This Week in Coins: XRP Leads Alt Week as Solana, Cardano and Polygon Outperform Bitcoin and Ethereum
It was a week of altcoin rallies after Ripple’s courtroom victory against the SEC, and details of an upcoming Polygon 2.0 rollout shifted attention away from the two market leaders.
Bitcoin (BTC) still gained in value, a modest 3%, and currently changes hands at $30,287, according to CoinGecko.
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On Monday, reports hit the press that the British multinational bank Standard Chartered predicted that Bitcoin will hit $120,000 before 2025. It wasn’t quite enough to boost the price of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalization this week, though.
Ethereum (ETH) fared substantially better, though not in the same league as the altcoins. It rose 6.6% to trade at $2,001 at the start of the weekend—$1,932 as of this writing. On Thursday, Ethereum hit $2,000 for the first time since May.
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While the latest CPI report, released on Wednesday, indicates that U.S. inflation is going down in line with expectations, it wasn’t quite enough to send investors toward the two most popular cryptocurrencies.
The first substantial bit of altcoin news broke on Tuesday when Polygon (MATIC) began to surge following an uptick in network growth.
On Thursday, Polygon published a technical proposal for Polygon 2.0 and proposed the launch of a new native token for the network: POL token—a kind of upgrade to MATIC.
Clearly, it was already a good week for Polygon holders, but things got even better on Thursday when a judge presiding over the Ripple vs SEC case ruled in favor of Ripple.
Judge Analisa Torres ruled that XRP “is not necessarily a security on its face” and programmatic sales of XRP to the public did not break securities laws, but some $728 million worth of institutional sales of XRP did qualify as securities offerings because they were sold to buyers who expected to profit in a common enterprise.
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The news didn’t just boost XRP, it also caused Polygon, Solana (SOL) and Cardano (ADA) to blow up by double digit percentages on Thursday. Crypto’s total market cap surged 6% in the hours following to hit $1.3 trillion on Friday.
At the start of the weekend, all four altcoins were up by double digit percentages over the last seven days. XRP leads with an eye-popping 66% spike in price and currently trades at $0.72194.
Solana blew up 33% and now trades at $27.44, Polygon rose 24% before settling to $0.8061 and Cardano added 22%, now $0.3299.
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Other particularly noteworthy rallies this week include Stellar’s XLM, up 47% and now trades at $0.1316, Chainlink (LINK) added 14% to settle at $6.96, and Lido DAO (LDO) rallied 26% to trade at $2.37 as of this writing.
There were no major losses among the top thirty cryptocurrencies.
Finally, regulators across the world are continuing to grapple with the growing crypto industry.
On Monday, two high-level European Union institutions, the European Banking Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority, both released new guidelines in the runup to the implementation of Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA), a comprehensive framework for governing the industry across all the bloc’s 27 member states.
MiCA comes into force on 30 June 2024.
And on Tuesday, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced the implementation of rules, effective from January 2024, requiring crypto firms to submit detailed crypto disclosures in their financial statements.