Altcoins are Now Leading the Charge as Crypto Market Cap Approaches $250 Billion

Bitcoin’s raging bull market is finally rubbing off on altcoins. On Wednesday, alternative coins led by Ethereum (ETH) and XRP put up significant gains, sending the crypto market cap toward $250 billion for the first time in over six months.

Bull Market Spreads to Altcoins

With the exception of bitcoin cash (BCH), all major altcoins and tokens saw significant gains though the early part of Wednesday’s session. Ethereum, the second-largest crypto by market cap, put up gains of 12.2% to reach $232.14, its highest of the year.

Ether’s breakout was somewhat expected after the developer’s cryptocurrency lagged the broader market through the first quarter of 2019. Ether now faces immediate resistance in the $240-$260 range and a clean break north could set the stage for a larger corrective rally back toward $300.

Ethereum

XRP, another yearly under-performer, surged 14.8% to $0.4329, the highest since mid-November. For XRP, a daily closure above $0.4000 is considered essential for continued gains. The coin kick-started the recovery on Tuesday, gaining well over 20%.

XRP

Solid performances were also seen by the likes of Stellar (XLM), Cardano (ADA) and Tron (TRX), which have gained at least 11.4% in the last 24 hours.

Further down the crypto market rankings, Tezos (XTZ) spiked 21% to $1.61. Ethereum Classic (ETC) climbed nearly 12% to reach $7.18.

Altcoins and tokens have seen their market share grow over the last 24 hours. Combined, they now represent 42.1% of the overall cryptocurrency market with bitcoin (BTC) accounting for the remainder.

The total crypto market cap including bitcoin peaked near $248 billion on Wednesday, reversing nearly $150 billion in losses from the December flash crash.

Crypto Market Cap

Key Developments Feed Crypto Bulls

The crypto bulls have been feeding off a slew of major developments in the digital asset space, all of which point to mass adoption in the near future.

Earlier this week, Forbes reported that Starbucks and Whole Foods have already begun to accept cryptocurrency payments through a partnership with Gemini and Flexa, a payment startup that allows customers to scan their phones to complete purchases.

Microsoft also announced that it is building a decentralized identity (DID) network atop the Bitcoin network to enhance throughout. The announcement was made by Alex Simons, who works for Microsoft’s cloud division AZURE.

After much speculation, Intercontinental Exchange has confirmed that its market for physical bitcoin futures will finally go live in July. Bakkt, which has already raised more than $740 million in startup financing, will onboard clients gradually as it completes its initial testing phase.

In the last 24 hours, rumors that eBay will start accepting cryptocurrency payments have been shot down despite some compelling signs that the online retailer was embracing digital assets.

“Cryptocurrency is not accepted as a form of payment on the eBay platform, nor is it part of our payments strategy,” the company said Tuesday.

Although some in the crypto community were disappointed by the news, the market’s performance suggests eBay was never really priced into the equation, at least not yet. Cryptoassets continue to grow in value thanks to sustained demand from institutional investors and retail traders. Read more: Four Major Developments in Crypto This Week Suggest Bull Market is Just Getting Started.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. Chart via

CoinMarketCap.

Author:
Chief Editor to Hacked.com and Contributor to CCN.com, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi