Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin and chainlink are the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies after bitcoin and they’ve suddenly soared this week.
Ethereum, XRP, litecoin and chainlink, with a combined market value of around $100 billion, have each added between 20% and 50% this week—outpacing even bitcoin’s rally.
While ethereum, XRP, litecoin and chainlink have been boosted by bitcoin’s growing reputation as digital gold through 2020, other cryptocurrency trends have also pushed them up.
This week, the ethereum price passed $500 per ether for the first time since June 2018. While ethereum remains far below its all-time high of around $1,500 set in January 2018, the ethereum price is up almost four-fold on March 2020, when the coronavirus crash wiped out global markets.
“Ethereum’s touching $500 for the first time since June 2018 represents a significant milestone,” Paolo Ardoino, the chief technology officer at British Virgin Islands-based Bitfinex, said via email.
“Ethereum’s up and coming transition to proof-of-stake is being closely watched. [Its] strong price performance underlines a mood of optimism that seems to be lifting the crypto space. While bitcoin is the undisputed king of crypto, the flourishing ethereum community is alive with many possibilities.”
One such part of the ethereum community is chainlink, an ethereum-based cryptocurrency token that powers a decentralized network designed to connect smart contracts to external data sources.
The chainlink price is up a staggering 500% over the last year and has exploded amid a flurry of interest in decentralized finance (DeFi)—using crypto technology to recreate traditional financial instruments such as loans and insurance.
“Accelerating bitcoin’s growth is the growing demand for yield and the rise of DeFi, the fastest growing sector within the blockchain industry,” Sergey Nazarov, the co-founder of chainlink, said via email. Nazarov expects bitcoin to break $100,000 per bitcoin “during this market cycle,” pushed on new DeFi cryptocurrency projects.
“Now, for the first time in bitcoin’s history and coinciding with a historic rise in inflation; not only can someone buy bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, they’re also able to receive a far larger APR or yield than they can expect to get from traditional finance.”