With a broad run in the digital asset market and bitcoin at almost $45,000, the total market cap for cryptocurrency is now over $2 trillion, Coindesk reported Wednesday (March 2).
The crypto market was last at this point in August.
Bitcoin has jumped almost 14% and ether by 12%. Analysts, speaking with Coindesk, have said capital controls in Russia were one part of the reason for the rapid appreciation.
“Capital controls without demand don’t make an impact on price. Capital controls mean price will deviate to one side or the other depending or where the demand is,” trader and analyst Alex Kruger said in the report.
The recent gains have made it so bitcoin now has more of a market cap than the Russian ruble, which has faced mass drop-offs due to the rapid sanctions thrown at it since the country invaded Ukraine.
Meanwhile, retail crypto investors have been joining the recent buying spree, the report said, with smaller investors making up the bulk of the buying in the last week.
Many of them reportedly had less than 1,000 bitcoins – and some of the most aggressive had less than one bitcoin in their wallets.
According to Noelle Acheson, head of market insights with Genesis Trading, the metric can sometimes be unreliable as big holders spread their holdings over several wallets. She said it could also hint that retail investors are “coming back” after staying away for much of the last year.
Bitcoin jumped in the last three days as Russian President Vladimir Putin began shelling Ukrainian cities, with other countries responding with additional sanctions.
Bitcoin fans have talked for years about how one of its strong points is as a hedge against conflict and inflation, due to the coin’s “borderless nature and fixed supply.” The image cracked after the rout last November that cut bitcoin’s value by more than half.
The last several days have reversed to the old image – a Bloomberg article notes that proponents have been somewhat vindicated by how the coins offer protection from governments that can seize other kinds of assets, as has been the case with Russia.