The bitcoin price broke out of its brief slump on Thursday, surging more than 7% to cross $4,450 and set a new all-time high of $4,492. The ethereum price saw a nice single-day bump as well, while several altcoin prices rose to record highs. The day’s upward trend resulted in another record for the cryptocurrency market cap. Just a week ago, the total value of all cryptocurrencies was $123 billion. This was an impressive number, but the market has stretched higher almost every day since. At present, the total crypto market cap is about $145 billion.
Bitcoin encountered a brief slump earlier in the week. After setting a new record at $4,456, Korean traders initiated a sell-off that plunged the bitcoin price below $4,000. But August 17 brought a 7% recovery, and the bitcoin price soared to a new record of $4,492 on Bitfinex. This gives bitcoin a market cap of $74 billion.
Next on the agenda is another significant price milestone–$4,500.
One factor that remains shrouded in uncertainty is how increased attention from government regulators will affect businesses in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Australia, for instance, just announced it would begin regulating bitcoin exchanges under new counter-terrorism financing and anti-money laundering legislation.
Ethereum’s August rally has stalled at the $300 mark, with the price of ether consistently stretching toward $320 before contracting down to the $290-295 range. On August 17, the ethereum price again passed $300. Fueled by a 5% gain, ethereum now sits at $310 with a market cap of $29.1 billion.
Ethereum is approaching another protocol upgrade, which some investors believe could signal a price surge. In the month leading up to the release of Homestead (its current protocol version), the ethereum price climbed 430%.
The altcoin markets were generally positive on Thursday, with a few exceptions. The Ripple price saw a slight increase, bringing its market cap back above $6.1 billion. Bitcoin cash–whose first 8MB block was just found yesterday–increased 1.5% to $301.
The IOTA price continued its rapid advance, crossing the $1 threshold for a market cap of nearly $3 billion. IOTA Foundation founder David Sonstebo told CCN.com he attributes the price rise to an increase in public awareness of IOTA’s Tangle protocol. IOTA’s price surge has enabled it to increase its lead over 6th-place litecoin–whose price rose 3%–to $600 million.
The NEM and NEO prices declined 4% and 11%, respectively. NEO–the “Chinese Ethereum”–has been experiencing a market cap explosion of its own. However, the NEO price was the worst performer in the top 10 on Thursday.
Next to IOTA, the Dash price posted the best gains of the day. It surged 15% to $247, shattering its previous record. The Dash market cap is now approaching $2 billion.
Today’s market movements enabled bitcoin market dominance to tick upward to 50.8%. Ethereum also made a slight gain; it now accounts for 20.2% of the total crypto market cap. Ripple’s market cap share continued to erode, falling to 4.2% for a weekly decline of 1.5%.
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