March 3, 2017 12:00 am

This bitcoin rival nearly doubled in value in one week

The price of a single Dash token has doubled in the span of a week as traders attempt to front-run a major exchange’s decision to initiate trading in the digital currency.

Dash, shorthand for digital cash, saw its price rise as high as $57.75 a coin on Thursday, up from $24.20 a week ago, according to data provided by CryptoCompare. That is more than Litecoin’s November 2013 peak of $53, thought to be the highest-ever valuation attained by an alternative to bitcoin.

With a total value of $329 million, Dash is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, behind only bitcoin and ethereum.

In a business-development proposal published on the official Dash forum back in January, the Dash team solicited funding to help “cover costs of integrating Dash into a major cryptocurrency exchange…” with the launch expected around the end of the first quarter.

Like other bitcoin alternatives, known collectively as alt-coins, Dash has benefited from a recent run-up in bitcoin, which reached a record high north of $1,250 US:BTCUSD on Thursday. Trades from bitcoin to Dash account for the overwhelming majority of its trading volume, though recently trading in U.S. dollars has increased to around 10% of its average daily volume, according to CryptoCompare data.

Ryan Taylor, director of finance at Dash, said the digital currency has experienced steady growth as an increasing number of exchanges and digital-currency payment providers have embraced the digital currency. Average daily trading volume increased by 1,700% in the fourth quarter, from the same period in 2015.

Thirty-one exchanges presently allow clients to trade in Dash in 42 distinct currency pairs, Taylor said. No exchanges have adopted trading in Dash so far this year, though Blockcypher, a payments platform, did recently enable Dash payments, he said.

Chris Burniske, blockchain analyst and products lead at ARK Invest, said on Twitter that Dash’s relative illiquidity has led to exaggerated price moves.

Dash is one of a handful of alt-coins that has enhanced privacy features. Other examples include Zcash and Monero. Dash also differs from bitcoin in several other notable ways, including how governance issues are decided by the network.

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