The crypto market cap rose to yet another all-time high on Wednesday on the heels of a 6% bitcoin price rally that carried the value of the flagship cryptocurrency back across the $7,500 threshold. Altcoins, likewise, posted a near-universal advance, despite concerns stemming from another vulnerability discovered in Parity’s multi-signature wallet for ethereum platform tokens.
Against this backdrop, the combined value of all cryptocurrencies rose by approximately $10 billion, from $195 billion on Tuesday to a present value of $205 billion. This represents a new all-time record for the crypto market cap.
The bitcoin price had experienced an early-week dip, briefly diving as low as $6,948 on the high-volume Bitfinex exchange. Bitcoin did not have to languish at that level for long, though, because Wednesday brought a 6% rally that lifted the bitcoin price above $7,500. At present, the bitcoin price is trading at a global average of $7,509, which translates into a $125.2 billion market cap.
That bitcoin has more or less been able to sustain its position above $7,000 is indicative of continued bullishness about the impending launch of bitcoin futures contracts on a regulated U.S. exchange. Nejc Kodrič, CEO of bitcoin exchange Bitstamp, told CCN.com that the availability of bitcoin futures will help make cryptocurrency “more mainstream”:
“This announcement is important as it is helping Bitcoin become more mainstream through increased participation,” he said. “Additionally, bringing more institutional clients into Bitcoin could make the currency less volatile. CME’s launch of Bitcoin futures will also pave the way for more crypto-related financial products.”
However, bitcoin is also benefiting from increasing grassroots interest in cryptocurrency. Bitcoin exchange Coinbase — widely considered to be the most user-friendly way for novices to purchase bitcoin — has been adding several hundred thousand users per week, and the number of Google searches for “buy bitcoin” recently surpassed those seeking to “buy gold”.
The ethereum price increased by 3% on Wednesday, despite the revelation that funds stored in multi-signature wallets using Parity software had been permanently locked due to a bug in the code.
This is the second significant bug found in Parity’s multi-sig wallets this year, but while the previous one enabled a hacker to steal more than $30 million, this bug has apparently frozen hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ether and crypto tokens. It is believed that the only way to recover the funds would be to implement a hard fork, but there are concerns that some users will refuse to follow the fork, creating another Ethereum blockchain split, similar to the one that occurred last year following the DAO hack and resulted in the creation of Ethereum Classic.
The altcoin markets made positive movement on Wednesday, and 80 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies saw their values increase against the dollar.
Bitcoin cash rose by 5%, increasing its price to $636 and market cap to $10.7 billion. The ripple price increased by 2%, while litecoin’s 7% rally launched its price to $62.
Sixth-ranked dash mirrored litecoin’s advance, climbing 6% to a present value of $303. NEO and NEM each rose by 2%, while the monero price’s 4% rally enabled it to surpass the $100 mark for the first time since late September. Ethereum classic rounded out the top ten with a day of sideways trading that left its price at $14.
Last modified: March 4, 2021 5:01 PM