Why Bitcoin’s market cap just hit a new record high before the price did

The latest leg of Bitcoin’s (BTC) recent rally saw its market cap push above $330 billion for the first time ever as prices rallied above $17,750 late Nov. 17.

According to CoinGecko, Bitcoin’s previous record capitalization of $329.3 billion was posted on Dec. 16, 2017, amid the market’s all-time high price rally to test $20,000.

BTC market cap since 2017: CoinGecko

However, the new record for capitalization comes despite the BTC price itself failing to break into new highs.

There’s a simple explanation for that for that — Bitcoin’s expanding supply. While roughly 16.746 million Bitcoin existed on Dec. 16, 2017, more than 1.8 million coins have since been mined, equating to a 10.75% expansion in supply. That means Bitcoin is able to have a higher market cap despite today’s lower BTC price.

The combined capitalization of all cryptocurrencies has also pushed above $500 billion dollars for the first time since February 2018.

Combined crypto asset capitalization since 2017: CoinGecko

According to the World Bank, Bitcoin’s market capitalization exceeds that of the combined publicly listed companies based in countries including Belgium, Iran, Norway, Sweden, and the Philippines respectively, it’s more than double those in Denmark, Qatar, Vietnam, Colombia, and Poland.

Compared to companies featured in the S&P 500, Bitcoin’s market cap sits roughly $13 billion behind the 11th-ranked Procter and Gamble, and above Nvidia and JP Morgan. However, some would argue that comparing Bitcoin to companies isn’t very illuminating and that it should be likened to commodities, or some other asset class.

Despite the all-time high milestone, some analysts are noting a lack of mainstream media coverage on Bitcoin’s recent gains.

However, according to data shared by LunarCRUSH, a firm that tracks social media sentiment regarding crypto, Bitcoin-related news volume has seen a significant spike since early November.

The company tweeted a chart suggesting the volume Bitcoin’s daily media coverage has increased by five times over the past two weeks.

According to Google Trends, search volume for the keyword ‘Bitcoin’ during November is roughly 15 percent of its 2017 peak, further evidencing a relative lack of retail interest in BTC compared to when the market was last rallying into parabolic highs.

Relative search volume for ‘Bitcoin’ over the past five years: Google Trends

In fact, search volume is only at its fourth-highest level for 2020, sitting behind spikes in interest that coincided with the March ‘Black Thursday’ crash, Bitcoin’s block reward halving in May, and BTC’s break above $10,000 in May.


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