Jan 5, 2018 by Jake

Despite being surpassed by Ripple in terms of total market cap, Ethereum is still growing strong. This Friday, the cryptocurrency reached a new record high.

According to CNBC, the coin rose 9.6 percent, reaching $1,075.39, while in the morning it was trading at $1,014, while the market capitalization was about $98 billion, remaining in third place, behind BTC and XRP.

Bitcoin, on the other side, also had a good day, jumping 11.5 percent and traded around $16,249. However, it’s still far from its December record high, reached in mid-December.

Developers are fancying ETH more than anything

Unlike the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, Ethereum is a developer-favorite, allowing them to develop apps on its network. Remember the trading game CryptoKitties? It’s actually based on ETH, just like its initial coin offerings.

Even though just a few days have passed, the coin had an excellent year so far, filled with important announcements.

This Tuesday, co-founder Vitalik Buterin revealed that they’re planning to launch two subsidy programs, in order to improve the ability of the network to process even more transactions.

According to analysts, this announcement, made through a blog post, actually had a big influence on the cryptocurrency’s price.

“I think there’s an increasing probability of [a viable upgrade] getting done and that’s why you’re seeing the price increase,” said Benjamin Roberts, CEO and co-founder of Citizen Hez, an ETH-centered start-up, currently receiving backup by three important Canadian venture funds.

Smaller currencies are growing faster than ever

Lately, both Ethereum and Bitcoin saw a real challenge in dealing with smaller digital currencies, which managed to take the spotlight in the last few weeks.

Ripple is definitely the best example, with a market cap of nearly $122 billion and trading under $3.15 this Friday morning, after reaching its all-time high of $3,84, on Thursday. Until now, the coin surged more than 35 percent, since January 1st.

“I think the market will likely soon shift its denomination back to the larger, more liquid, and more trusted assets like bitcoin, driving up their price while sending some smaller assets falling steeply as large holders exit on thinly traded markets,” said Alex Sunnarborg, founding partner of cryptocurrency fund Tetras Capital, in an email.