Bitcoin Rises to Break Above $16,000, and Another Alt-Coin Is Soaring

Bitcoin rose by about 9% on Friday and is trading firmly above $16,000 again, although it's well shy of its all-time high of nearly $20,000. However, the real story of the week has been the alternative cryptocurrency, or alt-coin market. Several major alt-coins have made big moves this week, and Tron is the latest to rocket higher.

Today's cryptocurrency prices

Here's a look at the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, and how much each has changed over the past 24 hours.

Ethereum's price movement in the chart is somewhat misleading, as the third largest cryptocurrency had quite a volatile day on Friday. At its peak, Ethereum rose to a peak of $1,075.39 -- a new all-time high -- before pulling back later in the day. Before this week, Ethereum had been the second largest cryptocurrency for some time, but Ripple's recent surge has catapulted it ahead, by about $22.5 billion in market cap as of this writing.

Tron jumps another 47%

Lesser-known cryptocurrency Tron, whose currency is known as TRX, gained 47% Friday, adding to a monster 112% gain on Thursday. The latest move gives Tron a market cap of $14.5 billion, which makes it the seventh largest cryptocurrency.

Tron's aim is to create a platform for monetizing digital entertainment through blockchain technology, and the recent price moves came after a Thursday-morning tweet from Tron founder Justin Sun that the company "will announce our partnership with a very prestigious public company this week."

A week of big alt-coin moves

This week has been full of major cryptocurrency moves, especially some of the alt-coins. Speculators seem especially optimistic on the cryptocurrencies, like Tron, that have formed partnerships with major corporations that could result in mainstream and widespread usage of the blockchain technologies these currencies use.

In addition to Tron, which is up a total of 500% over the past seven days, here are some other notable movers this week:

  • Ripple, which has partnerships with American Express and Santander, soared over last weekend and is now the second largest cryptocurrency, ranking only behind bitcoin. Over the past seven days, Ripple is up 48%.
  • Although it's a laggard today, Cardano has gained 112% for the week on investor interest in its scalable and secure blockchain network.
  • Stellar, which has a partnership with IBM to develop an international payments system, is up 131% over the past week.
  • Finally, NEM's digital currency is up 62% over the past week. The company also focuses on enterprise clients, specifically in regard to peer-to-peer payments and real-time money transfers.

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Matthew Frankel owns shares of American Express. The Motley Fool recommends American Express. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.