The cryptocurrency market surpassed $ 3 trillion on Monday for the first time in its history, between increased appetite for traditional finance and runaway investors, baited by dizzying increases and worried about inflation.
The cryptocurrency market represented around 10:00 a.m. GMT (11:10 a.m. in Paris) on Monday at $ 3.007 billion, according to the CoinGecko site, which tracks the market for more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies.
As sometimes in this sector, analysts were struggling to find an explanation for the sharp rise in prices on Monday. “The cryptocurrency market is swelling at an astounding rate,” explains Ipek Ozkardeskaya, market analyst at SwissQuote, who believes that there is “a part of speculation and a part of reality”.
Since the end of October, the American markets have had access to an index product (ETF) backed by bitcoin, which allows investors to bet on the rise of the first cryptocurrency without leaving Wall Street.
Moreover, unlike the euro or the dollar, the number of bitcoins has been set at 21 million, which are issued gradually, a rule that cannot be changed without controlling the entire decentralized network.
Some investors believe that cryptocurrencies are therefore a way to protect against inflation, which is rising in Europe and North America.
Bitcoin (+ 5% to $ 66,035 around 10:10 GMT) was approaching its all-time high while ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, gained 2% to $ 4,727, after having soared earlier at a new high at 4,768 dollars.
Bitcoin and ethereum represent more than 40% and just under 20% of the market, respectively, and volatility is further exacerbated for smaller cryptocurrencies.
The Shiba Inu, a cryptoasset created to compete with the Dogecoin, itself based on a joke, had reached a theoretical size of $ 40 billion by the end of October, becoming the tenth largest cryptocurrency. But in a matter of days, nearly $ 10 billion evaporated.