Bitcoin Approaches New All-Time High After Ethereum Hits Record

Bitcoin Approaches New All-Time High After Ethereum Hits Record

Bitcoin Ethereum record

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The price of Bitcoin surged 7 percent higher on Monday to $66,250 and appeared to be closing in on its October record high of $66,999 while the No. 2 coin, Ethereum, rose by more than 4 percent in 24 hours to an all-time-high of $4,700-plus, helping push the total value of the cryptocurrency market past $3 trillion for the first time.

Ethereum is a key player in DeFi (decentralized finance). Some of the biggest DeFi services running on the Ethereum network include lending platform Aave and decentralized exchange Uniswap. The Ethereum blockchain is also used to build many nonfungible tokens, or NFTs — digital receipts that keep an ownership record of rare items such as online art.

Inflation fears are driving the Bitcoin price rise, analysts say. Bitcoin is widely seen as a store of value that increasingly competes with gold for investors’ attention as a hedge against inflation, which is running at a 13-year high in the U.S.

Sinking real bond yield or inflation-adjusted bond yield may be powering Bitcoin higher, according to Yuya Hasegawa, a crypto market analyst at Japan exchange Bitbank. “Real yields sliding due to inflation fears may have caused the recent BTC rally,” Hasegawa told CoinDesk via email. The 10-year real yield dropped to -1.09 percent on Friday, the lowest since Aug. 30, according to data from U.S. Department of Treasury.

While Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has been accused in the past of downplaying the risk of long-term inflation, he tweaked that message in late October as fears of out-of-control inflation persist. “Supply-side constraints have gotten worse,” Powell said at a virtual conference. “The risks are clearly now to longer and more-persistent bottlenecks, and thus to higher inflation.”

Excitement over the Oct. 19 launch of the first-ever U.S. Bitcoin futures-backed exchange-traded fund — ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF — is credited with helping to push Bitcoin to its record high in October. However, JP Morgan & Co. strategists attributed the Bitcoin price rise to inflation, broader institutional and financial services adoption, and the appearance of government support, not the ETF. 

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis shows renewed accumulation of crypto by large investors or whales, Coindesk reported. Investors holding at least 1,000 BTC bought 142,000 coins in the last week of October for an accumulated number close to 200,000 BTC — the highest in 2021.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been criticized for their intense use of electricity and environmental impact. Ethereum is working towards Ethereum 2.0, a major upgrade that it says will make its blockchain network faster and more environmentally friendly. The most recent step in Ethereum’s overhaul arrived in late October with an upgrade called Altair, CNBC reported.

The No. 3 token, Binance Coin, and No. 4, Ethereum rival Solana — which recently leapfrogged over another Ethereum rival, Cardano, to take the No. 4 spot by market capitalization — both saw massive price gains of more than 20 percent over the past week but saw their prices fall over the past 24 hours.

The total value of the crypto market is almost four times greater than it was at the end of 2020.

Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?