Personal Finance

Here's Why One (And Only One) Major Cryptocurrency Is Soaring Today

Man in a red shirt stands on a highway leading up to a big question mark in the sky. On the pavement, the word Cryptocurrency is written.

It's been a relatively quiet market day for major cryptocurrencies, but one digital coin is beating all comers anyhow.

Ethereum Classic tokens saw their value surging as much as 13.7% higher on Monday, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com. The peak value still stopped 59% short of January's all-time highs, but the move still stands out because nine of the 10 largest crypto-coins traded lower today. Ethereum Classic is knocking on the door to that elite group, rising from the 13th-largest cryptocurrency by total market cap to the 12th spot today.

The two-year-old spinoff from the better-known Ethereum blockchain is rising on the news that trading platform Robinhood Crypto just added support for the coin.

Man in a red shirt stands on a highway leading up to a big question mark in the sky. On the pavement, the word Cryptocurrency is written.

Image source: Getty Images.

What does this mean?

Robinhood Crypto is the cryptocurrency trading arm of online stock broker Robinhood Markets . This trading platform has only been around since February 2018, expanding from five to 19 U.S. states in six months. Given Robinhood's posture as a leading broker for more traditional trading objects such as stocks and options, market watchers expect the company to quickly become a market leader in the cryptocurrency sector as well.

Ethereum Classic is the sixth cryptocurrency to set foot on the Robinhood platform. The Robinhood website and trading apps also deliver real-time market data for 10 other crypto names. The company aims to expand its trading and data options over time, while also stretching its crypto services to other states. Regulatory forces are putting the brakes on some of these efforts, and there are always technical issues to untangle as well.

How does Ethereum Classic differ from plain old Ethereum?

What we know as Ethereum Classic today used to be the main Ethereum system. In 2016, hackers stole 3.6 million Ether tokens from an Ethereum-based venture capital fund, forcing the platform's community and technical staff to come up with a way to deal with situations like these.

The solution was to fork the Ethereum blockchain into two separate entities. The new chain would include new security measures and the ability to restore the stolen funds to their original owner. Ethereum Classic remained on the older blockchain, supported by hard-liners who insisted that the blockchain should be immune to tampering -- even when it's done for a good cause, such as making people whole after a $50 million hacker raid.

So Ethereum Classic lives on, although as a much smaller slice of the community with a market cap just 4.6% the size of Ethereum's.

And today, the platform made its way into another major trading service. Moreover, leading cryptocurrency trading platform Coinbase is putting a final spit-shine on its own pre-announced support for Ethereum Classic.

Long story short, it's becoming much easier to get your hands on Ethereum Classic if you prefer its old-school loyalty to the original Ethereum blockchain and its core ideas. Since the whole Ethereum universe is more about sending and preserving data than about trading tokens and building wealth, some users and developers might prefer that approach over the less hard-nosed attitude the main Ethereum platform is taking.

Is Ethereum Classic right for you? That's for you to decide, but at least you're more likely to have that option nowadays.

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Anders Bylund owns some Ethereum tokens but has no other position in any of the cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the cryptocurrencies mentioned here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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