Altcoin Prices Surge Amid Growing Investor Confidence in Cryptocurrencies
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The prices of ether (ETH), Dash (DASH) and Monero (XMR), among others, have surged in the past month as investors are growing more confident of cryptocurrencies and looking for investment opportunities beyond bitcoin.

Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network, has been amongst the most notable rallies, rising by up to 231% between March 01, and March 17, to reach an all-time-high of 53 USD/ETH. According to data from Coinmarketcap.com, ether is currently trading at around 43 USD/ETH.

eToro, a European social trading and multi asset brokerage company, launched ether trading in January 2017. Trading volumes over the last few days have increased by over 1,680% as traders are becoming more enthusiastic about the prospects of Ethereum.

“The moves we’re seeing today are reminiscent of May 2013 when the price Bitcoin rallied from US$3 to US$126 inside a week,” said Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro.

“What we’re seeing today is a further sign of growing investor confidence in cryptocurrencies. Certainly the SEC announcement earlier this month was a disappointment, but Ethereum has been rallying since then and Bitcoin bounced back almost immediately. With more announcements due in the coming months, we expect our traders will continue to remain confident on the future prospects of the asset class.”

On the eToro platform, 96% of traders are buying Ethereum, Greenspan said, adding that the bullish sentiment has being driven by two key elements: firstly, he noted that the proposed Hyperledger project has been considering using the Ethereum blockchain to create a global monetary settlement system. The Hyperledger project includes more than 100 of the world’s leading financial institutions.

Secondly, he said that speculation has been rife within the Ethereum community of an upcoming upgrade to a new system called Casper, which promises to be much faster and stronger than the current format.

Alongside ether, another cryptocurrency that has rallied is Dash. Dash, a cryptocurrency that focuses on privacy and speed, has seen its price skyrocket by about 321% between February 27 and March 18 to hit an all-time-high of 118 USD/DASH. At the time of writing, Dash is hovering around 97 USD/DASH.

According to Ryan Taylor, director of finance at Dash, the price of Dash has surged for many reasons, including the numerous developments that have been undergoing in the ecosystem.

“We have a full pipeline of integrations in the works as we continue to close the gap to Bitcoin in terms of the variety of services available through our network,” Taylor told CoinJournal. “We’ve also seen a number of influential personalities become public supporters of Dash, which is forcing investors to evaluate our currency – often for the first time.”

He noted that Dash offered solutions to many of the issues that are “plaguing Bitcoin’s growth” with features and distinctiveness’s that include instant transactions, enhanced privacy and strong governance.

Furthermore, Taylor said that Bitcoin’s scaling issues have crippled its growth.

“I suspect that we’re seeing renewed openness toward alternative currencies for a few key reasons. Firstly, I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that solutions to Bitcoin’s scaling issues are still a long way from being resolved, and Bitcoin’s capacity constraints may be spilling over into other currencies,” Taylor said. “Secondly, it’s becoming clear that Bitcoin may be ill-equipped to resolve conflicts and disputes arising within their network, and many investors are simply looking to hedge against the risks that entails.”

He concluded:

“I think the market is finally recognizing that first-mover advantage is not a guarantee that one currency can address all customer market segments. There are many currencies that provide value by focusing on performing specific tasks incredibly well.”

Dash is set to deliver its next major release later this year. Evolution will focus on creating a digital currency and ecosystem capable of reaching a mass audience by “stripping away all the complexity of using cryptocurrency,” including eliminating cryptographic addresses.