Crypto Roundup, February 8, 2021: Ethereum sets record price as Bitcoin closes in on all-time high

Market euphoria sends altcoins to the moon

Ethereum blasted past all-time highs on Tuesday, setting the pace for a week of manic buying in the cryptocurrency market. Cardano and Binance Coin both surged to record levels as altcoins including Litecoin and Stellar flashed double-digit gains.

Meanwhile, Bitcoin is back within striking distance of its own record high above $40K. The leading crypto has been boosted by several recent events. Elon Musk endorsed Bitcoin as “a good thing” on Clubhouse last Monday, before MicroStrategy’s conference promoted the cryptocurrency as a treasury asset, and Biden passed a hefty $1.9 trillion stimulus package — sending both stocks and the cryptocurrency market higher.

This Week’s Highlights

  • Ethereum tops $1,700 ahead of CME launch
  • Visa pilots scheme to connect banks with Bitcoin

Ethereum tops $1,700 ahead of CME launch

After weeks of flirting with the previous all-time high at $1,430, Ethereum made a decisive move higher just as more avenues opened for institutions to trade the cryptocurrency.

The Grayscale Ethereum Trust, which closed temporarily in late December, is once again available and seeing a steady influx of funds. In Grayscale’s recent report, “Valuing Ethereum“, the firm paints a rosy picture of Ethereum’s future — predicting that the upcoming EIP1559 proposal could create “a positive feedback loop for Ether’s price.”

Elsewhere, the launch of Ethereum Futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) on Monday promises to help the asset gain even more traction with institutional buyers.

Visa pilots scheme to connect banks with Bitcoin

Payment giant Visa is piloting a scheme that could allow customers to buy and sell digital assets at 70 million merchants globally.

Announced on Wednesday, the new suite of application programming interfaces (APIs) would connect clients with federally chartered digital asset bank Anchorage, helping to turn Visa into a bridge between cryptocurrency and thousands of financial institutions.

Elsewhere, PayPal, has announced the launch of a dedicated cryptocurrency business unit. CEO Dan Schulman revealed plans to let customers pay with crypto for goods and services at Paypal’s 29 million merchants.

The Week Ahead

On Monday, the launch of Ethereum Futures on CME could give traders the jitters as they recall how the arrival of Bitcoin Futures in late 2017 coincided with the top of the bull market.

Although the cryptocurrency market has evolved significantly since 2017, uncertainty could still create short-term volatility for Ethereum and the broader crypto market.

If the uncertainty lifts and Bitcoin climbs back above $40k, we could see the leading cryptocurrency reach even higher. Back In January, analysts at JPMorgan said this level was a “key Bitcoin battleground” that must be conquered to allow the meteoric rise to continue.

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