By John Ikani
The world cryptocurrency market is worth more than $3 trillion for the first time, according to calculations on Monday, as mainstream investors increasingly jump on board.
“The value has reached $3.007 trillion,” said CoinGecko, which tracks prices of more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin surged back above $66,000 on Monday close to its all-time peak after a five percent jump. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency hit a record-high $66,000 last month after taking another step towards mainstream status.
Ethereum, the second biggest cryptocurrency by market value, hit a record high $4,768 on Monday.
Bitcoin’s current rally has been fueled by the U.S. trading debut of a Bitcoin-linked ETF as well as Elon Musk’s weekend Twitter poll, said Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at crypto exchange AAX.
“With Shiba and other memecoins having surged recently, and Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, interest in altcoins continues to rise.”
The little more than a decade old market for digital assets has already roughly quadrupled from its 2020 year-end value, as investors have gotten more comfortable with established tokens such as Bitcoin and networks like Ethereum and Solana continue to upgrade and attract new functionality.
Excitement about the possibilities of decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens is growing, and memecoins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu continue to attract attention.
Although crypto is notoriously volatile, some investors sees cryptocurrencies as a hedge against inflation, which is surging worldwide as economies reopen after pandemic lockdowns.
The last time Bitcoin reached these levels, it fell back several thousand dollars, and it’s undergone multiple corrections that take it down by half or more. Other coins are even more volatile – the memecoins bounce back and forth wildly at times – and scams and hacks occur with some frequency.