The cryptocurrency market notched new all-time highs Wednesday, overtaking America’s largest bank in the process.
The total value of all cryptocurrencies in existence surpassed $370 billion in mid-week trade, according to CoinMarketCap. The gains were inspired by another record-setting surge in bitcoin, IOTA and Monero. Combined, the crypto market’s value overtook that of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, which is worth roughly $367 billion.
J.P. Morgan is the stomping ground of Jamie Dimon, one of bitcoin’s most outspoken critic. Dimon has called the digital asset a “scam” that is destined to “blow up.” Interestingly, his firm has facilitated cryptocurrency transactions, putting Dimon in the crosshairs of some interesting banter.
J.P. Morgan, which is a member of the prestigious Dow 30, saw its share prices decline slightly on Wednesday. The stock has returned 22% this year in a rally that has been largely inspired by Donald Trump’s electoral victory.
Cryptocurrencies have been on an tear all year long, but a decision by China in September to ban trading triggered a massive correction in the market. It didn’t take long for money to flow back into cryptocurrencies as investors quickly bought the dip.
China remains largely on the outs of the cryptocurrency arena, but other nations have taken the reigns. Japan and South Korea have quickly emerged as hotbeds for all things cryptocurrency. South Korean exchanges have been at the center of large rallies in bitcoin and altcoins in recent months.
Bitcoin prices broke above $12,000 earlier this week as investors awaited the launch of the first cryptocurrency futures contract on Sunday. CBOE made a surprise announcement earlier this week that it aims to become the first major exchange to initiate bitcoin futures. That honor was expected to go to the rival CME Group, which plans to launch its bitcoin derivatives product Dec. 18.
Nasdaq is also reportedly working toward a bitcoin derivatives product for sometime next year.
At last check, bitcoin was trading north of $13,000. The digital currency system has added a staggering 28% in the last five days. It was responsible for nearly 48% of daily turnover on Wednesday. IOTA was second at nearly 9% and Ethereum third at 8%.
Bitcoin’s relentless surge has rubbed off on other cryptocurrencies. Currently, there are 20 altcoins valued at $900 million or greater.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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