Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) is likely the first word you’ll hear if you ask anyone about cryptocurrencies.
That’s because Bitcoin holds the claim of being the world’s first crypto. It was launched all the way back in 2009 by someone (or a group of folks) going by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Fast forward 12 years and Bitcoin still has by far the largest market cap of any digital token, currently US$929.3 billion.
That’s more than twice its closest rival, Ethereum (CRYTPO: ETH), which has a market valuation of US$442.2 billion.
But it’s not Bitcoin or Ether driving a fresh wave of FOMO among crypto investors. It’s the fast-rising altcoins these investors are hoping to make rapid gains from.
The altcoins leaving Bitcoin in their wake
Altcoins, if you’re not familiar, simply refer to any cryptocurrency that’s not Bitcoin. And altcoins can potentially soar in price in a matter of hours. And, of course, they can fall just as quickly.
With that precaution in mind, we look at the top-performing altcoin over the past 24 hours and the top weekly performer.
First, the best performer of the past 7 days is Arweave (CRYPTO: AR).
Arweave is up 134% over the past week, compared to a 3% gain for Bitcoin. That comes despite Arweave tumbling 10% over the past 24 hours. (There’s that stomach-churning volatility for you.)
At the current price, the token has a market valuation of US$2.0 billion.
So what the heck does Arweave do? According to CoinMarketCap:
Arweave is a decentralised storage network that seeks to offer a platform for the indefinite storage of data. Describing itself as “a collectively owned hard drive that never forgets,” the network primarily hosts “the permaweb” — a permanent, decentralised web with a number of community-driven applications and platforms.
Moving on to the best daily performer, we have FTX Token (CRYPTO: FTT).
FTT is up 41% since this time yesterday, giving it a current market valuation of US$6.5 billion.
CoinMarketCap tells us that, “FTT is the native cryptocurrency token of the crypto derivatives trading platform FTX that launched on May 8, 2019″.
It’s currently trading at all-time highs of US$68.84, having just rocketed past the previous record high of US$61.25, set on 8 May this year.
Now, if you’re feeling that old FOMO itching, I’ll also point out that by 25 June it had fallen to US$23.36, a loss of more than 62%.
What the experts are saying
Taking a look beyond just Bitcoin, Yoni Assia, CEO of online exchange eToro said (quoted by Bloomberg):
There’s no doubt that there’s a lot of excitement in crypto. You can definitely see it within the numbers in the industry, whether it’s looking at total volumes or looking at growth of companies… We’ve seen a lot of exuberance in the market.
Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto exchange FTX said: “There’s generally been pretty positive crypto sentiment recently. NFTs have helped lead the revival, and the crash from May is further in the rearview mirror.”
Michael O’Rourke, chief market strategist at Jones Trading, noted the record levels of global government stimulus and sounded the following words of caution:
With all of this money floating around, we should not be surprised that there are people paying exorbitant amounts of money for digital pet rocks and an endless amount of other digital assets that can be easily created.
Digital pet rocks? Or digital gold?
The jury remains out on that question.
But there is no question that Bitcoin and altcoins can lose value just as quickly, or quicker, than they can potentially gain it.