Bitcoin cash dethroned Ethereum as 2nd largest cryptocurrency during wild night of trading
- Bitcoin cash reached an all-time high of $2,500 a coin early Sunday morning, surpassing Ethereum as the second largest cryptocurrency on the market.
- The coin was trading up 14.7% at $1,525 by 11:35 AM ET.
Bitcoin cash had a wild night.
The cryptocurrency skyrocketed to an all-time high of $2,500 a coin early Sunday morning. It also surpassed Ethereum as the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, according to CoinMarketCap.com.Bitcoin cash, which notably split from the original bitcoin in August, was gaining on its sister coin up until around 2 a.m. ET. It later shed about $1,000 and by 11:35 a.m ET was only trading up 14.7% at $1,525, slipping back below Ethereum's market cap.
Still, it was an impressive march for a coin which has spent most of its existence trading between $300 and $500. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin even chimed in on the news in a tweet late Saturday night to congratulate the coin's main backers.
Bitcoin cash's rise appears to have come at the expense of bitcoin, which dropped to a low of $5,512 per coin over night. It hit a record high of $7,828 on Wednesday.
By 12 p.m. ET, bitcoin was back up at $6,160.
Bitcoin has been sliding since developers behind a split, known as Segwit2X, revoked their support for the plan on Wednesday.
Segwit2X would have increased the size of the blocks underpinning the bitcoin blockchain network to enable it to process more transactions more quickly. Backers thought the plan would help the digital currency scale faster.Cryptocurrency experts told Business Insider that backers of Segwit2X are likely dumping their bitcoin and jumping on the bitcoin cash bandwagon. Both Segwit2X and bitcoin cash were conceived with the same intention to help bitcoin scale faster by increasing the size of its blocks.
"When you look at the trends, it does look like many Segwit2X supporters have switched to bitcoin cash," Abhishek Pitto, CEO of Nucleus Vision, told Business Insider.
Kyle Samani, a managing partner of MultiCoin Capital told cryptowatcher Laura Shen a number of bitcoin whales, wealthy early adopters of crypto, are moving over from bitcoin to bitcoin cash.
Here's Samani (emphasis ours):
"There were lots of bitcoin cash whales who were in early on bitcoin who were waiting to see what would happen with 2x. I know many Bitcoin OGs who have dumped $10m+ of BTC for BCH ... Turns out there were a lot more BCH ideologues than we all thought."
Samson Mow, chief strategy officer at Blockstream and bitcoin evangelist, told Business Insider bitcoin cash's price pump will be short lived.
"[Bitcoin cash] is just being pumped as many other altcoins have been in the past, and inevitably the pumpers will cash out," he said. "The pump is already losing steam and can't be sustained because there's no real market for [bitcoin cash]."
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