Ether hits US$3,000 as bitcoin’s crypto dominance declines


New winner: The logos of (from left) bitcoin, ether, litecoin and monero are seen on the display of a cryptocurrency ATM of blockchain payment service provider Bity. Ether is up to 15%. — Reuters

NEW YORK: Bitcoin’s domination of total cryptocurrency market value is declining, suggesting room for more than one winner among digital tokens as the sector evolves.

The largest digital currency now accounts for about 46% of total crypto market value of US$2.3 trillion (RM9.4 trillion), down from roughly 70% at the start of the year, according to tracker CoinGecko.

Second-ranked ether is up to 15% and a group of others outside the top few has doubled its share over the same period to 36%.

Bitcoin remains the biggest cryptocurrency but the momentum in other tokens is drawing increasing interest, such as ether, which breached US$3,000 for the first time yesterday after quadrupling this year.

Crypto proponents argue investors are getting more comfortable with a variety of tokens, while critics contend the sector may be in the grip of a stimulus-fuelled mania.

“Ethereum is rising and not much seems to be in its way, ” Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at Oanda Corp, wrote in a note Friday, adding that other tokens were also seeing “fresh interest.”

The current distribution of market share also reflects an April shakeout in the cryptocurrency sector.

Bitcoin has yet to recover all the ground it lost after tumbling from a mid-April record of almost US$64,870.

Last month’s listing of crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc in the United States is the latest sign of how more investors are embracing the sector despite risks from high levels of volatility and expanding regulatory scrutiny.Ether is currently occupying the limelight.

An upgrade of the affiliated ethereum blockchain as well as the network’s popularity for financial services and cryptocollectibles are among the factors cited for the rally.

Evercore ISI strategist Rich Ross has set a target of US$3,900 for the token.

Other cryptocurrencies, often referred to as “altcoins, ” have jumped too.

The price of binance coin is up 3,490% over the past 12 months, according to CoinGecko.

Dogecoin, a token started as a joke in 2013 but now a social-media favourite touted by the likes of Elon Musk, has surged 15,000% to a market value of around US$50bil. — Bloomberg

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