On Tuesday, the cryptocurrency market soared to an all-time high, reaching a market cap of $3 trillion, as the world’s two largest cryptocurrencies surged to record highs. Bitcoin has rallied more than 6% since Nov. 7 to reach $67,591.86, while Ether, the token supporting the Ethereum blockchain, gained 3.5% to hit $4,789.45 as of Tuesday at 11:32 a.m. Hong Kong time, according to data from Coinmarketcap.com.
The global crypto market cap has grown fivefold since last November, when it stood at $578 billion.
The top 10 digital coins have climbed in the last week, with Ether competitor Solana up nearly 21% and Elon Musk favorite Dogecoin up almost 5%.
Since October, Bitcoin and Ether have each jumped nearly 31% as investors flock to digital assets, seen as a hedge against inflation. Buzz about non-fungible tokens (NFTs), new blockchain projects, and rising crypto stars like Solana and dog-inspired Shiba Inu are fueling investors’ growing interest.
Cryptocurrencies are also benefiting from signs that the digital assets are going more mainstream.
Payments giant Mastercard recently announced its partnership with three Asia-based crypto companies to launch crypto-linked credit, debit, and prepaid cards that will allow users to convert their digital assets into fiat currency. Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank, in which the country’s king is the largest shareholder, last week bought a 51% stake in homegrown crypto operator Bitkub; the crypto platform is “now becoming a necessary part of the infrastructure critical for Thailand’s financial industry,” said Bitkub CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa.
Last week, Australia’s largest bank, CBA, became the country’s first lender to allow customers to buy, sell, and hold crypto assets via its app. JPMorgan Chase recently began offering its wealth management clients access to crypto funds, despite CEO Jamie Dimon’s public admonition of Bitcoin as “worthless.”
And last month, the first futures-based Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) started trading—with three other Bitcoin ETFs set to follow. The approval of a Bitcoin ETF, which will allow for major investment inflows from institutional investors, was a milestone for the legitimization of the cryptocurrency market.
In the next one to three years, “every large bank and/or securities firm” is going to be actively thinking about trading and selling cryptocurrencies, Vikram Pandit, chairman and CEO of tech-focused private equity firm Orogen Group and former CEO of Citigroup, said at the Singapore Fintech Festival on Monday. “My big hope is that central banks around the world understand the benefit of a central bank digital currency, and move on to accept, adopt them,” said Pandit, who has invested in crypto companies.
This story has been updated to correct the market cap growth of cryptocurrencies since last November.
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