The combined value of all cryptocurrencies soared to record highs this week, with bitcoin pulling away from the pack amid growing institutional sponsorship and safe haven status.
Crypto Market Surpasses $120 Billion
The cryptocurrency market was valued at roughly $124 billion on Tuesday, according to Coinmarketcap.com. That’s nearly double what the market was worth a little more than three weeks ago.
Cryptocurrencies are by far the best-performing asset class of 2017, having returned a staggering 600% year-to-date. Since 2010, bitcoin has been the world’s best-performing currency every year except one. This year, the title will likely go to one of its altcoin competitors.
Bitcoin Leads the Pack
Bitcoin caught fire over the weekend, as prices broke above $3,000 for the first time since June. Only this time, the rally north of that critical threshold has been sustainable. The BTC/USD exchange reached a high of $3,423.10 on Tuesday, according to Bitstamp. The gains have pushed bitcoin’s market cap to nearly $56 billion, based on a universe of roughly 16.5 million tokens.
Bitcoin’s value has more than tripled for the year. At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency is around $400 away from triple the price of gold bullion. December gold futures were last seen trading at $1,270.00 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
SegWit to Activate on Bitcoin
Bitcoin’s rally on Tuesday preceded the official activation of Segregated Witness (SegWit), which officially “locks in” on Aug. 9. The network will allow a two-week “grace period” to allow users and miners to upgrade their software. Industry sources say SegWit will become fully active on Aug. 21, the date miners can begin rejecting blocks that do not support the new protocol.
Crypto Market Cap Leader Board (Aug. 9, 2017)
Bitcoin Cash: $5.5B
Ethereum Classic: $1.5B