The cryptocurrency market cap hit a new all-time high above $700 billion on Wednesday, bolstered by strong performances from the bitcoin price and a variety of altcoins.
The cryptocurrency market cap began the day below $650 billion but rose $64 billion — or 10 percent — during the ensuing 24 hours to reach a new high-water mark of just under $709 billion. Following a minor decline, the sum total of all cryptocurrency valuations is now $702 billion.
The march past $700 billion was spurred by a rally in the bitcoin price, which rose as high as $15,428 on cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex. At the time of writing, bitcoin was trading at $14,932 on Bitfinex, while the global average bitcoin price was $15,093. This represents a single-day increase of eight percent and provides bitcoin with a $253.2 billion market cap.
The bullish movement came in response to a report that Founders Fund, a venture capital firm established by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, was holding hundreds of millions of dollars in bitcoin as a hedge against overstretched tech valuations. Investors are likely optimistic that this report is indicative of a coming wave of institutional money into the cryptoasset markets.
Ripple, meanwhile, continued to scale the charts with little resistance. The ripple price rose 15 percent for the day, reaching $2.46 on cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex and ascending to a global average of $2.77. Ripple now has a market cap of $107.2 billion, making it just the second cryptocurrency to cross the $100 billion threshold.
Ripple’s surge came just as the markets took the wind out of ethereum’s sails. Earlier this week, the third-largest cryptocurrency appeared poised to race back ahead of ripple on the market cap charts, but the ethereum price traded sideways on Wednesday. At present, the ethereum price is trading at a global average of $885, which translates into an $85.7 billion market cap and places ethereum more than $21 billion behind ripple.
The majority of altcoins advanced against the US dollar today, raising the total altcoin market cap to a new all-time high just below $450 billion. Altcoins now account for nearly two-thirds of the cryptocurrency market cap, reducing bitcoin’s market share to just 36.2 percent.
The bitcoin cash price rose six percent to $2,774, bringing its market cap within striking distance of $50 billion. Fifth-ranked Cardano, meanwhile, rose 29 percent to lift its market cap to $25.7 billion. This is the first time that the top five cryptocurrencies have all had market caps exceeding $25 billion.
Litecoin was the largest coin to post a single-day decline, falling three percent to $252. It briefly dipped to seventh in the rankings, falling behind stellar’s lumens, but it had recovered to sixth by the time of writing.
That said, the stellar price is on a tear this week, and it rose 35 percent on Wednesday to post the best single-day performance of any top 10 cryptocurrency. Stellar now has a market cap of $13.6 billion, which is all the more impressive considering that XLM is largely absent from the major South Korean market.
Eighth-ranked NEM rallied by 18 percent, bringing its price to $1.32 and market cap to $11.9 billion. Aside from litecoin, IOTA was the only top 10 cryptocurrency to decline for the day, dipping three percent to $4.06. Dash, on the other hand, rounded out the top 10 with a three percent increase to $1,177.
Write to Josiah Wilmoth at josiah.wilmoth(at)CCN.com.
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