Ethereum Reaches Record High As Bitcoin Opens the New Year on a Weaker Note

Today, the ether token of Ethereum opened 2018 on a high as the cryptocurrency’s price shot up to reach a record-breaking level.

According to the aggregate index of Coindesk, the total market capitalisation of the cryptocurrency broke $84bn (£62bn) as its price reached as high as $914.83. At around 10 am, it was up by 12.01 percent at $866.21.

The chief market analyst at Think Markets, Naeem Aslam, said that Ethereum was the cryptocurrency that is making the most noise at the beginning of the new year.

Ethereum is third largest cryptocurrency by market cap. Aslam said that almost $3bn worth of the cryptocurrency was traded between exchanges in just a span of 24 hours.

This morning, the digital currency XRP of Ripple was also up around four percent at $2.34. Last week, Ripple soared to become the second most valuable cryptocurrency following bitcoin, with its market cap rising above $100bn over the course of the weekend.

Ripple enables financial institutions to transfer money across the globe more easily with the use of the blockchain.

Aslam said: “No doubt that Ripple was the best performing cryptocurrency last week, but today all the momentum is behind Ethererum. The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has surged to astonishing $620bn.”

However, it was another story for Bitcoin.

Aslam said: “In 2018, the cryptocurrency king, bitcoin, began on a much weaker start.”

After soaring above $14,000 on the final day of 2017, bitcoin was trading around $13,500 at the beginning of the new year. Around 10 am today, the price of bitcoin was up by 1.32 percent at $13,589.25.

In December, bitcoin almost reached a price of $20,000 as the popularity of the cryptocurrency surged with the launch of new futures contracts on major exchanges of the United States.