June when ethereum classic recorded a high of nearly $23, helping to push its market value to $2.1 billion.

Of course with the market producing such changeable values the top 10 could easily change, pushing some down and others not mentioned up. Who knows who will be next to join the $1 billion club.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Goldman Sachs: It’s Harder for Investors to Ignore Digital Currencies

Goldman Sachs has said to clients that the boom in value that digital currencies are experiencing is ‘worth watching.’

Analyst Robert D. Boroujerdi and his team, said in a note to portfolio managers, that:

“With the total value nearly $120 billion, it’s getting harder for institutional investors to ignore cryptocurrencies.”

On the 5th August, the price of bitcoin reached $3,200 for the first time in its history. Prior to reaching that milestone it hadn’t seen $3,000 figures since the 12th June. Then it recorded a price of $3,041, according to CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index (BPI). Ethereum also recorded a new high price when it soared through $400.

More recently, bitcoin’s price has pushed through $3,300 and $3,400 with its sights set on reaching $3,500.

At the time of publishing bitcoin is trading at $3,390 and has a market cap worth just under $56 billion on the 10th August.

Over a 24-hour period, its value has increased just over two percent with a 23 percent rise within the past seven days.

Ethereum Flirts with $300

Ethereum, too, is seeing a rise in its value. At the moment it is trading just two dollars under the $300 mark.

Its price has risen by 2.17 percent over the past 24 hours and 33.50 percent within the past seven days. Of the top five digital currencies it has seen the biggest increase in price over the past week. Its market cap is now worth just over $28 billion.

The entire market value of the digital currencies is worth $122.6 billion. On the 7th August, it was $117 billion; however, on the 8th August it rose again to $121.8 billion. The lowest recorded price was down at $60 billion in July.

Bitcoin Cash Still Stays in Fourth

As can be seen from the table above, bitcoin cash, the newest altcoin on the block, remains in fourth place. It’s currently trading at $287 with a market value worth $4.7 billion. Over the past 24 hours, its value has dropped by 14.66 percent whereas it has declined by 33.77 percent over the past seven days.

On the 8th August, its value had risen to $358, experiencing a 35.45 percent rise which saw a market value of $5.9 billion. This was down to the fact that it is now easier for miners to find blocks. At the time it was questioned whether this would subsequently rise the coin’s value. As can be seen, though, bitcoin cash is still going through a fluctuating phase, which will continue to see its price rise and fall.

Digital Currencies Are Worth Watching

Now, in a significant step forward, Goldman Sachs believe that the rise of digital currencies are worth watching.

This year bitcoin has seen a 200 percent rise in price while ethereum has experienced a colossal 3,500 percent increase. The year 2017 is certainly proving to be a great year for the market and we’re only into August. It will be interesting to see how much further the sector can go.

Not only that, but the market has seen a rise in interest with initial coin offerings (ICOs), which is attracting a large number of investors.

It was earlier reported that in the first six months of 2017, over $1.2 billion in digital currencies had been risen through ICOs. So much so, that this figure outpaced venture capital funding in blockchain and bitcoin companies.

Yet, according to Charles Hoskinson, ethereum’s co-founder, who now runs research firm IOHK, they are a ‘ticking time-bomb.’

In an interview, Hoskinson, said:

“People say ICOs are great for ethereum because, look at the price, but it’s a ticking time-bomb. There’s an over-tokenisation of things as companies are issuing tokens when the same tasks can be achieved with existing blockchains. People are blinded by fast and easy money.”

Despite this, though, people are still flocking to ICOs. In July, it was reported that Tezos, a blockchain project, had announced the largest ICO to date after raising $232 million in bitcoin and ethereum coins. This outpaced the ICO for blockchain project Bancor, backed by Tim Draper of VC fund Draper Fisher Jurvetson, which raised $153 million in ether in June.

