The Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) price has charged 13% higher since this time last week. Despite slipping 1% over the past 24 hours, 1 Bitcoin is currently worth US$45,256 (AU$61,994).
And Bitcoin is far from alone in its run higher.
Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) has also gained 13% over the past 7 days to US$3,122.
Bitcoin’s year-to-date price gain now stands at 56%.
As for Ether? The world’s second largest crypto by market cap has gained 322% this calendar year.
While those gains are impressive, they pale in comparison to the gains posted by some of the leading altcoins.
What’s driving the surge in altcoin prices?
An altcoin, if you’re not familiar, is any crypto other than Bitcoin.
Explaining the surging price among some altcoins earlier this week, Ray Brown, market analyst at Australian crypto exchange CoinSpot, pointed to Bitcoin’s 39% rally over the preceding month.
According to Brown:
Consequently, altcoins have also benefited from the Bitcoin rally, with the total market cap increasing by over US$279 billion over the same period, to an impressive US$1.04 trillion.
In the last 30 days altcoins such as Axie Infinity (AXS), Ravencoin (RVN), Terra (LUNA), among others, climbed by over 117%. IoTeX (IOTX) saw the biggest rise of over 482%.
Brown pointed to speculation that ongoing discussion by the United States government to better regulate cryptocurrencies is “potentially reinforcing the legitimacy of the industry” and helping drive the price gains.
Bitcoin rally puts 95% of altcoins in the green
A quick check of the price performance of the world’s 100 largest cryptos by market cap shows that 95 are in the green over the past 7 days. Only 5 are showing losses, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
The biggest gainer since this time last week, by a landslide, is IoTeX (CRYTPO: IOTX).
The IoTeX price has gained a whopping 369% since last Friday, or almost 28 times as much as Bitcoin’s own gains.
Trading at a current price of 10.8 cents, IoTeX has a market cap just north of US$1.03 billion.
So, what the heck does IoTeX do?
According to CoinMarketCap:
Starting as an open-source project in 2017, IoTeX has built a decentralised platform whose aim is to empower the open economics for machines — an open ecosystem where people and machines can interact with guaranteed trust, free will, and under properly designed economic incentives.
In an important reminder of the wild volatility that comes along with Bitcoin and other crypto investing, the IoTeX share price, while up 369% over 7 days, is down 18% over the past 24 hours.