The price of bitcoin reached a new record high today, being driven by the growing demand from traders looking to invest into alternative assets. Earlier today, the cyptocurrency for the first time hit $2303.90 level, while the total market cap increased to $37 billion.
On Friday, bitcoin price broke through $1,900 barrier, before surpassing $2000 mark on Saturday. The cryptocurrency is now valued at $2266.38, rising by 9.64% over the last 24 hours, according to CoinMarketCap.
Simultaneously, the value of Ethereum is showing significant gains as well, hitting $200 mark today’s morning. The digital currency is currently trading at $190.02, according to CoinMarketCap. This is a major growth in value, as only a week ago Ethereum was worth about $100 per coin.
The total market cap of digital currencies demonstrated a significant growth over the last few weeks, now accounting for more than $79 billion. If compared, the combined value of all cryptocurrencies amounted to $20 billion in the beginning of the year. Currently, the total market cap, excluding bitcoin, totals $42 billion.
Amid the overall growth of digital currencies, bitcoin’s share of the cryptocurrency market is reducing. For the first time in its history, bitcoin’s share of all blockchain assets dropped below 50%.
As of January 1, bitcoin comprised 87% of the total market cap and is now accounting for 45-46%. Meantime, ethereum’s share reached almost 20% of the total market cap, with ripple and litecoin accounting for 17.38% and 1.78%, respectively.
Today, the cryptocurrency community is celebrating a Bitcoin Pizza Day, which marks the day when the first real-world bitcoin transaction occurred. A developer Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin, what was equal to $30 at the time. But taking into account the current prices, the pizzas would worth more than $21 million right now.
There are various factors that have contributed to the growth of the cryptocurrency. A huge bitcoin demand now comes from Japan, which handles about 40% of all bitcoin trading volume. The government in Japan has recently passed legislation to enable merchants accept bitcoin as a legal currency.
Meantime, political instability urges investors to acquire bitcoin and other digital currencies as safe haven assets. Political scandals in the US and Brazil caused investors to seek alternative assets, as US and Brazilian stock prices dropped.
Also, the ongoing debates on the future of bitcoin’s underlying technology raised interest in the cryptocurrency. There is a fear that bitcoin will be divided into two currencies after implementing hard fork solution.
However, it seems that the bitcoin network is not yet ready for wider adoption. Last week, over 214,000 bitcoin transactions were stuck unconfirmed, with users having to pay higher fees per transaction.
A few days ago, the decentralized management platform for companies, Aragon, completed 4th highest funded crowdsale ever, raising $25 million in the first 15 minutes of its ICO.