Bitcoin (BTC) continued to see a massive surge on Tuesday, storming past the crucial $18,000 level late in the day. As of press time at 11:26 p.m. ET, the world’s apex cryptocurrency traded 9.25% higher in the trailing 24-hour period at $18,172.05.
What Happened: This takes Bitcoin's market valuation to a whopping $337 trillion.
Among other cryptocurrencies, Chainlink (LINK) is up 10.94% at $14.14 at the time of writing. Ethereum (ETH) is up 6.42% at $490.88.
The biggest stablecoin by trading volume, Tether (USDT) traded at its intended price of $1 with a 24-hour volume of $58 billion. Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a hardfork of Bitcoin, which saw its own second hardfork event last week, is up 2.23% at $257.32.
Bitcoin's 24-hour volume is at $43.9 billion at press time and cryptocurrency exchanges are gearing to meet up the increased traffic on their platforms.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong said the exchange desk is working hard to add additional capacity both for servers and customer support to deal with the increased traffic.
Why It Matters: This is the highest level Bitcoin is trading at in three years, having hit its all-time high above $20,000 in December 2017.
Several prominent analysts are expecting Bitcoin to surpass that landmark in the current bull run. OKCoin Chief Operating Officer told CoinDesk earlier this month that Bitcoin (BTC) is likely to see "minimal resistance" on the way to the $20,000, which could be reached before Christmas.
Citibank analyst Thomas Fitzpatrick has an even more bullish estimate to share. As per Fitzpatrick, the digital asset could hit levels above $300,000 before the end of the next year.
Others are cautioning against the bullish sentiments, noting the volatility Bitcoin has shown in the past. KR1 managing director George McDonaugh warns that "Bitcoin can surprise" and there's a possibility that the cycle trading could pull-back soon.
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