Most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies reported gains on Wednesday, with EOS emerging as one of the frontrunners for the second day running. Positive contributions from the likes of Maker, Zcash and Monero kept markets buoyant after a tepid start to the week.
The total value of all cryptocurrencies reached a high of $122.8 billion on Wednesday, according to CoinMarketCap. At the time of writing, the overall market was worth $120.9 billion. A noticeable pick-up in volume was observed over the past 24 hours, as virtual currency exchanges processed more than $21.2 billion in transactions.
Looking at the crypto market index, most of the majors were reporting slight-to-moderate gains. EOS edged up 2% to $2.87. It has gained nearly 23% over the past seven days. Ethereum’s price reached $122.64, adding 1.6%. The developer’s cryptocurrency has gained 18.1% over the past seven days.
Looking further down the index, Monero reported a gain of 3.8% as the price clawed back above $50. Zcash, a comparable privacy coin, gained 2.3% to $54.50. Maker, a lesser known cryptocurrency, jumped 8.1% to $522.89, its highest in nearly three months.
Bitcoin, the largest of the digital assets, saw its trading range narrow even further on Wednesday. It was last seen hovering around $3,632.61, where it was little changed. Bitcoin’s 30-day volatility index has fallen to the lowest level since mid-November, just before the major market selloff that began on the eve of the bitcoin cash hard fork.
Bitcoin and the Cost of Sovereignty
Mike Novogratz, a former Goldman Sachs executive and founder of Galaxy Digital, believes the cryptocurrency market is undergoing a major transition. If 2017 was a “fantastic bubble” for cryptoassets and 2018 was the year in which the bubble burst, 2019 and beyond will mark the hand-off from retail to institutions.
In an interview with Bloomberg that aired on Wednesday, Novogratz argued that the infrastructure required for financial institutions to “feel comfortable” with cryptocurrencies is being developed. This architecture will enable institutions to serve as crypto custodians for traditional investors and the market as a whole. This evolution will see bitcoin further distance itself from the pack in terms of value and mainstream acceptance.
“Bitcoin is going to be digital gold,” Novogratz said. “There’s 118 elements on the periodic table, and only one gold,” Novogratz said. “Bitcoin is going to be digital gold … a place where you have sovereign money, it’s not U.S. money, it’s not Chinese money, it’s sovereign. Sovereignty costs a lot, it should.”
Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest asset managers, is planning to launch a crypto custody service in the first quarter of 2019. The new service will allow institutional investors to ease into cryptocurrencies and ensure that they have a reliable third party holding onto their securities. Read more: Bitcoin Stabilizes as Fidelity Sets Launch Date for New Crypto Custody Service.
Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
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