Bitcoin Cash is already the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency

Just over 24 hours after splitting from Bitcoin, the derivative currency Bitcoin Cash (BCC) now ranks as the third most valuable altcoin. With a market cap of more than $7.7 billion, BCC trails just Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) after passing Ripple’s $6.7 billion cap in the wee morning hours.

As for value, BCH trails only the currency it split from, Bitcoin, with a per-unit value of over $520 (down from a 24 hour high of over $755).

You can attribute most of the rapid rise to the fork itself. After the two cryptocurrencies split yesterday, BTC owners were given equal amounts of BCC. From there, they’ll need to decide whether to hold it, exchange it for another altcoin, or perhaps withdraw it in the form of fiat currency.

For now, speculation seems to be fueling most of the growth. Some investors are even selling off BTC to purchase the currency as a bet on the latter becoming just as valuable.

Fran Strajnar, co-founder and CEO of Brave New Coin, told CNBC:

There’s no infrastructure available out of the box to support BCC. The network needs further support and infrastructure needs to be as easy as Bitcoin; otherwise, it’s over for BCH.

In other words, an altcoin is only as valuable as the worth investors assign to it. This is often influenced by how easily it can be obtained, the liquidity of the asset, and how easily it can be used for real-world transactions.

It’s going to be a wild ride in the coming days for BCC, and probably the cryptocurrency market in general.