According to Goldman Sachs:

“Whether or not you believe in the merit of investing in cryptocurrencies (you know who you are) real dollars are at work here and warrant watching especially in light of the growing world of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and fundraising that now exceeds Internet Angel and Seed investing.”

Yet, while digital currencies are attracting a mammoth amount of interest, the bank adds that the market cap of all the cryptocurrencies equals to less than two percent of all the gold that is mined in the world.

Not only that, but while there are over 1,000 altcoins on the market, only around 800 of them actually have a market cap value. Yet, of those some have relatively small market caps. The smallest, at 817, has a market cap of just $18.

Boroujerdi and his team adds:

“There are currently over 800 cryptocurrencies out there, though just 9 have a market cap in excess of $1 billion.”

Bitcoin’s Value to Increase?

Many are projecting, however, that the value of bitcoin will increase.

Despite the recent user activated hard fork (UAHF), which saw the creation of bitcoin cash, bitcoin’s price hasn’t been affected. In fact the opposite of what was expected to happen, happened. Such a situation indicates that bitcoin has matured to such an extent that even a new digital currency won’t impact it.

According to Ronnie Moas, Standpoint Research founder, he believes that bitcoin will rise to $5,000 by 2018. He also predicts that ethereum will increase to $400 and litecoin will trade at $80.

Back in July, Moas indicated that bitcoin could reach $5,000 ‘in a few months,’ but has now extended the time he thinks this will happen. Confident as to where the market is going, he said:

“In my view, 10-15 years from now, the charts on a few of the top 20 names will look like the Amazon, Apple, Tesla, Facebook, Netflix and Goggle charts look today.”

Others believe that its value can increase even further. By 2020, a Wall Street analyst has made a bullish prediction and thinks bitcoin will be worth $55,000. With such varying prices, it remains to be seen who is the closest.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

South Africa’s Central Bank to Start Testing Digital Currency Regulations

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has announced that it will begin testing regulations for digital currencies such as bitcoin.

During the first seven months of 2017, the digital currency market has experienced huge gains with slight drops in between. At the beginning of the year bitcoin was valued at $1,000; however, its price has since climbed through the $2,000 barrier and even scaled further than $3,000 in June.

Recently, though, the value of bitcoin dropped to below $2,000 in light of the scaling debate.

Many in the community previously believed that digital currency was going to undergo a coin split, which pushed its price down as holders keen to make a profit, while they still could, sold the coins they were holding. Of course, now that BIP 91, the network protocol upgrade for bitcoin, has been locked in by miners the value of the digital currency has risen to $2,710, as of the 24th July.

This in turned has had a positive impact on other altcoins, which also took a price tumble when bitcoin did. On the 16th July, Ethereum’s price dropped by 22 percent to $159 and 60 percent from its June high when it was over $400. At the moment ether is trading at $223, according to CoinMarketCap.

Of course, with some claiming that bitcoin has been in a price bubble it has naturally attracted the attention of authorities who think regulation is the way forward.

One organisation is SARB, which is currently having discussions with blockchain-based solutions provider Bankymoon.

In a report from BusinessTech, Loerien Gamaroff, CEO of Bankymoon, said that the provider had been chosen by the bank as its first sandbox business to undertake an experiment with new digital currency regulations.

According to the report, Gamaroff has been part of a number of workshops and seminars focusing on digital currencies within the South African market.

He states, however, that at this stage the two are working together to determine where the relationship can go for future development.

He said:

“This is because the Reserve Bank is very hesitant to give a stamp of approval on anything that comes out. The sandbox will only be bitcoin focused during this initial phase, but is focused on applying broad regulations to all cryptocurrencies.”

He adds that this step toward possible regulation will help at providing a more formal foundation and gives legitimacy to bitcoin that people will be able to trust.

“I think the regulation will move things along and make people on the street comfortable with bitcoin. With these new regulations, these everyday people can now trust that bitcoin is not just for hackers and criminals.”

