Overall cryptocurrency market cap on Sunday January 14th, 2018, was slightly above $700bn USD, with some key altcoin prices slipping, and an overall bearish sentiment setting in. Cryptocurrency market cap is below an all-time high of $832bn USD. Bitcoin took a hit and slipped back to $13,600 USD with a market cap that is now less than double that of Ethereum. Bitcoin is under pressure from other altcoins that have been advancing although the situation is starting to turn.
Altcoins Challenging Bitcoin
Market-wise, the challenge comes from second and third generation blockchains such as Cardano, NEM, Stellar, and IOTA. Now it is the second generation blockchain challengers that slipped mostly. Third generation blockchain assets are holding their ground. Ether is the second generation exception. It recently hit an all-time high of $1377.72 USD according to Coinmarketcap. Ether is outperforming other established cryptocurrencies, like Litecoin.
What happened to Ripple?
Other assets that broke through despite their dissadvantages, are facing headwinds. Ripple is a good example. XRP is currently under pressure, due to a lawsuit in excess of $12bn USD. Back during the summer of 2016, then CEO Chris Larsen agreed to and signed a deal with bank consortium R3 that included options for their respective partners to buy 5 billion units of Ripple in total. At the time of signing, XRP was worth less than $0.01. At that price, the total buy option on the contract would be worth $50 million USD. Now that Ripple rallied, the same amount of XRP would cost more than $12bn USD, which now resulted in Ripple countersuing, filing a counterclaim in New York state court.
Due to the breaking news of dispute, alleged denials and a confusing events, Ripple’s price is under pressure over the last few days especially, slipping to under $2 USD. Ripple is currently at $1.87 USD. Coming from over $3.50 USD earlier this month, this project certainly took a hit and will need some recovery time. The contract spoken of represents more than 10% of the total Ripple market at this point, placing huge pressure on David Rutter, the current CEO.
NEO Continues Promising Boom
Another altcoin that faced disputes in its home country, is NEO. This asset has faced serious roadblocks, but it has shown solid results in the market despite those obstacles. NEO reached a recent all-time high of $141.94 USD today, despite Chinese government crackdowns on the industry. Founder and creator of NEO, Da Hungfei, 37, feels the project can finally focus on what matters in terms of development and strategy. According to Da, NEO was designed to rival Ethereum, a unique platform designed as a gateway for Dapps.
NEO on Bloomberg
According to a recent Bloomberg interview, Da plans to create an open environment within NEO, which is currently controlled by a few people relevant to the project – this isn’t an attractive quality for certain investors used to having open-source, decentralized alternatives. NEO was formerly known as Antshares, was launched in 2014. NEO is an attractive project, and another one of the few that is escaping the slip in altcoin bear markets now.