The cryptocurrency markets made another advance on Tuesday, fueled by continued bullishness over the impending launch of regulated bitcoin futures contracts on Sunday. Buoyed by this factor, the bitcoin price rose within striking distance of the $12,000 milestone, and the flagship cryptocurrency’s market cap came within a hair’s breadth of the $200 billion marker. Meanwhile, altcoins reaped the gains of a bullish market, and the number of cryptocurrencies with billion-dollar valuations swelled to a new all-time high of nineteen.
Altogether, cryptocurrencies added nearly $15 billion to their already swelling combined market cap. At present, the total cryptocurrency market cap is $354.3 billion, representing a single-day increase of four percent.
Over the weekend, bitcoin “died” for the 200th time, but, to the ire of bears across the globe, the most prominent cryptocurrency refuses to acknowledge its supposed demise. The bitcoin price reached a new all-time high on Tuesday at approximately 9:00 UTC, when it briefly rose to $11,931. However, bitcoin was not quite able to extend across the $12,000 mark — a feat which would have raised its total valuation past $200 billion for the first time — and it has since made a minor pullback to $11,887 and a $198.8 billion market cap.
The launch of bitcoin futures is expected to have a positive effect on ethereum — the president of derivatives exchange Cboe has hinted that his exchange may soon add bitcoin cash and ethereum futures — but the ethereum price did not receive a bump upon learning that bitcoin futures would launch sooner than had generally been believed. Instead, the ethereum price traded sideways, remaining at $462. Ethereum maintains a market cap of $44.5 billion.
The altcoin markets, on the other hand, were generally characterized by positive movement, and the number of cryptocurrencies with billion-dollar valuations swelled to a new all-time high.
Inside the top 10, there were two cryptocurrencies that made movements worthy of note. IOTA, ranked fifth, continued its dramatic climb, rising 28 percent to crack the $3 mark for the first time. IOTA is now less than $1.2 billion behind ripple in terms of total market cap.
Monero, ranked ninth, made a similar move, leaping 23 percent to raise its price to $240 and its market cap to $3.7 billion.
Outside of the top 10, the majority of cryptocurrencies posted moderate increases of at least five percent. As a result, three cryptocurrencies — Lisk, OmiseGO, and Qtum– edged across the $1 billion market cap threshold, bringing the total number of “crypto unicorns” to a new all-time high of 19.
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