Bitcoin's market value is about $1.02 trillion, versus about $2.13 trillion for CoinGecko's universe of 6,816 digital coins. Ether's share of the market capitalization is about 14%.
Although 12-year-old bitcoin is up 88% this year, reaching an all-time high just below $65,000 earlier in April, the rally has stalled recently, and the price has since faded to about $55,000. Instead, traders have bid up prices for other cryptocurrencies, from Aave's AAVE tokens (+347% year to date) to Zcash's ZEC (+330%).
That's in addition to the well-documented rallies in ether, up 256%, and dogecoin (DOGE), which has climbed 50-fold in 2021.
The rapid price increases are drawing comparisons to the rampant speculation that took place during cryptocurrencies' last big bull run in 2017 and early 2018, punctuated by a spate of so-called initial coin offerings, or ICOs, many of which gave way to steep losses later in 2018.
"It’s a signal the market is risk-on and 'alts' are outperforming," David Grider, an analyst at FundStrat, told CoinDesk in an email. "This is the scenario we’ve been seeing lately, and it reminds us of mid-2017."
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.