The ethereum and bitcoin prices continued to climb on Thursday, even as a slight dip in the altcoin markets pulled many coins into decline. The bitcoin price rose toward the $4,200 mark–even passing it temporarily–while the ethereum price closed in on the $300 threshold. Altogether, the total crypto market cap added about $3 billion for the day, bringing it a few steps closer to the all-time high it set earlier this month.
The total cryptocurrency market cap entered Wednesday afternoon just above the $140 billion mark. It steadily climbed throughout the remainder of the day and into Thursday morning, eventually peaking at $147.3 billion at 9:00 UTC. This was the highest the market has extended since September 12. However, the market began a sharp decline shortly after reaching this peak, shedding more than $3 billion before settling down to a present value of $143.6 billion.
One factor that should prove bullish for the market’s long-term prospects is Overstock’s announcement of an initial coin offering (ICO) exchange that will comply with SEC and FINRA regulations concerning securities trading. The exchange is being developed as a joint venture between tZero (an Overstock subsidiary), Argon Group, and RenGen LLC and will make the ICO marketplace more inviting for institutional investors who are concerned about the regulatory climate surrounding crypto finance.
The bitcoin price has made significant progress this week in the face of volatility in the global markets. On Thursday, the bitcoin price rose as high as $4,279, although it has since tapered to $4,178. Nevertheless, this represents a daily increase of 3% and brings bitcoin’s market cap to $69.3 billion.
Many analysts predict that the bitcoin price will be able to challenge its all-time high of $5,000 in the near future if it is able to hold above the $4,000 mark for the next few days. That said, uncertainty regarding the potential SegWit2x hard fork continues to weigh on the mid-term outlook of the bitcoin price.
The ethereum price posted another minor increase on Thursday, enabling it to climb to $300 for the first time in more than two weeks. After beginning the day at $294, ethereum stretched as high as $308 before settling at a present mark just a few cents below $300. Ethereum now has a market cap of $28.4 billion, representing a 24-hour increase of 2%.
Altcoins had returned generally-positive performance this week, but these markets were a mixed bag for investors on Thursday.
The Ripple price had climbed nearly 20% during the first half of the week following news that the startup was opening an office in Singapore, but XRP waned a bit on Thursday. The Ripple price is now trading at $0.193, a 4% decline from Wednesday.
Bitcoin cash and Dash followed Ripple’s lead, declining 3% and 2%, respectively. Litecoin and NEM each managed to make minor progress, while IOTA and Monero held steady at the previous day’s levels. The day’s worst performance came from 10th-place NEO, whose price fell 8% on the heels of an early-week surge.
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