As altcoins are making a major rally, the overall cryptocurrency market cap climbs above the half-trillion-dollar benchmark.

The cryptocurrency market has added a new jewel to its crown as market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies crosses the half trillion dollars benchmark. This year has proved to be the best year for the entire crypto community so far. In addition to Bitcoin’s historic rise, we have several other altcoins rallying this year contributing significantly in taking the market to new highs.

Having achieved the new benchmark, the additional figures provided by CoinMarketCap show that the overall market cap of cryptocurrencies has climbed by more than 2500% year-to-date (YTD). Another interesting fact is that to date there are 22 cryptocurrencies in the market that individually contribute over $1 billion to market cap. This proves the fact that there are still few good altcoins, which remain a preferred buyers’ choice.

The latest surge above $500 billion, which took place in the last 24 hours, has majorly contributed to the significant rise in the price of Ethereum and Litecoin. The price of Ethereum has surged past $600 with its market cap now above $62 billion. Ethereum has hit a new all-time high of $662, and according to CoinMarketCap, is currently trading at $648.05.

Similarly, Litecoin has made a significant rally during the past one week with its price increasing by over 200%. The token is comfortably trading above $300 with its market cap having surged past $16 billion. An interesting statistics show that Litecoin has gained by over 7000% in the past one year, which means that it has appreciated investor’s money three times more than Bitcoin has done.

With the tremendous surge in the buying interest for Ethereum and Litecoin, Coinbase had to  halt its operations yesterday for a while due to massive trading volumes. Over the past two months, there have been positive signs of investors’ growing interest and participation in the crypto markets. Coinbase data shows that since the start of 2017 the number of registered users on its exchange has grown by a 100% and now stands above 13.3 million users overall.

The major growth in investor-participation was seen recently after the announcement of bitcoin futures contract by the CME Group, which took place in the last week of October. Soon after that, the markets were flooded with huge number of  investor orders as the price of Bitcoin surged by 100% in just past 45 days. Correspondingly, the cryptocurrency market cap also grew by 150% during the same period.

Following the CME Group’s announcement many other institutional players started buying Bitcoin and are coming with their Bitcoin-investment-products and services next year.

Today is the fourth day of the Bitcoin futures contract going live on the CBOE exchange and the token’s price surged from $13000 past over $18,300 just in 48 hours from the launch time. Buying interest among investors continues to grow and analysts predict that Bitcoin price can climb above $20,000 in the near future. At the press time, Bitcoin is trading at $17,048.91, according to CoinMarketCap.

Amidst all the growing interest in cryptocurrencies, there are still few renowned personalities, who believe that there is a bubble in the market and advise new investors to act cautiously.

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