Digital currency ether hits a record high, stealing bitcoin’s limelight – CNBC

Digital currency ether hits a record high, stealing bitcoin’s limelight – CNBC

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LONDON — Ether hit an all-time high Thursday as bitcoin’s dominance of the cryptocurrency market declined.

The world’s second-largest digital currency by market value surged to a fresh record of $2,800 on Thursday morning, according to data from Coin Metrics. Bitcoin, the top digital coin, was slightly lower at a price of $54,471.

The move comes after the European Investment Bank announced Wednesday that it had issued its first ever digital bond on the Ethereum blockchain, ether’s underlying network. This led to speculation that the currency is gaining traction among mainstream financial institutions.

Most major cryptocurrencies were trading higher Thursday, boosted by ether’s rise. Bitcoin, the most valuable digital coin, is down about 16% from its all-time high of almost $65,000 earlier this month. It has still had a stunning rally, though, climbing almost 90% so far this year, on the back of increased interest from institutional investors and corporate buyers like Tesla.

At the same time, some investors have warned of froth in the crypto market. Dogecoin, a meme-inspired digital token, rallied Wednesday after supportive tweets from celebrities like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban.

And plenty of other “altcoins,” or alternative currencies, have also rallied this year. This led to bitcoin’s dominance of the crypto market falling below 50% last week for the first time since August 2018, according to CoinMarketCap.