Bitcoin prices on Tuesday started 2018 slightly higher, bouncing back from their lows after a report surfaced that Founders Fund, led by venture capitalist luminary Peter Thiel has amassed a stake in the digital currency.
The spot price of a single bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.50% ticked slightly higher on the day, gaining momentum after The Wall Street Journal reported Thiel’s position, thought to initially be around $15 or $20 million in bitcoin during the middle of 2017. Prices reached an intraday peak around $15,200, according to data and news site CoinDesk.com. Still, its mid-December peak at about $19,800, the No. 1 most valued cryptocurrency has shed about a third of its value.
Bitcoin futures for January XBTF8, -0.50% on Cboe Global Markets Inc. CBOE, -1.48% settled at $15,055, up 3.5%, while futures BTCF8, +0.37% traded on CME Group Inc. CME, -0.86% for the same month finished with a 2.7% gain at $14,855.
Meanwhile, Ether coins ushered in the new year with a bang, up 11% touching a fresh record above $900, based on CoinDesk prices.
The recent surge for Ether has dented bitcoin’s market dominance, with its relative share of value compared with hundreds of other so-called alternative, or altcoins, to around 36%, marking its lowest level ever, according to research site CoinMarketcap.com. The popular digital currency had consistently maintained about half the market share in its industry but has lost traction over the past several weeks (see chart below showing the market caps of some of the most valued cryptocurrencies compared with bitcoin):
Both cyber assets enjoyed a fantastic 2017, with cryptoassets catching fire on the back of wider mainstream recognition and a speculative fervor for the nascent currencies, which promise permissionless, decentralized, person-to-person transactions.
Since its 2017 nadir, bitcoin has rocketed more than 1,300%, while Ether tokens have seen an eye-popping 11,000% increase since the start of 2017.
Bitcoin saw its most sever selling after the debut of rival asset Bitcoin cash, which erupted out of the original bitcoin back in August and is identical to bitcoin except it offers faster transaction processing.