A Big Shift Is Underway Among Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple

What an incredible year it’s been for the cryptocurrency market and investors! All cryptocurrencies combined started the year with an aggregate market cap of $17.7 billion, but they’re now (as of Dec. 12) worth $494 billion. That’s a return of nearly 2,700%, which is more than some investors might see during their entire lifetimes — yet it’s occurred in less than a year.

A nearly 2,700% rise in aggregate crypto-valuations explained

The reasons behind the cryptocurrency rally are aplenty, but they, of course, center around bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, which currently comprises 59% of the aggregate $494 billion market cap.

A physical gold bitcoin on a table.

Image source: Getty Images.

Among the most important factors to this rally has been the emergence of blockchain technology. Blockchain is the digital and decentralized ledger that underlies most virtual currencies and records transactions without the need for a financial intermediary, like a bank. In…

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