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Bitcoin prices today surpassed $4,300, and Bitcoin's market capitalization surged past $70 billion, a number that makes the cryptocurrency market now more valuable than payment-processing giant PayPal Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: PYPL).
Former PayPal COO David Sacks told CNBC today that the cryptocurrency has now fulfilled PayPal's original vision: the establishment of a "database of money."
Also pushing the price higher was the news that institutional investors and professional traders continue to pour capital into the industry's largest crypto-trading platforms. Coinbase recently raised $100 million at a $1.6 billion valuation thanks to its recognizable presence in the cryptocurrency market.
The company has established itself a leader in Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin transactions, and it announced plans to integrate Bitcoin Cash onto its platform by Jan. 1, 2018. Last week, the Chicago Board of Exchange also announced plans to integrate Bitcoin into its systems.
On the day, the total market capitalization of the global cryptocurrency market topped $138 billion, a new record.
Below is a recap of cryptocurrency prices at 4 p.m. EDT
Bitcoin: $4,233.66, +5.66%
Bitcoin Cash: $295.62, -3.12%
Ethereum: $298.75, +1.61%
Ripple: $0.170, +0.96%
NEO: $48.73, -3.28%
Now that we know all of today's price movements, here's what has been moving these cryptocurrencies...
Bitcoin Price Surges Past $4,000
The price of Bitcoin rocketed past $4,300 and added more than $800 over the weekend after a long battle of software rules reached a temporary resolution.
The previous software rules - set back in 2009 - only made it possible for roughly five transactions to be processed per second. But following the fork - which saw Bitcoin split and Bitcoin Cash emerge - Bitcoin has risen significantly in value.
On Sunday, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS), Sheba Jafari, projected that the price of Bitcoin could easily surpass $4,800. The price of Bitcoin has already surged past the $3,600 that she projected last month.
Anyone who purchased $1,000 of Bitcoin in July 2010, when each coin cost only a nickel, would now have more than $86 million.
Bitcoin Cash Slips Amid Bitcoin's Run
Bitcoin Cash slipped more than 3% after early gains.
After Bitcoin topped $4,300, the market experienced a small sell-off as investors took some profits off the table.
That affected Bitcoin Cash, which has seen a number of owners sell off their BCH since the hard fork on Aug. 1.
Ethereum Prices Push Higher with Bitcoin
The Ethereum price dipped and then rose slightly over the last 24 hours. The cryptocurrency, which is more flexible and has more programmable features than its chief rival, has been unable to keep up with Bitcoin's massive rally.
Bitcoin is up more than 106% over the last month, compared to Ethereum's gains of roughly 70%.
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Both of these currencies have seen increased buying momentum, as traders aim to use them to buy into initial coin offerings (ICOs).
NEO Prices Finally Retreat
NEO prices are off more than 3.2% over the last 24 hours, but owners of NEO are still happy with their gains so far in 2017.
In the last two weeks, the price of NEO has rallied more than 500%. There is a lot of optimism around this coin and its network, as the company aims to become the "Ethereum of China."
About the Author
Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, and consultant with degrees from Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Purdue, and Indiana University. He is a seasoned financial and political risk analyst, with a focus on stocks, hedge funds, private equity, blockchain, and housing policy. He has conducted risk assessment projects for clients in 27 countries, and consulted on policy and financial operations for some of the nation's largest financial institutions, including a $1.5 trillion credit fund, a $43 billion credit and auto loan giant, as well as two of the largest Wall Street banks by assets under management.
Garrett joined Money Map Press as an economist and researcher in 2011, specializing in alternative strategies with an emphasis on fundamental and technical analysis.