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Ether prices hit all-time high; bitcoin slumps 4%

Following PBOC’s announcement on Monday, bitcoin tumbled 11.4%, the most since July, to $4,326.75, while the ethereum cryptocurrency slipped more than 16%. Photo: AFPPremium
Following PBOC’s announcement on Monday, bitcoin tumbled 11.4%, the most since July, to $4,326.75, while the ethereum cryptocurrency slipped more than 16%. Photo: AFP

  • The stellar rally in cryptocurrencies over the past few months has attracted interest from large global institutions. Coindesk recently reported that Goldman Sachs has issued a request for information to explore digital asset custody

NEW DELHI: Cryptocurrency ether, which is built on the open-source Ethereum blockchain, hit an all-time high of $1,448 on Tuesday. The second-biggest currency, in terms of market-capitalisation, has since pared some gains and traded at $1,352 level as of 1230pm, Wednesday, as per data available with WazirX. Larger peer, bitcoin, traded 3.7% lower at $35,215.00.

Bitcoin, which is the biggest cryptocurrency with a market capitalisation of $655 billion, has delivered around 20% return since the start of the year, having touched an all-time of $41,940. In comparison, Ether, which has a market cap of $154 billion, has surged around 86% this year.

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Other prominent cryptocurrencies such as stellar, ripple, and tether traded 6%, 7% and 0.18% lower, respectively, on Wednesday.

The stellar rally in cryptocurrencies over the past few months has attracted interest from large global institutions.

Coindesk recently reported that US banking major Goldman Sachs has issued a request for information (RFI) to explore digital asset custody.

Moreover, financial services major Jefferies in December had made a 5% allocation towards bitcoin at a price of $22,779 by reducing its allocation to gold bullion by 5 percentage points.

According to Jefferies, the primary reason for this allocation was bitcoin becoming investible for institutions with custodian arrangements in place for digital assets.

“Bitcoin ended 2020 up 27% from the level at which the allocation was made but up 305% for the whole of 2020. It has since risen by a further 28% so far in 2021 to $36,999. It has now become clear that bitcoin represents a legitimate alternative to gold for risk-averse capital looking for a store of value, amidst accumulating evidence of policies of currency debasement in the G7 world," said Christopher Wood, global head of equity strategy, Jefferies, in the latest edition of the Greed & Fear newsletter dated 7 January, 2021.

In this respect, the total market capitalization of bitcoin at the end of 2020 was $539 billion, compared with estimates of $12 trillion in above-ground gold, he added.

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