Crypto update: Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) make strong gains

Much to their relief, it has been a positive few days for Australian cryptocurrency traders.

Led by the resurgent bitcoin (BTC) price, the majority of the world’s leading cryptocurrencies have pushed higher over the last few days.

Bitcoin sank as low as US$10,470 on Friday, but has clawed its way almost 13% higher since then to US$11,825 per coin, according to Coin Market Cap. This gives bitcoin a market capitalisation of US$199 billion.

The ethereum (ETH) price has been a stand out performer, climbing 21.5% during the same period to reach US$1,240.90. The second-largest cryptocurrency now has a market capitalisation of US$120.7 billion.

Ripple (XRP) has also performed well and is almost 15% higher than its Friday-low at US$1.31. It is however, still a long way from its previous high of US$3.79. The popular altcoin has a market capitalisation of US$52 billion.

Elsewhere, there have also been rises for Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Cardano (ADA), and Stellar Lumens (XLM). The increasingly popular Cardano was a highlight with a 15.6% gain since Friday.

Why did ethereum outperform its peers?

During the last few days ethereum was easily the best performer of the bunch with its 21.5% gain.

The reason for this is likely to be news that a ratings agency has picked it out as being better than both bitcoin and Ripple’s XRP.

According to CNBC, Florida-based Weiss Ratings has given ethereum a “good” B rating and bitcoin a “fair” C+ rating. The ratings agency believes bitcoin faces major challenges that have resulted in delays and high transaction costs, without immediate plans for an upgrade.

I agree with Weiss Ratings on bitcoin. Unless the technology is upgraded soon I fear it is destined to fall out of favour with traders and businesses. In fact, just last week we may have had a taste of things to come when payments company Stripe advised of plans to stop accepting bitcoin as a form of payment due to its many shortcomings. For these reasons I would stay clear of bitcoin until its technology is overhauled.

Instead, I would consider this huge investment opportunity in 2018.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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