Cryptocurrency markets trended higher in Thursday afternoon trading in Asia, with global market capitalization up 0.4% in 24 hours, trading at US$995.9 billion, still under the US$1 trillion benchmark it dropped below last night. All cryptocurrencies in the top 10 by market cap, with the exception of Bitcoin, strengthened. 

See related article: Markets: Bitcoin little changed; Ether, Eth Classic lead gains ahead of the Merge

Fast facts

  • Bitcoin fell 0.8% in the past 24 hours, hovering above the US$20,000 benchmark at US$20,083 at 4:30 p.m. in Hong Kong, according to data from CoinMarketCap. Ethereum was up 1.1% to US$1,610 following its successful Merge today. Currencies with links to the ETH Merge, such as LDO and Celsius, experienced the strongest growth across tokens.
  • Ethereum’s outperformance of Bitcoin comes after it completed its multi-year plan to transition its blockchain from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. The successful initiative could change the future of the Defi ecosystem forever, according to experts. 
  • In preparation of the Merge, major defi protocols had taken “extraordinary protective measures,” Jaime Baeza, CEO of crypto hedge fund ANB Investments, told Forkast in an email. Baeza added that crypto market futures were trading in backwardation in the morning, which means the current prices of digital assets were trading higher than prices trading in the futures market.
  • Following the jump in ETH/USD prices last month, global market analyst James Trescothick of Cyprus-headquartered trading platform tixee predicted in an email that a stronger Ethereum rally was not likely. “This has been circulating for some time, so there is no element of surprise… The question is – is this the start of something bigger for Ether?”
  • Asia stock markets were mixed in trading on Thursday. The Shanghai S.E. Composite Index was the worst performer, losing 1.2%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng gained 0.6%, and Japan’s Nikkei 225 inched up 0.2%. 

See related article: All aboard the good ship Ethereum for The Merge. Next stop?