Bitcoin's competitors are also at all-time highs — and rising fast


It’s a good day for someone who believes in cryptocurrencies that aren’t Bitcoin.

Don’t get me wrong — Bitcoin is doing just fine. At $17,459, it’s grown more than 5 percent in the last 24 hours.

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But Ethereum and Litecoin, as well as numerous other cryptocurrencies, are doing even better. Ethereum rose 21 percent in the last 24 hours and is currently trading at $630, while Litecoin grew a whopping 83% in that same period and is trading at $327, according to CoinMarketCap. Both cryptocurrencies are trading at an all-time high right now. 

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It appears that most promising cryptocurrencies are merely catching up with Bitcoin, which is taking a short break after an incredible rally throughout the year. 

But Litecoin and Ethereum each have their own reasons for growth. Litecoin, which is a lightweight, faster Bitcoin competitor, might be benefitting from a recently launched marketing campaign, announced last week by Litecoin founder Charlie Lee. 

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Ethereum, which is more of a decentralized app platform than a cryptocurrency, might be rising on the wings of a recent statement by SEC chairman Jay Clayton. On Monday, Clayton laid down a sober and knowledgeable overview of initial coin offerings or ICOs. 

While a lot of his statement is an overview of the dangers in investing into these highly unregulated, risky endeavors, he clearly states that not all tokens distributed through ICOs are securities. 

“For example, a token that represents a participation interest in a book-of-the-month club may not implicate our securities laws, and may well be an efficient way for the club’s operators to fund the future acquisition of books and facilitate the distribution of those books to token holders,” he wrote. 

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This is important as ICOs, which are typically based on the Ethereum platform, were recently banned in several countries, including China. The SEC itself ruled in July that some coins sold in ICOs are securities and, as such, subject to the SEC’s rules and regulations. 

This sparked fear that the SEC would eventually rule all tokens sold in ICO events as securities, which would make some past ICOs illegal and would make it harder for U.S.-based companies to run them. 

All of the other top ten cryptocurrencies by market cap have seen significant price increases in the last 24 hours. These include Bitcoin spin-off projects or forks including Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Gold as well as privacy-focused Monero and banking-oriented Ripple. 

The total market cap of all cryptocurrencies combined is also at an all-time high, at $485 billion. 

Disclosure: The author of this text owns, or has recently owned, a number of cryptocurrencies, including BTC and ETH.

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