Prices of bitcoin broke below the $46,000 level on profit-booking on Wednesday even as the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency, ether, continued its winning momentum and rose above the $1,800 level for the first time.
Bitcoin, the world’s oldest and the biggest digital asset in terms of market capitalization ($868 billion), had hit an all-time high of $48,226.25 on Tuesday after US electric-car maker Tesla announced it has bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency.
Also Read | Inside the third front of the farm agitation
“Bitcoin prices have rallied from $38,000 to $48,000. The most important factor that led to this price increase was Tesla’s purchase of bitcoin and accepting it as a mode of payment. This move by Tesla has created a precedence wherein a lot of large corporates may now look into moving their cash reserves into bitcoin,” said Ashish Singhal, chief executive officer and co-founder, CoinSwitch Kuber, cryptocurrency investment platform.
The digital currency was trading at $46,734, down by 1.53% at around 1.15pm IST, as per data available with crypto exchange WazirX. It moved in the $45,058.07-47,994.99 range over the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, ether, which on Tuesday for the time hit a market cap of $200 billion, rose 4.23% to trade at $1,811.31 today. The cryptocurrency hit its all-time high of $1,825.87 earlier in the session.
“Ether’s prices have rallied primarily due to CME’s futures launch, which saw $33 million worth in volume on the first day,” Singhal added.
According to the US-based ARK Investment Management LLC, despite bitcoin’s run to an all-time high, its “hype” seems contained relative to that of ether. “Compared to 2017, bitcoin’s search interest is low relative to the increase in its price. As measured by Google’s relative search interest, when bitcoin’s price soared to more than $40,000 in early January, the “hype” reached only 50% of that at the peak near $20,000 in 2017. Since January 8, it has dropped to nearly 25%,” the AMC, which manager around $34.5 billion in assets, said in a recent note.
“Ether paints a different picture. Google’s relative search interest for ether in this cycle hit a higher high than after its parabolic move in 2017,” the asset manager said.
Meanwhile, in India, the government on Tuesday said the bill on private cryptocurrencies is being firmed up and will be sent to the Cabinet soon for approval. On 29 January, the government listed a bill in Lok Sabha to ban all private cryptocurrencies.
“India has a great talent pool and passionate entrepreneurs who are willing to dedicate their life to achieve the ambitious dream of digital India. We have high expectations from the cryptocurrency regulation bill and hope that it will fulfil the aspirations of new India,” said Shivam Thakral, CEO, BuyUcoin.