 South Africa Open to Blockchain and Digital Currencies

Last August, the SARB revealed that it was open to the innovation of digital currencies and the distributed technology ledger with the bank’s governor claiming that the financial establishment is willing to consider the benefits that these technologies present.

At the time, Lesetja Kganyago, the governor of SARB, said:

“As a central bank, we are open to innovations despite the different opinions of regulators on matters such as cryptocurrencies. We are willing to consider the merits and risks of blockchain technology and other distributed ledgers.”

Bitcoin Regulation in South Africa?

At present bitcoin remains unregulated in the nation; however digital currencies aren’t prohibited or banned outright in the country.

As such, the use of them is growing as more people turn their attention to them despite the fact that a joint advisory was released in 2014 warning the public on the risks linked to the use of digital currencies.

According to Kerri Crawford, a tech lawyer at global financial law firm Norton Rose Fulbright based in Johannesburg, she thinks that as the uptake of digital currencies increases there is a chance that South African authorities will take a regulatory approach.

In a blog published in 2016, Crawford said:

“…it is possible that the South African authorities will adopt the approach taken in many other jurisdictions and explore ways in which the regulatory regime could be amended or revised.”

As more jurisdictions think about implementing a regulatory stance toward digital currencies such as bitcoin it could be that they begin to outpace fiat currencies in the future. This was the thinking from Michael Jordaan, the former CEO of one of South Africa’s ‘Big 4’ banks, the First National Bank (FNB).

In June, Jordaan said at the Software AG Innovation Tour 2017 event in Johannesburg that by 2025 digital currencies will compete with national currencies as trading volumes continue to rise.

According to a report he said that cryptocurrencies had the potential to make banks become obsolete as they continue to challenge the current banking model.

Banks Need to Embrace FinTech

Interestingly, his word echo those of former chief of Barclays bank who was reported as saying that the financial services sector needs to embrace the world of fintech if they wish to remain relevant or they could become obsolete.

Anthony Jenkins, the former CEO, said:

“We’re really at the end of the beginning of what we see as a revolution driven by technology with financial services and fintech is really a too narrow categorisation of what’s going on here. As the technologies develop and season, they’re going to create a totally different way of doing banking and financial services.”

His words follow on from a 2015 prediction when he said that there was going to be an ‘Uber-like’ disruption from the fintech sector that would change the current banking system. As a consequence, he believes that in 10 years time those working within the banking establishment will have been reduced by 20 percent, but could go as high as 50 percent.

It remains to be seen what result South Africa’s central bank comes to when it completes its trial looking into digital currency regulations; however, it would certainly be a step forward for the country as it looks at embracing innovative technologies.

By doing so, it will join the likes of Japan, which in April changed their regulations that now considers bitcoin a legal form of payment.

 

Featured image from Flickr via Paul Saad.

Venezuelans Turn to Digital Currencies Amid Increasing Political Crisis

A rising number of Venezuelans are turning to digital currencies such as bitcoin as the country continues to battle a political, economic and social crisis.

In February 2017, inflation in the country is reported to have soared to 741 percent year-on-year. In December 2016, inflation rose by 800 percent, reaching an all-time high.

In comparison, consumer prices in the U.S. increased by 2.4 percent in March. The last time the country recorded an all-time high was during the 1920s when inflation was recorded at 23.70 percent, according to Business Insider.

With Venezuelan citizens calling for the removal of President Nicolas Maduro, a worthless bolivar, low savings and the country struggling to provide basic necessities for its citizens, they are turning their attention to digital currencies such as bitcoin.

According to Ryan Taylor, chief executive office of Dash Core, it makes sense for people to be involved in a volatile digital currency that is rising in price rather than a volatile currency that is falling in value.

He added:

“We’re seeing huge demand in Venezuela through inquiries in our support line, as more and more people join our forums and chat rooms, even on how-to YouTube videos that have popped up.”

LocalBitcoins.com, an online exchange, which gives users the option to change their local currencies into bitcoin, noted that the bitcoin trading volume in Venezuela had increased to $1.3 million. This figure is around twice the amount that was recorded two months ago.

