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Look Out Bitcoin, Here Come Cardano and Stellar

By Matthew Frankel, CFP® - Updated Jan 3, 2018 at 5:09PM

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Three of the top seven cryptocurrencies are up by more than 100% over the past week.

Bitcoin is having a quiet day Wednesday, but the same cannot be said for the rest of the cryptocurrency landscape. Three hot digital currencies -- Ripple and lesser-known Cardano and Stellar -- are surging today on major investor interest. Here are the latest cryptocurrency prices and how much each has changed recently.

Today's cryptocurrency prices -- Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018

Here's a look at the largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, and how much each has changed over the past day as well as over the past week.

Cryptocurrency Name (Code)

Price in U.S. Dollars

Day's Change

7-Day Change

Bitcoin (BTC)

$14,795

(1.6%)

(3.8%)

Ripple (XRP)

$2.78

27.4%

130.8%

Ethereum (ETH)

$919.77

8.3%

19.1%

Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

$2,550.00

(2.1%)

(8%)

Cardano (ADA)

$1.04

36.5%

155.1%

Stellar (XLM)

$0.89

58.8%

301.7%

Litecoin (LTC)

$245.10

(3.2%)

(10.3%)

Data Source: investing.com. Prices and daily changes as of 3:10 p.m. EST on Jan. 3, 2018, and prices are rounded to the nearest cent where appropriate.

There have been several big cryptocurrency moves in just the past 24 hours, but none involving bitcoin, Ethereum, bitcoin cash, or litecoin. After rising yesterday on news that Peter Thiel has invested millions in the leading digital currency, bitcoin has been relatively flat, but Ripple has achieved another all-time high, and now has a market cap equal to roughly half of bitcoin.

Additionally, Cardano and Stellar jumped by 37% and 59%, respectively, pushing litecoin, which was once a top alternative digital currency, all the way down to the number seven position. These two lesser-known currencies have been on fire lately, as they aim to solve some of the obstacles to bitcoin being used on a large scale as a money-transfer mechanism.

Cardano has surged to a market value of nearly $30 billion thanks to investor interest in its scalable and uniquely secure blockchain network. And Stellar, like Ripple, has become the subject of investor interest for its high-profile corporate partnerships.

Stellar catapults over litecoin

Stellar has been the best-performing cryptocurrency of 2018, with a gain of roughly 150% through the first three days of the year, including nearly 60% in the past day. The lesser-known currency has catapulted over litecoin to become the sixth-largest cryptocurrency by market cap as of this writing, with a total market value of about $16.4 billion.

Digital cryptocurrency related symbols in hexagons, connected together.

Image source: Getty Images.

Stellar was originally based on Ripple's protocol (both companies have the same founder, Jed McCaleb), but was later completely redone. And to be clear, Stellar is the name of the protocol. Its currency is officially called the lumen, with symbol XLM. And like Ripple, the main reason for the surge in interest in the currency is that it has shown real-world traction toward becoming a widely used payment medium.

Most notably, IBM is partnering with Stellar to develop a rapid, international payments system. Like Ripple, Stellar solves some of the key problems facing bitcoin, especially rising transaction fees and long transaction times, both of which have become worse as bitcoin has surged in popularity.

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