Bitcoin Rally Leads Cryptocurrency Market Above $330 Billion

Cryptocurrencies were back on the offensive Sunday, as bitcoin and the major altcoins extended their gains en route to fresh three-week highs.

BTC/USD Price Levels

Bitcoin surged past $8,400 on Sunday for the first time since Mar. 25, extending its five-day rally to 20%. It would later consolidate at $8,280 per coin for a gain of 4.6% and a total market cap of $140 billion.

With the gain, bitcoin has rebounded nearly 30% from the Apr. 1 swing low, which had threatened a major bearish reversal. An RSI of 63 implies strong momentum and price action is also strengthening, as evidenced by the bullish crossover in the moving averages.

Bitcoin’s reversal has been a major catalyst for the broader market, which has recovered 33% since Wednesday. The total market cap peaked near $336 billion on Sunday, based on latest available data.

Each of the top-ten cryptocurrencies reported gains on Sunday. Ethereum extended its rally north of $500, gaining 6% to $525.33. Ripple XRP jumped 6.2% to $0.665, bitcoin cash rose 5.4% to $771.32 and Litecoin added 3.5% to $130.22. Meanwhile, Stellar Lumens surged 15.5% to $0.286 while IOTA added 18.2% to $1.61.

The number of billion-dollar cryptocurrencies has risen during the latest rally. As of Sunday, 24 digital assets were valued at $1 billion or more, according to CoinMarketCap. A dozen more were capitalized at $500 million or more.

Return of the Bull Market?

The dramatic surge in the price of altcions is a firm indicator that the bull market is making a comeback. At the height of the crypto euphoria, altcoins accounted for nearly 68% of the total market. That figure plunged to 55% earlier this month, but has since strengthened to roughly 58%.

Several altcoins have outperformed bitcoin over the past week, including EOS, OmiseGo, STORM and WanChain. Altcoin speculation is a strong indicator of returning liquidity.

The recent price resurgence has been attributed to the winding down of tax season for U.S. traders, a factor that could support a continued rally long after the Apr. 17 deadline. U.S. traders accounted for 30% of the $590 billion in wealth generated by the cryptocurrency rally in 2017, according to Tom Lee of Fundstrat Global Advisors.

Although Lee has predicted sizable capital gains taxes from cryptocurrencies, organizations like Credit Karma have predicted only a tiny portion of traders have reported their earnings. Credit Karma told CNBC on Friday that less than 100 people had reported crypto-related gains out of 250,000 filers.

Rising trade volumes on the Korean peninsula and a general decline in fear-inducing headlines may also be a factor in the recent rally. According to CCN, South Korea is considered a ‘copper pan’ for cryptocurrency trading because it heats up very quickly and cools down just as fast. Korean exchanges Upbit and Bithumb processed a combined $1.5 billion in cryptocurrency trades on Sunday, latest figures show.


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. 

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, 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