This week in cryptocurrency saw another volatile period for Bitcoin, and numerous altcoins surged to new heights. Cheddar Anchors Hope King and Brad Smith break down the latest trends in this space.
Shares of Ripple's XRP hit a record high of $3.84. After plummeting earlier this week, Bitcoin ended the week trading just under $17,000. And Ethereum crossed a milestone, hitting a record high of $1,000.
Coindesk's Director of Research Nolan Bauerle and Fortune Staff Writer Robert Hackett explain factors driving altcoins up, and Bitcoin down.
"Bitcoin has an enviable problem of being so popular, and such strong brand name that it became hard to access," says Bauerle. "I think when people saw that surge hit in December they said well I'll try something else." Altcoins like Ripple's XRP, Ethereum, and Tron posted significant gains in the first week of 2018.
On Thursday Ripple's co-founder Chris Larsen became one of the wealthiest Americans on paper with his shares of the cryptocurrency growing to more than $59 billion. But Hackett says its important to note these shares are hard to transfer to direct wealth. Even if he were able to cash out all of his fortune, the markets would not handle it well says Hackett.
Decred Project Lead Jake Yocom-Piatt explains why alternative currencies are surging. "For all we know Bitcoin may fall, but for right now it's the dominant cryptocurrency," said Yocom-Piatt. "Currently there's 1,500 cryptocurrencies out there and the collective market cap of these keeps going up."