Still a Small Market

Yet, while there is certainly an increasing number of people who are turning their attention to digital currencies to function in their day-to-day lives, the market only seems to be touching a small percentage of people.

As Bloomberg reports, in 2015, only 62 percent of the population had access to an Internet connection while those living below the poverty line was recorded at more than 80 percent.

However, it is in countries that are experiencing a national currency crisis that the adoption of digital currencies may be at its strongest. According to a report from the London School of Economics, it found that based on its Bitcoin Market Potential Index (BMPI), Argentina and Venezuela were the two countries that were most likely to adopt bitcoin. This was based on technology penetration, inflation and financial repression.

Taylor said:

“It’s in these locations where the incentives to go into digital currencies is the strongest. We’re seeing a lot of growth in the region.”

Value of Digital Currencies Drop

As the saying goes: what goes up must come down.

And that’s certainly the case with the crypto market at present. Bitcoin is probably experiencing the worst drop in its price after reaching the $3,000 mark earlier in June.

As of the 15 June, the price of the digital currency is trading around $2,300, dropping nearly 25 percent in value. As a consequence, its market cap value has fallen and is now worth $37 billion.

However, it isn’t just bitcoin that has seen its price going into the red. So did other well-established digital currencies such as ethereum, which had a price drop from over $400 to $344. With bitcoin’s market value dropping to below $40 billion, ethereum is slowly catching up with its value just shy of $30 billion. Zcash, the 12th largest digital currency is, however, in the green with its prices rising to just under $400, pushing its market cap value up to over $500 million.

Still a Viable Alternative?

Yet, one can’t help questioning whether digital currencies are still a viable option for people to invest in. Even though bitcoin’s price has tripled in price since the beginning of the year, before dropping in value, it still remains a highly volatile asset to invest in.

Not only that, but many critics of the digital currency have spoken out claiming that the price of it is in a bubble. Other naysayers of the digital currency include Mike Hearn, a well-known bitcoin developer, who published a post on Medium last January claiming that bitcoin had failed.

Hearn states:

“It has failed because the community has failed. What was meant to be a new, decentralised form of money that lacked ‘systemically important institutions’ and ‘too big to fail’ has become something even worse: a system completely controlled by just a handful of people.”

Furthermore, Taavet Hinrikus, CEO at TransferWise, a cross-border money transfer firm, said in April 2016 that bitcoin was like a ‘gold rush’ and that ‘real people’ weren’t using the currency.

If that’s true then why is the currency making a difference in people’s day-to-day lives around the world?

While the early days of using digital currencies such as bitcoin may have been difficult, it is now becoming easier with more and more merchants accepting the cryptocurrency as a form of payment.

India is one country that is seeing an increase in the use of digital currencies. Last November, the country’s demonetisation saw the government wipe out around 86 percent of the nation’s national currency overnight. As such, the country’s citizens needed an alternative way for them to pay for things. Bitcoin became the ideal alternative, which has seen an increase among the 18-35 age range.

Additionally, since Japan changed its regulations regarding bitcoin in April 2017 and its use as a payment option, merchants are now accepting it as a form of payment.

In a bid to keep up with the demand that the currency is presenting it’s expected that by the end of 2017 there will be as many as 300,000 stores in Japan offering the digital currency as a payment option. One Japanese company that is making plans to include bitcoin is low-cost Japanese airline Peach Aviation Ltd., who have announced that it is to start accepting the digital currency for flights at the end of the year.

Digital currencies may still have a long way to go before they become mainstream, but despite their volatility and their unregulated nature they are making steady headway.

While trading prices within the market may be down, it’s expected that they will pick up again. Only time will tell how and when this will happen, but despite this, they are still a viable option for people, particularly the citizens of Venezuela who are living through political turmoil and a weak bolivar that doesn’t seen any end in sight.

Featured image from Flickr via ruurmo.