Bitcoin accounts for more than half of total crypto assets for the first time since May
The price of digital currency bitcoin rose Friday, putting it on track for a modest weekly gain, while rival currency Ether extended its recent weakness.
At latest check, a single bitcoin BTCUSD, +3.70% was up 2.7% to $2,771.45, according to cryptocurrency research-and-data site Coindesk. While it remains down from an all-time high above $3,000 on June 11, its recent trend has been largely positive. It is on track for its second straight positive session, and it is up 2.9% over the past week.
The market capitalization of bitcoin rose to a little more than $46 billion, meaning it once again accounts for more than half of the entire market cap of the cryptocurrency space, which stands at $89.6 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com.
This is the first time since May that bitcoin has represented 50% of all crypto assets, according to Tuur Demeester, a bitcoin investor who is also the founder of Adamant Research. Earlier this year, cryptocurrencies topped $100 billion in market capitalization.
Thus far in 2017, bitcoin prices have gained more than 180%.
Ether, the digital currency that runs on the Ethereum network, fell 5.6% to $192.93 on Friday, extending its recent weakness. For the week, Ether is down more than 15%, trimming its market cap to $18.1 billion.
The chief rival to bitcoin remains the bigger year-to-date gainer by far — it is up nearly 2,300% in 2017 — although it has struggled since hitting an all-time peak of $395.16 on June 13. At current levels, Ether is trading at levels last seen in May, according to Coindesk.
Much of this weakness has come on recent regulatory moves, including a recent announcement from the Securities and Exchange Commission that signaled it would scrutinize a recent torrent of so-called initial coin offerings, or ICOs. ICOs refer to previously unregulated offerings of digital currencies, many of which were tied to the Ethereum blockchain.
More broadly, cryptocurrencies have come under increasing fire of late.
Howard Marks, the co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management, said they were “nothing but an unfounded fad,” adding that bitcoin was “based on a willingness to ascribe value to something that has little or none beyond what people will pay for it.”