Ripple surges to No. 2 in cryptocurrency race

NEW YORK • A new contender just moved into second place in the race to catch bitcoin.

Ripple, a cryptocurrency that first surfaced in 2013, has surged 53 per cent in the past 24 hours to surpass ethereum and take the title of the world's second-most valuable digital coin by market cap.

Ripple's market value rocketed to US$86 billion (S$115 billion), making ether No. 3 at US$73 billion.

Bitcoin's market cap is near US$250 billion.

It is the latest twist in the crypto saga known as the "flippening". That is what ether enthusiasts call the coin's anticipated rise to the most valuable by market cap.

Rather than catching up to bitcoin, though, ether has fallen behind other upstarts.

Just last week, it looked like bitcoin cash, which first debuted in August, would spoil ether's pursuit.

That threat faded as the bitcoin spin-off tumbled, only to be replaced, and realised, by Ripple as its 20,000 per cent surge this year flipped the flippening on its head.

"There's no doubt 2017 has been, among other things, the year of crypto," Ripple chief executive Brad Garlinghouse said on Bloomberg Television earlier last week.

"And within the year of crypto, XRP (Ripple) has outperformed every other digital asset out there."

Ripple's rally has far outpaced the gains of both ether and bitcoin, which have gained roughly 9,000 and 1,400 per cent year-to-date, respectively.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on December 31, 2017, with the headline 'Ripple surges to No. 2 in cryptocurrency race'. Print Edition | Subscribe