Bitcoin has been soaring over the weekend, boosting most major cryptocurrencies including ethereum, litecoin, Ripple’s XRP, EOS, and bitcoin cash—and adding some $25 billion to the overall cryptocurrency market capitalization since Friday morning, taking it over $200 billion of the first time this year.
The bitcoin price is now trading at a little over $7,000 per bitcoin, after beginning the year at under $4,000, taking the total value of all bitcoins over $124 billion and making up 58% of the broader cryptocurrency market cap.
Over the weekend some major bitcoin holders, known as whales, moved a staggering number of the digital tokens, potentially pushing the market higher, with the single biggest whale moving 47,000 bitcoin worth an eye-watering $343 million, according to data from Whale Alert, which tracks big cryptocurrency moves.
Bitcoin whales have traded around 100,000 bitcoin over the weekend, with a total value of some $670 million dollars. Most of the bitcoin whales have been moving their holdings out of major cryptocurrency exchanges, with just a few of the biggest transactions over the weekend involving cryptocurrency wallets moving bitcoin to an exchange.
Large bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions can prop up the market, with the holders not selling via online exchanges but opting to continue holding the digital tokens instead, known in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector as “hodling.”
Bitcoin holders are continuing to bet on the asset despite the bitcoin price almost doubling since the beginning of this year, suggesting they see it moving still higher as bitcoin sentiment turns increasingly bullish.
Last week, analysts from investment bank Canaccord Genuity said they expect bitcoin to rally hard over the next 24 months, potentially returning to its late 2017 highs due to next year’s halving event, where the number of bitcoins rewarded to miners will be cut by 50%.
The last week has been a difficult one for the bitcoin and cryptocurrency sector, however, despite the broad price rally.
Bitcoin climbed even as the market processed the news $40 million of bitcoin (some 7,000 of the digital tokens) were stolen from the Malta-based Binance exchange, the world’s largest bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange by volume, and Binance’s widely-respected chief executive Changpeng Zhao caused controversy by suggesting he could “re-organize” the bitcoin blockchain to recover the funds.
Meanwhile, the bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry is gearing up for one of the biggest events in the cryptocurrency calendar starting today—Blockchain Week NYC and CoinDesk’s Consensus 2019 event, running all week out of the New York Hilton Midtown.
This year headline speakers include FedEx’s Fred Smith, Fidelity’s Abigail Johnson, Twitter and Square’s Jack Dorsey, chairman of the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, and U.S. presidential hopeful, Andrew Yang.
“As crypto’s true believers gather in New York for Consensus this week, they are counting ever-more household-name companies amongst their number,” said Simon Peters, an analyst at brokerage eToro. “The possibility of big crypto price-related announcements from some of the world’s biggest corporates will be part of what is driving bitcoin’s price upward.
“This buzz follows a recent spate of good news for bitcoin, with large institutional investors like Fidelity Investments increasing their exposure to crypto-assets in recent weeks. If we see institutions begin to pump serious money into the market, we could be at the start of a very long bull run for crypto-assets.”
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