The Flippening: XRP Overtakes Ethereum as Second-Largest Cryptocurrency

XRP’s sudden and dramatic surge over the past four days has fundamentally altered the composition of the cryptocurrency market. On Friday, the so-called banker’s cryptocurrency overtook Ethereum as the world’s second-largest blockchain, highlighting the latter’s struggle over the past two months.

Market Cap Rankings

The market capitalization for XRP has more than doubled this week and now sits at $23.6 billion, according to CoinMarketCap. The dramatic surge follows a 115% spike in the XRP price since Tuesday.

Ethereum, which has long held the no. 2 spot in the crypto market rankings, has fallen to third spot with a total market cap of $23.3 billion. Ether’s price is up more than 7% on Friday and lags considerably behind XRP over the past five days.

Trading in XRP is up across all major exchanges. XRP’s daily turnover now sits at $2.6 billion, having gained a staggering 800% since Tuesday.

At the time of writing, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization was worth nearly $225 billion. The market was valued at roughly $200 billion just 24 hours ago.

The Flippening

Despite being one of the most polarizing cryptocurrencies on the market, XRP has managed to win over investors who are keenly monitoring institutional adoption of blockchain technology. Ripple Labs, the company behind XRP, has announced hundreds of partnerships over the designed to boost mainstream adoption of blockchain technology.

All that came to a head on Monday after a Ripple executive teased the release of the first xRapid product. Sagar Sarbhai, head of regulatory relations for Ripple’s Asia-Pacific and the Middle East unit, told CNBC that a new cryptocurrency offering centered on the xRapid system was due in the “next month or so.” This news helped propel XRP through the stratosphere.

Ethereum, on the other hand, was the center of the most recent market meltdown that saw prices plummet nearly 90% from peak-to-trough. Ether briefly fell below $170 last week as coin offerings continued to liquidate their holdings. According to some analysts, Ethereum is facing an existential crisis amid declining reservation demand and concerns over “economic abstraction.” Although the development community is addressing these concerns, Ethereum’s short-term price trajectory has been extremely volatile.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi