Bitcoin is obviously the most famous cryptocurrency but in the meantime you have probably heard of cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Ripples.
What you probably didn’t realize is that there are over 1,300 alt coins in circulation at the moment.
Will Bitcoin be able to stay the largest in 2018 or will one of these challenges take over the 1st (pole) position?
Meet the Cryptocurrency Competition
Although currently there are already more than 1300 coins floating on the market, more groups have announced their intentions to launch a coin as well. Most recently Telegram mentioned its plans of a multi-billion Dollar “ICO” (initial coin offering) for a chat cryptocurrency.
Although Telegram could have the name recognition and team to support a strong coin brand, most of the 1300 coins remain at a spectacular distance from Bitcoin and the other top cryptos. You need to find crypto number 774 before finding a cryptocurrency with a market cap of a million USD or more. Just for you info: market cap is total value of crypto which means price times number of available coins.
Lets analyse these market cap numbers in more detail from coin market cap:
- Almost half have less than a million
- 774 have more than 1 million
- 521 have more than 10 million
- 305 have more than 50 million
- 209 have more than 100 million
- 76 have more than 500 million
- 44 have more than 1 billion
- 10 have more than 10 billion
The difference between the bottom half and the top 10 might seem startling to you, but the difference within the top 10 is just as large. Places 5 to 10 have caps ranging from 10 to 25 billion, only Bitcoin Cash on place 4 reaches above 40 billion.
The 3rd at this moment (10 January 2018) is Ripple with $65 billion, Ethereum is 2nd with 125 billion and Bitcoin is first with 232 billion but these figures vary widely per day depending on the price movement. On January 9 for instance these figures were 90 for Ripple, 115 for Ethereum and 260 for Bitcoin.
Which Crypto Has a Chance to Challenge Bitcoin?
Bitcoin’s pole position is certainly sizeable as it is more than twice the size of its closest challenger Ethereum, three times as larger as Ripples, and mostly dwarfs any crypto in 5th place or lower.
Just by crunching and analysing these numbers, it seems unlikely and difficult for any crypto outside of the top 4 do make a serious bid for the first spot in 2018. The main reason is simply because they need to catch up so much territory in just one year.
Of course, there could be a rising star that strongly grows when compared to other cryptos during 2018 but it will probably only become a serious candidate for the 1st position in 2019, 2020 and beyond.
This leaves us with 2 major contenders:
Both Ethereum and Ripples showed large gains in recent weeks since Bitcoin posted its highest high so far on 18th of December 2017 at around $19,400. This means that Ethereum and Ripples were growing strongly as Bitcoin was showing a retracement.
Despite the rapid push higher of Ripples and Ethereum, Bitcoin still maintains a comfortable lead and it seems to be building a corrective consolidation. If BTC/USD does make a bullish breakout to the upside, then it could be difficult for Ripples and Ethereum to catch up. Read here more about the advantages and disadvantages of trading Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Ripples and Ethereum will most likely need to make rather large gains when BTC/USD is taking a break and building a consolidation. For instance, Bitcoin would need to retrace by a third and Ethereum would need to grow by about 70% to take over the first position. Not easy but certainly not impossible.
Bitcoin on the left versus USD and Ether on the right versus USD in recent weeks. ETH/USD has been moving higher whereas BTC/USD is correcting.
Conclusion for the crypto market and Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s lead in terms of market cap remains formidable and is starting the 2018 trading year with a substantial lead. But Ripples and Ethereum have shown since mid December that they can grow strongly as Bitcoin makes a larger pause.
Although it seems likely that Bitcoin will challenge and/or break its current high of $19,400 at least once sometime this year, Ethereum and Ripples could still make relative gains when Bitcoin takes its next break.
Bitcoin’s lead however could also easily expand with the next bullish push. For the moment, it seems likely that 2018 will see Bitcoin remain as the number 1.
However, it will be interesting to see how the two most serious candidates, Ripples and Ethereum, challenge Bitcoin this year and whether they will have better papers next year in 2019.
My odds for the top position at the end of 2018:
- Bitcoin 50%
- Ethereum 40%
- Ripple 10%
Do you disagree? What percentages would you attach to each cryptocurrency at the end of 2018?
Let us know in the comments section below!
Oh and if you are thinking about trading cryptos, read pros and cons of cryptocurrencies first.
Wish you good trading,