Everything You Need to Know About Ethereum — The Motley Fool

Cryptocurrencies have been unstoppable this year. When the calendar does finally change to 2018, this year could go down as the single greatest year of gains for any asset group that investors have ever seen.

Cryptocurrencies take center stage in 2017

When the year began, the aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies combined was $17.7 billion. As of Dec. 17, the more than 1,300 tradable cryptocurrencies had a combined market cap of $594 billion. For you math-phobic people, that’s a return of more than 3,200%, which has taken the S&P 500 decades to deliver to investors. In fact, many of the largest cryptocurrencies have left even the best-performing stocks in the dust this year — so much so that a side-by-side chart comparison between a virtual currency and a traditional equity makes the return of the equity look like a flat line.

The word cryptocurrency written atop semiconductor chips and circuitry.

Image source: Getty Images.

Bitcoin is often credited as being the driving force behind the march higher in…

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