NEW DELHI: Cryptocurrency Ether, which is based on the open source blockchain Ethereum, hit an all-time high of $ 1,448 on Tuesday. The second largest currency by market cap has since cut some gains, trading at the $ 1,352 level at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, according to data from WazirX. The larger peer Bitcoin was trading 3.7% lower at $ 35,215.00.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $ 655 billion, has seen a return of around 20% year-to-date after hitting a record $ 41,940. By comparison, Ether, with a market cap of $ 154 billion, is up around 86% this year.

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Other well-known cryptocurrencies like Stern, Ripple and Tether traded 6%, 7% and 0.18% lower respectively on Wednesday.

The outstanding rally in cryptocurrencies in recent months has caught the interest of major global institutions.

Coindesk recently reported that US banking major Goldman Sachs made a request for information (RFI) investigating the custody of digital assets.

In addition, financial services group Jefferies had allocated a 5% allocation to Bitcoin in December at a price of $ 22,779 by reducing its allocation to gold bars by 5 percentage points.

According to Jefferies, the main reason for this allocation was to make Bitcoin investable for institutions with custodian arrangements for digital assets.

“Bitcoin ended 2020 27% from its allocation level, but 305% for 2020 as a whole. Since then, it has increased another 28% in 2021 to $ 36,999.” It has now become clear that Bitcoin is a legitimate alternative to gold for risk averse capital looking for a store of value as evidence of currency devaluation policies is mounting in the G7 world, “said Christopher Wood, global head of equity strategy at Jefferies , in the latest edition of the Greed & Fear newsletter from January 7, 2021.

In that regard, Bitcoin’s total market cap at the end of 2020 was $ 539 billion, compared to estimates of $ 12 trillion in above-ground gold, he added.

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