(MENAFN- ValueWalk) Bitcoin is the name everyone thinks of when talking . It's certainly the first of its kind to make it big, and is by far the most recognizable of these unprecedented investment opportunities. Up and comer Ripple is just a little bit behind first place at this point in terms of market cap, however. At this point, it's a battle of Ripple vs Bitcoin when it comes to determining which currency will dominate in 2018.
Ripple vs Bitcoin - Unprecedented Growth
While the of a Ripple coin is only a few dollars, the battle of Ripple vs Bitcoin is actually pretty close due to the sheer amount of the former currency available. While Bitcoin costs tens of thousands of dollars for a single coin, CNBC reports that there are almost 39 billion cheap Ripple coins in circulation. At the price of $2.49 earlier today, the second place currency would only have to rise 160% to make the Ripple vs Bitcoin battle incredibly close. That seems like a tough goal to make, but considering that Ripple climbed almost 36000 percent last year, it's definitely within reach. The currency just needs to reach $6.57 to surpass the current king of cryptocurrency - at least in terms of the market cap.
Bitcoin has run into its share of problems recently, with a large crash following some disappointing news from the governments of China and Israel. As a cryptocurrency trailblazer, Bitcoin is running into issues establishing itself as a legitimate investment opportunity. A recently leaked document suggests China will soon crack down on Bitcoin, and the Israeli government doesn't consider the currency a legitimate form of payment. With no real-world basis for the rise and fall of its prices - such as the performance of a company with traditional stocks - all cryptocurrencies have dealt with at least some sort of volatility. In the case of Bitcoin, the changes have been drastic. Down to almost $15000 from a high of near $20000 in the last couple of weeks, it's becoming clear that even a currency as large as Bitcoin has the potential to crash and burn. For this reason, it's possible that its competitor could come out on top in the battle of Ripple vs Bitcoin.
Ripple vs Bitcoin - The Rival Ethereum
Although a 160% jump is definitely feasible for Ripple, they may have their share of competition from rival currency Ethereum. Both have fluctuated between second and third place in terms of market cap, so this Ripple vs Bitcoin battle could actually end up as Ethereum vs Bitcoin. As cryptocurrencies are still uncharted territory for many investors, there's no telling what the situation could be like a few years - or even a few months - down the line.
By design, Bitcoin's total supply is capped at 21 million coins. With over 16 million coins currently in circulation, it's becoming harder and harder to mine new coins and it's very difficult for the lead currency to significantly change the market cap. Ripple comes out on top when comparing Ripple vs Bitcoin in terms of available currency, with billions rather than millions of available coins. A minor Ripple - or competitor Ethereum - is far more impactful than a small fluctuation in a coin that costs thousands per unit.
Ripple vs Bitcoin - An Unclear Future
Still, the Ripple vs Bitcoin battle is anything but a sure win for the newer currency, considering how rapidly Bitcoin rose in the last few weeks of 2017. The extreme volatility of the market makes it difficult to make any accurate predictions regarding either currency. Investment experts had to continually revise their estimates for Bitcoin throughout the year due to unprecedented growth, and many people expected the meteoric rise to continue into the new year. That didn't happen, however, with 2018 heralding a massive crash. But that's certainly no indication that the currency won't recover, and the Ripple vs Bitcoin battle rages on - with the former constantly threatened by Ethereum. The fact of the matter is that both are relatively new, despite the fact that Bitcoin is rapidly heading towards maxing out the maximum possible coins. Whether the Ripple vs Bitcoin situation becomes a little more predictable as time goes on remains to be seen, but right now the outcome is anyone's guess.
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