Fri, 14 May 2021

NEW YORK, New York: Driven by the surge in demand for cryptocurrencies from both institutional and retail investors, the market capitalization hit an all-time high of $2 trillion early this week by Bitcoin, according to data and market trackers CoinGecko and Blockfolio.

The crypto market cap was at $2.02 trillion by mid-afternoon, with Bitcoin hitting its own milestone by holding at a $1 trillion market cap for one week. It was last up 1.4% at $59,045.

Bitcoin has been trading in a relatively narrow range since it hit a lifetime peak of more than $61,000 in mid-March. Analysts said as long as Bitcoin stays above $53,000, it can retain its $1 trillion market cap.

Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, was up 1.3% at $2,103. Its market cap was $244 billion on Monday and it hit a record high of $2,144.99 last Friday.

"Momentum and interest have begun to expand beyond bitcoin and ethereum," said Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at crypto exchange Bitfinex.

"As the industry continues to mature, we expect more blockchain-based applications to be introduced to the world, and coinciding with that, a surge of interest around other alternative assets... as they become more market-ready," he added.

In a research report, Blockchain data provider Glassnode said the fact that Bitcoin held the $1 trillion market cap for one week is a "strong vote of confidence for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency asset class as a whole."

Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, a $35 billion publicly listed investment vehicle that holds Bitcoin, said on Monday it remains committed to converting to an exchange-traded fund, but the timing of its transition would depend on the regulatory environment.

While Bitcoin has risen more than 100% this year, ethereum has gained nearly 190%, greatly surpassing traditional asset classes, reinforced by the entry of mainstream companies and large investors into the cryptocurrency world, including Tesla Inc and BNY Mellon.

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