Although 2017 has been one of the best times for Bitcoin’s sustained gains, the year ends with the original digital currency losing market share to altcoins. After dropping as low as 37.9% over the last two days of 2017, Bitcoin’s market dominance currently stands at only 38.2% as of press time on the first day of 2018.
The current market capitalization of Bitcoin amounts to over $234 billion, an impressive figure by itself but one that falls when compared to the vibrant ecosystem it has birthed. The first cryptocurrency is presently nearly 40% of the $615 billion digital currency markets. The second time BTC dominance has dropped under this low threshold, the first time being in June of 2017.
Since June low, Bitcoin has been gaining ground, reaching over 60% market share by early November. However, as 2017 closes, an onslaught of rising contenders has been brought to upset BTC’s dominance. Ripple’s XRP, following its massive rally in December, now cost around $88 billion. The market cap of Ethereum is within striking distance at more than $74 billion. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is also not too far behind having a total of $43 billion market value.
There are currently 33 altcoins and ICO tokens that cost more than $1 billion by market cap each which contributes to the market share loss of Bitcoin. It started with Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, reaching all the way down the list to Dogecoin.
There is an impressive number of around 129 altcoins and ICO tokens that cost between $100 million to $1 billion by market cap each at present.
A total of 1,374 coins are now comprising the over $600 billion crypto ecosystem. No wonder why the long tail of the market is becoming ever fatter today and weighing down its head. The development can be interpreted as a sign of maturity by the market for Bitcoin instead of a disaster unless people might perceive the majority of the altcoins and ICO tokens as a scam.