The cryptocurrency economy is hitting record highs this week amid Coinbase’s blockbuster public listing on the Nasdaq.
This most recent rally comes in an already game-changing year for the crypto market. The bitcoin—which more than tripled in value from November to April—added another $3,000 since Monday, bringing its price per coin to $63,145 midday Wednesday. The ether coin is up 19% since last Wednesday. And the Binance-engineered binance coin surged more than 50% in the past two weeks; with its latest rise, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange’s token price is now 14-fold higher year to date, bringing its total market value to a staggering $86 billion.
Coinbase stock debuted to fanfare today at $381 per share, above its earlier reference of $250 per share. That gives it an opening valuation of $102 billion, which beats those of the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq combined.
There’s currently “a lot of swirl around the Coinbase news,” Joel Kruger, a strategist at cryptocurrency exchange LMAX Digital, explained to The Wall Street Journal, which is “giving the crypto market some added boost and added exposure.” That’s as the Coinbase listing offers “one more layer of validation, after the moves into cryptos by large investment banks and companies,” Anthony Denier, CEO of e-trader Webull, told MarketWatch.
As the market rallies, the dogecoin—which was originally created as a joke in digital currency’s nascent years but stuck around as the asset class gained traction—is also along for the ride. Although the dogecoin is not offered on Coinbase’s platform, the token, which bears the face of a meme-ified Shiba Inu dog called “Doge,” has climbed more than 80% in the past 24 hours and 120% in the past seven days, marking some of the greatest gains this week. It was sitting at 13 cents per coin as of midday Wednesday.
While notorious in the cryptocurrency community, the dogecoin has won prominent celebrity followers in recent years, including musician Gene Simmons; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who tweeted Wednesday that the NBA team had already sold “more than 122K Doge” in merchandise; and Tesla founder Elon Musk, whose pro-doge tweets were so conspicuous that they prompted rumors of a possible SEC probe into his influence on the coin’s value.
Its latest rise brought the coin into digital currency’s top 10 territory. It also illustrates that the dogecoin is, perhaps, inextricable from the cryptocurrency fervor—its existence in itself is a manifestation of such hype, and its remarkable longevity suggests a playful edge to the cryptocurrency market, as if its buyers all share an elaborate inside joke. Whether it cuts like a double-edged sword when the hype dies down remains to be seen.