NEW YORK - The cryptocurrency market capitalization hit an all-time peak of $2 trillion on Monday, according to data and market trackers CoinGecko and Blockfolio, as gains over the last several months attracted demand from both institutional and retail investors.
By mid-afternoon, the crypto market cap was at $2.02 trillion.
The surge was led by bitcoin, which hit its own milestone by holding at a $1 trillion market cap for one week. Bitcoin was last up 1.4% at $59,045. Since hitting a lifetime peak of more than $61,000 in mid-March, bitcoin has traded in a relatively narrow range.
Analysts said as long as bitcoin stays above $53,000, it will be able to maintain its $1 trillion market cap.
Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, was up 1.3% at $2,103. Its market cap was $244 billion on Monday. It hit a record high of $2,144.99 last Friday.
“Momentum and interest have begun to expand beyond bitcoin and ethereum,” said Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at crypto exchange Bitfinex.
“As the industry continues to mature, we expect more blockchain-based applications to be introduced to the world, and coinciding with that, a surge of interest around other alternative assets... as they become more market-ready,” he added.
Blockchain data provider Glassnode, in a research report, said the fact that bitcoin has held the $1 trillion market cap for one week is a “strong vote of confidence for bitcoin and the cryptocurrency asset class as a whole.”
It added that on-chain activity continues to reinforce bitcoin’s robust position, with a volume equivalent to over 10% of circulating supply transacting above the $1 trillion threshold.
Also on Monday, Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, a $35 billion publicly listed investment vehicle that holds bitcoin, said it remains committed to converting to an exchange traded fund. In a blog post, Grayscale said the timing of its transition would depend on the regulatory environment.
Bitcoin has risen more than 100% this year, while ethereum has gained nearly 190%. Both have massively outperformed traditional asset classes, bolstered by the entry of mainstream companies and large investors into the cryptocurrency world, including Tesla Inc and BNY Mellon.