Bitcoin dominance at 9-month high amid broad ‘altcoin’ slump

The selloff in altcoins, coins alternative to bitcoin, has abated somewhat Wednesday, with all major altcoins bouncing off overnight lows.

The recent demise in small-cap coins has pushed bitcoin’s share of all digital currencies to a nine-month high of 58.1%, up from 37.9% to begin 2018, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

In Wednesday trading, bitcoin

BTCUSD, -0.16%

 was last changing hands at $6,319.55, up 1.1% since Tuesday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange.


Cryptocurrency market cap share

Ether, the largest altcoins, continues to flounder, trading to a fresh 14-month low of $167.16, as most industry pundits continue to hypothesize what’s behind the demise of the popular digital currency. “Much to the chagrin of many crypto-enthusiasts, the bear market has continued over the last few days, with ethereum seemingly leading the charge,” wrote Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro.

“The general direction of the market is pretty clear, but it remains a mystery is why ethereum is losing ground faster than most other major crypto assets.” Greenspan added the comments from ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin Sunday didn’t help the plight of the second largest digital currency.

‘The blockchain space is getting to the point where there’s a ceiling in sight. If you talk to the average educated person at this point, they probably have heard of blockchain at least once. There isn’t an opportunity for yet another 1,000-times growth in anything in the space anymore’

—Vitalik Buterin, co-founder Ethereum

Read: Traders are making record bets for digital currency Ether to fall

However, Ether

ETHUSD, -0.85%

 has clawed back most of Wednesday losses and was last down 0.5% at $180.78. Other altcoins are showing signs of life Wednesday. Bitcoin Cash

BCHUSD, -0.26%

was down 1.1% to $430.20 after trading as low as $410.50, Litecoin

LTCUSD, -0.44%

was up 1.9% at $51.81 and Ripple’s XRP coin

XRPUSD, -1.04%

was at 27 cents, up 4.2%.

Read: Are cash-strapped ICOs behind Ether’s underperformance?

Bitcoin futures traded higher Wednesday. The Cboe Global Markets Group Inc.’s September contract

XBTU8, +1.20%

finished up 1% at $6,290, while the comparable CME Group Inc. September contract

BTCU8, +0.96%

also closed trading at $6,290.

Read: Bitcoin is flirting with a new low for the year after the SEC stopped trading on 2 funds

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