The price of bitcoin topped $3,000 for the first time in history today, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (BPI).
After spending much of the last week seeking direction in the $2,700 to $2,900-range, the average price of bitcoin across major international exchanges edged up over this threshold finally at roughly 17:00 UTC.
The new record comes at a time when alternative digital assets are seeing robust inflows, with ethereum's ether token setting a new all-time high of more than $300 today as well.
Indeed, analysts spoke to the ongoing broadening of the cryptocurrency market as a tide that is benefitting bitcoin.
"The inflows into 'alts' are greater than those into bitcoin. In other words, bitcoin is growing at a very nice pace, but non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies are growing even faster," cryptocurrency hedge fund manager Tim Enneking told CoinDesk.
Jehan Chu, managing partner at cryptocurrency fund Jen Advisors, agreed, noting that bitcoin is likely benefitting from new investor interest and the surging interest of "cryptos like ether".
Still, Arthur Hayes, founder of Hong Kong-based digital currency exchange BitMEX, stated that bitcoin is still the "most talked-about cryptocurrency", even as returns become more substantial in other areas of the market.
Hayes told CoinDesk:
"As investors marvel at bitcoin's historical returns and the returns of altcoins, their natural first purchase is bitcoin. Bitcoin has under performed other coins this year, it is now playing catchup."
Investor Sean Walsh largely agreed, pointing to bitcoin's growing price as a sign of its place in the market as the first stop on a road to other assets.
"Bitcoin still seems like the dominant gateway to [alternative digital assets]. So, many first purchase bitcoin in order to then trade their bitcoin for altcoins," he noted.
The development coincides with signs that the cryptocurrency market is maturing to support new inflows and increasing interest.
As noted by CoinDesk research analyst Alex Sunnarborg today, the cryptocurrency exchange market has never been more globally diverse or buoyed by such an array of possible inflows.
Such tailwinds have combined in recent weeks to bring new investor attention to bitcoin, with expectations for bitcoin's growth becoming more and more exuberant. Danish investment firm Saxo Bank went so far as to publish a forecasting report in which it placed the possible value of bitcoin at $100,000 in the next 10 years.
Charts on mobile device via Shutterstock