Cryptocurrency Market Crosses $180 Billion after Another Blowout Session; Dow Plays Catch-Up after Boeing Bombshell

Cryptocurrency prices extended their rally on Wednesday, as the ‘fear of missing out’ swept the blockchain arena, sending bitcoin and the major altcoins surging toward five-month highs. In traditional markets, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq inched closer to record territory while the Dow lagged behind its peers after preliminary crash findings for Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 contradicted Boeing’s safety claims.

Crypto Bull Market Intensifies

The crypto upsurge intensified on Wednesday, as the balance of power shifted from bitcoin to altcoins, a trend not unlike the 2017 bull market. The combined value of all cryptocurrencies peaked at $181.7 billion, as bitcoin’s dominance rate fell to around 50.2%. At the time of writing, the bitcoin price was up 9.1% at $5,159.75, the highest since November.

Bitcoin cash was by far the best performer, gaining a whopping 54% to $324.88. Technically, there is little standing in the way of BCH reaching $400 in the very near term. Read more: Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is Running Rampant; Still Time to Buy?

Litecoin (LTC), now the fifth largest cryptocurrency behind BCH, surged 31% to $93.21. The Litecoin price has tripled this year.

Cardano (ADA) rose 21% to $0.984, having jumped two spots in the crypto market rankings. Also read Cardano Price Analysis: ADA Still Undervalued after Flipping USDT.

Ethereum (ETH), XRP (XRP) and EOS (EOS) reported big gains ranging from 7% to 16%.

In the last 24 hours, trade volumes have skyrocketed beyond $82 billion.

Since bottoming at $100 billion in December, crypto assets have recovered more than $80 billion in lost market cap.

U.S. Stocks Approach Record Territory

All of Wall Street’s major indexes recorded gains Wednesday, though the Dow lagged behind its closely-watched peers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by as much as 103 points before paring gains. It would eventually settle up 39.00 points, or 0.2%, at 26,218.13.

The broad S&P 500 Index of large-cap stocks climbed 0.2% to 2,873.40. The index was up 0.6% earlier in the session.

Five of 11 S&P 500 sectors reported gains, with materials stocks climbing 1.3% on average. Information technology shares rose 0.8%.

The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.6% to close at 7,895.55.

Boeing Under Pressure

Shares of Boeing Co (BA) resumed their slide Wednesday after a preliminary investigation into Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 revealed that the pilots had followed the aircraft manufacturer’s emergency protocol before nosediving to its demise on March 10. Flight 302 was the second deadly crash in five months involving a Boeing MAX 737.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the aircraft’s pilots initially followed the Boeing’s emergency procedures but still failed to regain control of the jet. The sequence of events contradicts Boeing’s claim that the disaster could have been avoided if the pilots had just followed standard safety protocol.

A Boeing spokesman warned against reading too much into speculation. He said: “We urge caution against speculating and drawing conclusions on the findings prior to the release of the flight data and the preliminary report.”

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