by Kailey Leinz

A new contender has moved into second place in the race to catch bitcoin.

Ripple, a cryptocurrency that first surfaced in 2013, surged 53 per cent in 24 hours to surpass ethereum and take the title of the world’s second-most valuable digital coin by market cap on Saturday US time. Ripple’s market value rocketed to $US86 billion ($110 billion), making ether No.3 at $US73 billion. Bitcoin’s market cap is near $US250 billion.

It’s the latest twist in the crypto saga known as the “flippening”. That’s what ether enthusiasts call the coin’s anticipated rise to the most valuable by market cap.

Rather than catching up to bitcoin, though, ether has fallen behind other upstarts. Just last week, it looked like bitcoin cash, which first debuted in August, would spoil ether’s pursuit.

That threat faded as the bitcoin-spinoff tumbled, only to be replaced, and realised, by Ripple as its 20,000 percent surge this year flipped the flippening on its head.

“There’s no doubt 2017 has been, among other things, the year of crypto,” Ripple chief executive officer Brad Garlinghouse said on Bloomberg Television last week.

“And within the year of crypto, XRP [ripple] has outperformed every other digital asset out there.”

Ripple’s rally has far outpaced the gains of ether and bitcoin, which have gained roughly 9000 and 1400 per cent year-to-date, respectively.