Altcoins have been surging as bitcoin slipped amid the bitcoin futures launch by CME on December 17. Bitcoin Cash led the rally with 41% gain on Tuesday’s trading with a unit now going for $3,224.
Other gainers include IOTA which saw an upswing of 21% to trade at &5.1285 on bitfinex the largest exchange based in Hong Kong.
Ripple also made gains before slipping to $ 0.71500. The cryptocurrency which is tailored for banking has been enjoying record gains buoyed by activity particularly in the South Korean market which accounts for nearly half of all transactions.
Banks in Japan and South Korea have been testing the crypto for use in in payment transfers and is touted to have the ability to cut transaction costs by as much as 60%.
Bitcoin momentarily hit $20,000 over the weekend before sliding below $18,000. Ethereum too made similar gains with a 16% rally in Tuesday’s trading with Bitcoin Cash making a 26% according to CoinMarketCap.
Ethereum which has been leading the surge briefly skirted $900 before recoiling slightly.
On average, the leading 10 cryptocurrencies have made about 6% gain in the last 24 hours with the market now worth in excess of $630 billion with bitcoin now below 50% in market share in terms of market cap.
Cryptocurrency investors are taking their money out of bitcoin as they try to cash in on the altcoins rally which could explain the trend over the last one week. BCH/BTC pairs have particularly gone up in volume suggesting the link. There is a high possibility investors will pump the money back to bitcoin once it resumes its march again.
Prominent personalities in the cryptocurrency world like Emil Oldenburg have a dim view of the prospects of bitcoin given its long transaction times. The founder of bitcoin.com now says he has invested heavily in Bitcoin Cash which is more nimble.
“An investment in Bitcoin right now I would say is the riskiest investment one can make. It is extremely high-risk. I’ve actually sold all of my Bitcoins recently and switched to Bitcoin Cash,” Emil told Breakit a Swedish website.
Bitcoin transaction can take up to 4.5 hours before they are confirmed. Transaction fees have also been going up with every surge. There are also limits to the number of transactions one can make at a time on the network and Emil thinks Bitcoin is unusable.