Bitcoin Tops $68K, Nearing Silver's $1.38T Market Cap

Ether also hit a new milestone, recording its highest price since January 2022.

AccessTimeIconMar 4, 2024 at 8:55 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 10:36 p.m. UTC
  • Bitcoin topped $68,000 on Monday, nearing its November 2021 record around $69,000.
  • It is rapidly approaching silver's nearly $1.4 trillion market capitalization.
  • Ether topped $3,600 for the first time since January 2022 amid strong institutional demand.
  • BlackRock's bitcoin ETF saw another busy trading day, recording over $2 billion in volume before market close.

Bitcoin (BTC) continued to knock off $1,000 milestones, surging past $67,000 and nearing not just its own record high of $69,000, but the nearly $1.4 trillion market capitalization of silver.

The largest and oldest crypto asset broke out from its week-long sideways consolidation capped below the $64,000 level, hitting $68,800 during early Asian trading hours on Tuesday. It was recently up 8.5% over the past 24 hours, roughly in line with the broad-market CoinDesk 20 Index's (CD20) 8% advance.

With this year's meteoric rise, BTC is rapidly becoming one of the largest global assets, and at current levels has surpassed the $1.3 trillion market capitalization threshold. It is now closing in on silver's market cap of $1.4 trillion, according to data compiled by CompaniesMarketCap after earlier in this bull run toppling that of Facebook parent company Meta Platforms (META).

Monday's price action also squeezed bitcoin shorts – trading positions betting on lower prices – liquidating some $120 million of leveraged bets during the day, predominantly shorts, CoinGlass data shows.

Ether (ETH), the second largest crypto by market cap, rose above $3,600 on Monday for the first time since 2022, but underperformed BTC and the CD20 with just a 4.6% gain.

Meme coins are on a tear, with dog-themed cryptocurrencies dogecoin (DOGE) and shiba inu (SHIB) being the best-performing tokens in the CD20, advancing 30% and 100% over the past 24 hours, respectively.

Bitcoin ETF frenzy continues

The price rally also brought another day of strong trading for U.S.-listed spot bitcoin ETFs.

BlackRock's iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) surpassed $2.1 billion in trading volume with still some time before the session close, already recording its third-best day after last Wednesday and Thursday, Barchart data shows. IBIT was the seventh most-traded ETF during the day, toppling the first and largest U.S.-listed gold ETF – the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) – in volume despite being fifth of its size by assets under management (AUM).

Last week, bitcoin-focused exchange-traded products as a group attracted "massive inflows" of $1.73 billion, their second largest week on record, asset manager CoinShares reported Monday. ETH focused funds were also in demand, recording $85 million in net inflows, the report added.

Bitcoin all-time high this week?

Markus Thielen, founder of 10xResearch, forecasted in a Monday market report that bitcoin's price action will "astonish" this week, suspecting new all-time highs this week as demand expanded to outside of the U.S. and ETF inflows will continue to be strong.

Bitcoin is also outperforming the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index (NDX), Caleb Franzen, founder of Cubic Analytics, noted in a Sunday report. He called bitcoin's breakout versus NDX above a key level connecting the first quarter 2021 and last quarter 2021 highs "extremely encouraging."

"Bitcoin is about to enter price discovery (again) and people are somehow bearish? Couldn't be me," he said in an X post Monday.

Crypto analytics firm Swissblock's Monday market update highlighted bitcoin's strong momentum and the influx of new buyers entering the market. The report said that the current crypto rally is driven by large investors' demand for BTC and ETH amid weakling U.S. regional banks, and rising appetite for meme coins buoyed by FOMO – fear of missing out – sentiment.

Swissblock also set that a $70,000 bitcoin price is a "plausible target" in the short-term, toppling its all-time record price from Nov. 2021.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.