A partial lunar eclipse in Brasilia, Brazil, July 16, 2019. Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
  • Terraform Labs' luna has taken the spot as the 10th largest cryptocurrency by market cap.
  • It's now worth $25 billion, compared with bitcoin's near trillion-dollar valuation.
  • The token has surged as DeFi traders look for a cheaper, faster alternative to ethereum.
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Terraform Labs' luna has soared into the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation — beating out the popular dogecoin, avalanche, and shiba inu coin.

Even though the coin slumped about 6% Monday amid a broad crypto selloff, it still showed an approximate 25% gain in the last seven days — giving it a market cap of about $25 billion, according to CoinMarketCap data. 

That valuation is still far off from the top cryptocurrency, bitcoin. Though it's sunk 30% from its November highs, the original digital token still has a valuation near $1 trillion.  

Dogecoin and shiba inu, which have previously fought for spots in the top 10 cryptocurrencies, sat at No. 11 and 13, respectively, with "ethereum killer" avalanche at No. 12, the data show. 

Launched in 2018, the terra blockchain uses stablecoins to run its payments system and uses the luna token to stabilise the price of the protocol's algorithmically-backed TerraUSD stablecoin, UST.  In the decentralised finance world, aka DeFi, terra is picking up steam and taking market share from leader ethereum with faster transactions and lower fees.

DeFi investors have been looking for alternatives to ethereum. That's part of the reason coins such as avalanche, solana, and luna have been on the rise, Fortune reported

Luna has soared more than 12,000% in a year, with much of the rally coming in the last four months alone, according to CoinGecko. Avalanche, for its part, has risen 2,400% in a year, while Solana, the fifth-largest cryptocurrency, has risen 9,500%, the data show.

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