Ethereum Sees New Records, Bitcoin and Ripple Tumble

REUTERS  Yuriko Nakao

REUTERS Yuriko Nakao

However, if speculating on bitcoin seems too big of a risk, or if you still have a soft spot for trusty old fiat currencies, consider these six bitcoin alternatives. Since then, its price and the market capitalization bounced back sharply. As of last month, South Korea was the world's third largest Bitcoin market and the largest market for Ether, owning 33% of all Ether worldwide. Beginning the year at around $997, bitcoin experienced abrupt volatility in the last quarter as the currency witnessed enormous buying interest in the wake of escalating tensions in the Middle East and East Asia, pushing investors to look at the virtual currency from the perspective of an alternate asset class with barely any accountability.

Ethereum's digital currency, known as Ether (ETH), has soared in value over the past 12 months, appreciating by almost 12,500 percent.

Hortman noted that regulatory concerns still exist and "will continue to cause fluctuations in price".

The cryptocurrency market has always been a source of frantic ups and downs.

But the past day's gains may not be enough for the cryptocurrencies to finish this week in positive territory.

"Recent announcements by regulatory agencies in the USA and major financial institutions are all signals for continued growth, not a bust", he said.

Many currencies in sub-Saharan Africa have lost value due to high inflation and supply mismanagement. Leading currency bitcoin (BTC-USD) dropped more than 15% on fears that South Korea could ban bitcoin trading, while Ethereum (ETH-USD) hit a fresh all-time high and regained its spot as the second-largest cryptocurrency, and continues to look strong even after dropping on the South Korea news as well.

Ethereum has climbed to as high as $1,417 since the start of the year and while it has trickled back down slightly from that record market, the cryptocurrency has enjoyed as much as an 87 percent increase in its value since January 1.

"The latest idea to ban it all seems to have come out of a fear that when the bubble bursts and things go wrong, it will be all on the government", Yun Chang-hyun, an economics professor at University of Seoul, told the wire service.

Hortman noted that anyone who has bought and held Bitcoin at nearly any point has seen the asset appreciate in value. The rally in its price was supported by the wide acceptance of ethereum in global financial markets.

"If you're not in it for the long-haul, don't buy", he said. "The true believers are going to hold".

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