Analysts have attributed the recent decline in the price of bitcoin to the unexpected surge in the valuation of several cryptocurrencies including Ripple and Cardano.
Over the past 24 hours, the market valuation of Ripple has increased by nearly 100 percent, surpassing $100 billion in market cap. While it has corrected since then, the market valuation of Ripple still remains above $89 billion, more than $23 billion higher than that of Ethereum.
Apart from the one brief period in November during which Bitcoin Cash overtook Ethereum for several hours, Ethereum had not given up its position as the second most valuable cryptocurrency behind bitcoin throughout the past 12 months. Yet, Ripple remains as the second most valuable cryptocurrency behind bitcoin 24 hours after it has initially taken over Ethereum.
For the first time since June, the dominance index of bitcoin over the cryptocurrency market has dipped below 38 percent. At the time of reporting, the dominance index of bitcoin is 37.9 percent, and is close to achieving an all-time low at 37.39 percent.
Where Does Bitcoin Go in 2018?
Analysts have been extremely optimistic about bitcoin in 2018 for many reasons, mainly due to the rapid adoption of the cryptocurrency by major financial institutions such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe), two of the largest stock markets and options exchanges in the global finance market.
As many billions of dollars in institutional money flow into the bitcoin market, analysts expect the market valuation of bitcoin to surge, potentially to the $1 trillion region, as sugged by billionaire investor Mike Novogratz and prominent financial analyst Max Keiser.
Currently, the main roadblock for bitcoin adoption and price recovery is said to be the scalability issues of the Bitcoin network. Although it still settles a volume of transactions in orders of magnitude larger than its competitors like Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash, its blockchain is congested and the transaction fees remain large.