The bitcoin price continued to rally on Monday, and it carried the total cryptocurrency market cap past another significant threshold. Bitcoin now appears poised to challenge the $4,500 level, while ethereum maintains its position above $300 as it awaits the upcoming Metropolis protocol upgrade.
The crypto markets experienced higher-than-average weekend trading volume, with their 24-hour total piercing $3 billion at the time of writing. Against this backdrop, the cryptocurrency market cap padded its total by another $3 billion on Monday. It now sits above $150 billion for the first time in almost three weeks, placing it just $30 billion below its record high.
This rally was fueled almost single-handedly by bitcoin. After beginning the day at $4,314, the bitcoin price received a 3% bump, raising it to a present value of $4,455. Bitcoin now has a market cap of $74 billion, increasing its market dominance to 49.2%. Bitcoin will now target the $4,500 level, a mark which would place it within $500 of its all-time high.
After a brief dip to $295 earlier in the day, the ethereum price recovered back to the $300 level and is now trading at $301. Ethereum maintains a market cap of about $28.6 billion.
It appears the ethereum price is in a holding formation as traders await the deployment of Byzantium, the first phase of the platform’s “Metropolis” upgrade. Other things equal, history indicates that the ethereum price may rise ahead of the official Byzantium release, which should take place in mid-October.
The altcoin markets added about $1 billion to their combined market caps on Monday, although many coins took a step backward.
The Ripple price rose about 2% to cross the $0.20 threshold and lift its market cap to $7.7 billion. Bitcoin cash, on the other hand, declined another 3%, reducing its price to $416 and market cap to $6.9 billion. At present, BTC is worth more than 10 times as much as BCH.
Litecoin rose about one-half of one percent, bringing its price close to $55, while Dash dipped 2% to $317. NEM increased by 2%, raising its market cap to $2.2 billion. NEO continued its dramatic price surge, leaping another 13% to $37. NEO now has a market cap of $1.9 billion.
IOTA and Monero rounded out the top 10 with minor decreases of 1% and 2%, respectively. Eleventh-ranked ethereum classic held steady at just under $13, while 12th-place BitConnect now needs just $36 million to enter the $1 billion club for the first time.
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