Global Cryptocurrency Market Hits $300 Billion
The cryptocurrency market reached new highs Monday, as bitcoin and a handful of altcoins extended their record-setting surge.
Global Cryptocurrency Market
The combined value of all cryptocurrencies in circulation topped $303.5 billion on Monday, according to CoinMarketCap. That was by far the highest level on record.
Cryptocurrencies have added a combined $21 billion in market cap over the past 24 hours. Compared to last week, the market cap has increased by more than 27%.
The move above $300 billion has occurred at an astonishingly fast pace. About a month ago, the overall market capitalization was below $200 billion, itself a doubling of the June level. Currently, there are 14 cryptocurrencies with a market value of $1 billion or greater. Six more are worth $500 million or greater.
Bitcoin accounted for roughly 48% of the 24-hour trade volume, with Bitfinex turning over more than $730 million worth of BTC/USD transactions. South Korea’s Bithumb facilitated $423 million worth of transactions, while GDAX facilitated nearly $303 million.
Bitcoin topped $9,000 on Sunday for the first time as investors continued to rally behind the world’s no. 1 digital currency. At press time, bitcoin was trading at a new record high of $9,696 for a total market cap of $162 billion.
Ethereum’s record-breaking rally continued on Monday, with the digital currency approaching $500 for the first time. Ether-to-dollar transactions were valued at $487.93 early Monday for a gain of nearly 5%. At current prices, ether’s total market cap is $47.1 billion.
With the advance, ether has added more than $157 over the past five days. It comfortably holds the no. 2 spot in the battle for market cap.
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) also contributed to the rising market cap on Monday, as it climbed more than 3% to $1,665.
BCH came into existence Aug. 1 as an alternative to the original bitcoin currency. After surging out of the gate, it would spend the next several months trading aimlessly until a failed activation of the Segwit2x hard fork turned its fortunes around. BCH/USD has tripled in value over the past 20 days or so.
There were no direct catalyst behind the latest upsurge in price. Instead, capital continued to flow into the cryptocurrency space over fear of missing out and on expectations of rising institutional demand. The arrival of bitcoin futures later this year could signal a profound shift in the alternative currency market as institutional cash has a greater say in price action.
The number of cryptocurrencies in circulation is also expected to spike as more businesses issue initial coin offerings (ICO). Token startups are growing at a feverish pace, with virtually every sector represented in the multi-billion crowdraise industry.
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.
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