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Litecoin, XRP and other altcoins rise, ‘blue chip’ bitcoin hits a lull

While bitcoin and ether were flat on Wednesday, altcoins rose higher.

Litecoin rose 5.67% and XRP added 6%, according to Coin Metrics. The Sandbox token jumped 4%. The price of the Axie Infinity token added about 8%.

Among the Ethereum competitors, the Solana token gained 2%, Cardano’s ada added 3.5% and the Polkadot token jumped 3%.

On Wednesday Ripple, the global payments company behind XRP, announced its acquisition of Metaco, a Swiss crypto custody services firm. The deal is expected to give Ripple access to clients like Citi and BNP Paribas and expand its overseas presence.

Crypto price action has been relatively subdued for the past month, despite volatility coming back a bit recently due to thin liquidity in the market. Still, realized 30-day volatility for both bitcoin and ether are off their record lows of the year, according to Glassnode.

With that, some investors have shifted their attention away from bitcoin and toward smaller and newer tokens, or “altcoins.” This is a recurring period in the bitcoin cycle known as “altcoin season.” In recent months, bitcoin and ether have been regarded by many as so-called “blue chip” or “flight to safety” assets in crypto.

“Like macro markets, juggling resilient stock prices with increasingly bleak economic data points, the crypto market is also dealing with duality. There are some signs of frothiness,” said Noelle Acheson, author of the “Crypto is Macro Now” newsletter.

Specifically, earlier this month ether briefly rallied and the Bitcoin blockchain saw a record high in daily transactions amid a surge in interest around memecoins and NFT-like tokens on the Bitcoin network called ordinals.

“In spite of these hints of froth, activity is low,” Acheson added. “Prices are down more than 10% on the month, and volumes are trending lower.”

Bitcoin and ether continued to hover around the flat line Wednesday at the $27,000 and $1,800 levels, respectively.

This story originally appeared on CNBC

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