The market capitalization of bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, declined to under $100 billion for the first time since October of 2017 amid a steep sell-off in digital tokens Wednesday (November 14).
According to a report in CNBC citing Coinmarketcap.com, the market cap of bitcoin was at $98,194,458,586 overnight. A big sell-off in cryptocurrency that started Wednesday continued on Thursday (November 15) in Asia. Brian Kelly, founder and chief executive officer at BKCM, told CNBC that bitcoin cash is doing a hard fork, which prompted the sell-off. A hard fork, in essence, is an upgrade to the blockchain. “When you do a software upgrade, everybody usually agrees. But in this particular case, everybody is not agreeing,” he said. In Asia bitcoin was priced at $5,564.70 after trading in the $6,400 range for most of the fall, noted CNBC.
At the same time that bitcoin’s market cap was falling, rival digital currencies Ripple XRP and Ether were battling it out for the second place spot in terms of digital currencies. CNBC noted that data from Coindesk showed XRP having a higher market cap of $18.44 billion, versus Ether’s $18.26 billion. Zennon Kapron, director at financial technology consultancy Kapronasia, told CNBC that the perception that Ripple has been making a lot of progress could be behind the increase. He pointed to Ripple’s recent deal to partner with CIMB Group of Malaysia as one example. Kapron noted that as Ripple has gained more traction, investors have gotten increasingly bullish on XRP’s prospects. According to the report, the aggregate digital token market capitalization declined by $15 billion over 24 hours Wednesday.
In late October Ripple said that its revenues related to the sale of the digital asset known as XRP gained ground in the third quarter of this year, more than doubling over the second quarter (that is, sequentially). The company said in its third-quarter report on XRP markets that it sold $163.3 million in the latest period, up from the $75.5 million in the second quarter.