A day after the leading cryptocurrency rose more than $5,000 and along the way achieved a $1 trillion market cap, bitcoin (BTC) on Saturday morning set yet another all-time high, crossing $57,000 for the first time and sparking a broad rally among other cryptocurrencies.
The price of BTC reached a high of $57,492.00 before settling back to $57,264,55, up 8.77% over the last 24 hours. Before yesterday’s fun and games started, BTC was at about $51,600.
BTC ended 2020 at bit shy of $29,000 following a better-than 300% gain over the previous 12 months. Now, that eye-popping performance is starting to look tame as less than two months into 2021, BTC has nearly doubled, with a 95.4% gain.
Some are attributing the astonishing rise of BTC’s price to the tremendous demand from buyers looking to hedge against inflation as governments keep spending and central banks keep printing money trying to keep their economies going through the pandemic.
“Through the insatiable buy-side pressure from exchange-traded fund (ETF) issuers, closed-end funds and large public corporations adding bitcoin to their positions, demand is massively outstripping supply,” said John Willock, chief executive at digital asset exchange Blocktane.
The current ramp-up in the price of BTC was ignited earlier in the month by Tesla, when the electric-automobile manufacturer announced it had purchased $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency for its treasury. This sparked a round of playing “who’s next?” in terms of investing treasury funds in BTC and the resulting hype helped focus the attention of main street investors on the sector overall.
Rising along with BTC has been ether (ETH), the native token of the Ethereum blockchain. Late Friday night New York time, long after most of the action in BTC had died down for the moment, the price of ETH set a new all-time high of its own, crossing the $2,000 mark for the first time ever.
The excitement over BTC and ETH both hitting new peaks has now spread now to the rest of the crypto, with almost all tokens up Saturday morning and a number of them posting double-digit percentage gains.
While the gains in UNI and AAVE seem linked because both are major players in the exploding decentralized finance (DeFi) section of the crypto world, most of Saturday’s gains may simply be due to investors looking for the next BTC or ETH or because advocates of certain tokens are out there in the chatrooms telling anyone who will listen that their coins will be the next ones to take off.