Small-Cap Surge Continues as Maker (MKR), Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Zcash (ZEC) Lead Rally

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The small-cap cryptocurrencies continued to make the most waves on Thursday, offering yet another glimpse of low-risk, high-reward investment opportunities in the digital asset space. The big movers on Thursday were Maker (MKR), Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Zcash (BAT) – cryptoassets that have been among the year’s top performers.

Maker (MKR)

Maker – a blockchain network comprised of a stablecoin, collateral loans and decentralized governance framework – surged 9.4% to $669.48, the highest in over a week. MKR has been on a tear ever since receiving the Coinbase treatment back in December. At the time, it was one of a quartet of Ethereum-based tokens to get added to Coinbase Pro.

Year-to-date, MKR has returned nearly 50%. The coin peaked north of $800 earlier this month but remains well off its 52-week high and all-time peak. At nearly $700, it is the most cost-prohibitive coin on the list of high-flying small-caps. Nevertheless, MKR has a lifetime return of 2,923%, according to CoinMarketCap. There are just 1 million MKR tokens in circulation. The cryptocurrency backs and stabilizes the value of DAI, a stablecoin that is intended to trade as close to $1 USD as possible.

Basic Attention Token (BAT)

For the second time this week, Basic Attention Token takes the reigns as one of the market’s top performers. BAT surged 10.4% on Thursday to trade at $0.3618, the highest since July 2018.

BAT is currently riding gains of 9.6% against bitcoin (BTC) to trade at 0.00006892 BTC. Against Ethereum (ETH), BAT climbed 6.9% to 0.00210658 ETH.

Much like Maker, Basic Attention Token has also received the Coinbase treatment, only this time it has created a greater sense of urgency. That’s because Coinbase Pro is letting users participate in an earning program that enables them to collect BAT tokens for completing a series of educational lessons offered through the Brave browser, which blocks ads and website trackers as part of the protocol’s long-term goal to disrupt the digital advertising landscape.

Zcash (ZEC)

Despite slipping through the market-cap rankings, Zcash was back on the offensive Thursday, gaining 3.6% to $70.64. The privacy-focused coin peaked near $72.00 earlier, having gained more than 5%.

In terms of news, Zcash’s development team has joined hands with Ripple’s fundraising unit to invest in a new cryptocurrency startup called Bolt Labs. Bolt is essentially a second-layer scaling solution for Zcash and other networks that heightens anonymity on the blockchain.

In a blog post, Bolt Labs said its scaling solution “eliminates the linkage between payments within a channel, using well-studied cryptographic techniques such as commitments, blind signatures, and zero-knowledge proofs.”

“This protocol ensures that a customer’s payments are hidden within the set of all payments made to a merchant and that hubs (i.e., intermediate parties) learn nothing about the payers and payees they support,” it added.

Crypto Market Update

In addition to the high-flying small-caps, most of the top cryptocurrencies also reported gains on Thursday. Bitcoin, whose dominance rate has strengthened to 52%, climbed 1% to $5,283.33.

Ethereum broke above $172.00, adding more than 3%. XRP held slightly below $0.3400, having gained more than 2%.

Among the top ten, Binance Coin (BNB) was by far the best performer, climbing 9.4% to 21.42.

The combined value of all cryptocurrencies improved to $179.2 billion. The market peaked above $183 billion earlier this month.

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