March 1, 2021

Altcoins seize the spotlight: BTC takes a tumble, ETH slides

Elon Musk is still barking about Dogecoin (Photo: Twitter)

Bitcoin and ether took a backseat in Wednesday’s crypto markets as altcoins surged.

The two biggest cryptocurrencies had firmly been in the limelight as the week began. While BTC was basking in the glow of a ringing endorsement from Tesla, ETH managed to notch record highs for three days in a row as CME Group launched futures for the first time.

But on Feb. 10, as bitcoin nursed a 5.4% loss and struggled to stay above $45,000, and ether down a little at $1,715, the real gains were to be seen in altcoins with a smaller market cap.

Altcoins dominate trading
Led by Cardano, altcoins ruled the day (Photo: CoinMarketCap)
Quantum Economics founder Mati Greenspan’s take on Cardano’s run

It was another impressive day for Cardano—up 32% to hit $0.92. This helped ADA firmly establish itself in the No. 4 spot with a market cap of $26 billion… $3.5 billion ahead of XRP, which spent most of Wednesday struggling to establish support at $0.50. Still, XRP ended the day up more than 7.5%, bringing its seven-day total to a gain of more than 28%. 

But perhaps the most impressive performance came from Binance coin, which was up 20% to trade as high as $148 before falling back below $130—still up 15% on the day. BNB’s value has more than trebled since the start of the year—and this uptick is undoubtedly linked to a surge in trading volumes on the crypto exchange.

Early on Wednesday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted that the platform had seen volumes hit all-time highs—with the number of new user registrations also breaking records. A few hours later, he tweeted:

The shine was slowly starting to come off Dogecoin earlier in the day, with the joke coin starved of the publicity that a tweet from big backer Elon Musk brings. All of this changed when the Tesla CEO announced that he’d bought some DOGE for his baby son so he can be a “toddler hodler.”