Cryptocurrencies were broadly flat on Friday, ending a week that saw Ethereum hit an all-time high on a muted note.
Bitcoin (BTC-USD) was down 0.5% to trade at $61,541 (£45,820) while Ethereum, the second largest crypto by market cap, was up 0.1% to trade at $4,516.
Ethereum hit an all-time high of $4,634 on Wednesday, catching up with bitcoin’s rally and riding on news of wider blockchain adoption.
It’s the most used blockchain and its smart contracts, collections of code, power most blockchain-based projects, including decentralised finance applications and non-fungible tokens.
“The crypto market has been abuzz with many developments this week. While the passing week was a bullish one, especially for Ethereum, which hit its new high, this week was once again for the top cryptocurrencies, which extended their bull run,” said Kunal Sawhney, CEO at equities research firm Kalkine Group.
He told Yahoo Finance UK that positive news that seems to have flared the rally in the cryptocurrencies includes the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announcing its intent to become the country’s first to offer retail clients crypto services.
Additionally, JP Morgan (JPM) has doubled down on its bitcoin price prediction, but with a warning that extreme volatility can lead to sharp decline as well.
“This is something that needs to be considered while investing in cryptocurrency and which was evident with a sudden spurt in the infamous Squid token, despite Binance blacklisting the token and launching an inquiry,” he said.
His advice for traders: “Cryptos should be included in the portfolio, but caution needs to be exercised while selecting the crypto and the investment amount, considering the high market volatility and any unexpected regulations.”
Bitcoin rival Solana (SOL1-USD), also referred to as an “Ethereum killer” has been gathering momentum. Boasting a blockchain platform that has faster transaction speeds, it was inching close to $240 on Friday and one expert predicts it will hit $250 before the end of the year.
Nigel Green, founder and CEO of DeVere Group said: “Solana is certainly a rising star of crypto. With its price skyrocketing more than 100 times since the beginning of the year, its potential is becoming impossible to ignore.
“I believe that its bull market run will continue for the rest of this quarter and that it will hit new all-time highs of $250 by the end of 2021.”
Meanwhile Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, said investors “should be ecstatic that funds are continuing to seep into the blockchain space, as is clear from the case of AscendEX”, which is working on optimising the investing experience for leveraged trading.
In its Series B funding round, AscendEX raised “a shocking” $50m, driven by Hack VC and Polychain Capital. All in all, the company has raised $63m to date.
A key development in the crypto space this week has also been a US Treasury Department-led regulatory body calling for Congress to regulate issuers of stablecoins, including banks. It urged financial agencies to assess whether the role of these fast-growing digital assets in the country’s payments system posed a systemic risk.
Mati Greenspan, CEO of Quantum Economics, said the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets has “done their homework and have delivered an excellent framework for how to regulate the budding stablecoin economy.”
“In fact, the outlook for crypto in the US has never looked brighter.”