Market capitalization has become an obsession with many cryptocurrency watchers.
It refers to the value of the entire digital currency in circulation and is worked out by multiplying the supply of the virtual coin by the price per unit.
With bitcoin, the largest cyrptocurrency by market cap, having a quiet start to the year, many investors are looking at alternative cryptocoins. Ethereum and ripple, for example, have seen fairly strong rallies to begin the year. And many are wondering which one could usurp bitcoin as the biggest cryptocurrency.
Ethereum and ripple have been jostling for the second spot, and that has changed depending on price.
That jostling turned volatile on Monday as the price of ripple tumbled. Bitcoin also fell, while ethereum gained in value.
Ripple's current circulation is 38,739,144,847 digital coins. At Monday's earlier price of $2.49, its market cap was $96.46 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.com. Bitcoin's market cap, meanwhile, was $254.2 billion on Monday.
For ripple to surpass this, the cryptocurrency would only need to get to $6.57. This would require a rise of 164 percent. It rose nearly 36,000 percent last year.