The bitcoin price soared past $5,200 on Thursday to set a new all-time high and silence once and for all claims that China's initial coin offering and bitcoin exchange ban would send the markets into a death spiral. The majority of other cryptocurrencies experienced moderate rallies, raising the total cryptocurrency market cap above $160 billion for the first time since September 8.
The combined value of all cryptocurrencies entered the day at $154 billion and steadily climbed leading into Thursday morning. At about 8:00 UTC, the bitcoin price spiked above $5,000, raising the total crypto market cap by more than $3 billion in less than 30 minutes. The total crypto market cap has continued to rise from there and currently sits at $161.8 billion.
Bitcoin Price Hits Record $5,220
Thursday's market rally was almost single-handedly initiated and carried out by bitcoin, which has now officially put its post-China ban hangover in the rear-view mirror. The march past $5,000 was not a surprise -- the bitcoin price had been hovering above $4,800 for most of the week -- but it was a monumental achievement nonetheless.
Moreover, unlike the last time the bitcoin price touched $5,000, traders did not initiate a sell-off after reaching this checkpoint. Indeed, the bitcoin price has continued to rise into uncharted territory, extending as high as $5,222 late Thursday morning. At present, the bitcoin price is trading at a global average of $5,198, which represents a 24-hour increase of 8% and translates into a market cap of $86.4 billion.
Now that bitcoin has reached a new all-time high, it is likely that skeptics will unleash a new round of bitcoin obituaries, but CoinIRA CEO Trevor Gerszt says favorable regulatory environments like the U.S. and Japan will enable the bitcoin price to continue to rise over the long-term.
"Criticism of Bitcoin hasn't affected the price at all. Bitcoin has had its critics for years and will continue to have critics for years to come. Regulatory actions overseas have only affected where Bitcoin is traded, not the overall usage or price of Bitcoin, Gerszt told CCN. "And as the regulatory environment continues to develop in the United States and Japan in a way that's favorable to cryptocurrencies, use of, demand for, and price of Bitcoin should continue to rise.”
Ethereum Price Climbs Toward $310
Although bitcoin is consuming the bulk of today's attention, the ethereum price has led the remainder of the crypto markets in a moderate advance. The ethereum price climbed 2% for the day, bringing its present value to $307. This gives ethereum a market cap of $29.2 billion.
Altcoins Add $500 Million
Altcoins made moderate gains on Thursday, adding a combined $500 million to their total valuations.
Ripple, however, did not participate in the advance. Despite having stellar month-to-date performance, the ripple price declined 1% on Thursday. The bitcoin cash price, however, received a 3% bump and is now trading at $325. Litecoin added 5% to its price, which now sits at $53, while dash ticked up a few cents to $293. NEM and NEO each declined 3%, while monero rose one-half of one percent.
Today's market movements saw the introduction of a new cryptocurrency into the market cap top 10. BitConnect has climbed more than 31% this week, and Thursday's 9% rally to $180 enabled it to surpass IOTA in total market cap, although the two cryptocurrencies remain neck-and-neck.
Featured image from Shutterstock.