Ethereum, which has regained its spot as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after recent gains, is soaring today, helping to boost the cryptocurrency market—including bitcoin and ripple (XRP) as a post-Christmas rally rolls on.
Ethereum has climbed some 80% over the past month, adding a further 12% rise over the last 24 hours, as an upcoming so-called hard fork pushes up demand for ethereum’s tradable token ether.
Bitcoin has added some 4% over the last 24 hours, while ripple, a common name for the XRP tradable token, has climbed 3%. Ripple last year overtook ethereum as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency on the back of surging interest from the established financial services sector but has failed to hold on to those gains.
The hard fork, which usually means a cryptocurrency splits in two, will see ethereum miner rewards fall from three ether to two and decrease the block time, making the network faster. The update is set for January 16 and is thought to be a key component of ethereum’s transition from using a proof of work protocol to proof of stake.
Cryptocurrency forks do not always mean their value rises, however.
Bitcoin forks have previously led to minor drops in the bitcoin price in the short term. When bitcoin cash forked from the bitcoin network in July 2017, bitcoin dropped some 4%—though bitcoin had risen strongly in the months leading up to the fork and continued to do so in following months before peaking in December 2017.
Bitcoin cash itself then rallied hard ahead of its split in November last year. The bull run proved to be short-lived, however, with both bitcoin cash, and the hived off bitcoin SV, falling sharply in following weeks.
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The ethereum price has lost some 80% from its peak 12 months ago, as many of the digital tokens built on the ethereum network failed to hold their value. However, ethereum co-creator Joe Lubin called the “cryptobottom of 2018” in mid-December, saying it was “marked by an epic amount of fear, uncertainty, and doubt from our friends in the 4th and crypto-5th estates.”
The bitcoin and wider cryptocurrency bear market forced Lubin to make changes at his company ConsenSys last year.
Last month, closely followed economist and a cryptocurrency trader Alex Krüger tweeted he expected the reaction to the upcoming ethereum hard fork would be “bullish.”
“Once mining is past the initial (painful) adjustment period, less mining supply mined by fewer miners will be decidedly bullish,” Krüger wrote.
Meanwhile, bitcoin and Ripple’s XRP have also climbed over so far this week, kicking off 2019 with a rise and greeting many traders and investors returning to work today after the holidays with a sea of green.
Many will be hoping this positive start to 2019 will continue for the rest of the year after 2018 ended in what’s been called Crypto Winter, due to its debilitating effect on the market and crypto investment and development.
This post credited to forbes Image source: Forbes