Cryptocurrency set a new historic record on December 18, exceeding $600 billion total market capitalization for the first time.
Data site CoinMarketCap charted the capitalization maxed at $603.3 billion, rising above the $600 billion mark near 11:30 UTC. About an hour later, it dipped below that, only to continue rising in the proceeding four hours.
CoinMarketCap calculated market caps by multiplying price by circulating supply. Only cryptocurrency currently on the market on in the general public’s hands count towards circulating supply, which is a close approximation of the actual amount on the market.
Locked, reserved, or otherwise unsellable coins are not included since they can’t affect the price of cryptocurrency. This is similar to using public float in calculating market capitalization for traditional investing.
As of today, the market valuation is hanging out around the $658 billion mark. This is nearly triple the $232 billion market cap from just last month.
For the past three years, total market capitalization has steadily increased. At the beginning of this year, the market cap was only at $18.3 billion. Excluding Bitcoin, January 2017 was around $2.3 billion, and the latest spike hit $286 billion.
So let’s talk about Bitcoin, the most popular kid in cryptocurrency school. Out of all the top five cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin Cash has had the most significant gains
In November, most of Bitcoin cash’s network nodes transitioned to a new software meant to entice miners with more favorable rewards and secure the blockchain. Initially implemented on August 1, 2017, this hard fork from the main Bitcoin blockchain utilizes a different algorithm more favorable to miners.
Bitcoin cash’s hard fork increased the block size from 1 MB on bitcoin to 8 MB, effectively accelerating the verification process and speed of mining.
Bitcoin cash was up 16 percent during the record-breaking spike, but didn’t top the charts for largest increase during 12:00-16:00 UTC on December 18. Other cyrptocurrencies VeChain rose 31.88 percent, and Hshare climbed 28.15 percent.
Not every cryptocurrency experienced gains though. Out of the top 50, Startup Power Ledger’s PWR token dropped 8.64 percent, and Siacoin fell 10.12 percent during the afternoon trading session.
Right now, one Bitcoin is valued over $14,250 and continues to gain in popularity.