Morning Report: Why Are Cryptocurrencies Worth More Than Uber?

Morning Report: Continuing our coverage of bitcoin and its cohort, here’s a chart that should make you spit out your breakfast.

Bitcoin’s recent explosion past the $2,000 threshold was a notable moment for the cryptocurrency market. The event marked not only bitcoin’s recovery from its doldrums and peak excesses, but it showed that the currency has long-term staying power.

However, while bitcoin remains the most valuable cryptocurrency, action among its smaller rivals — at times dismissively called “altcoins” — has accelerated even more quickly.

The combined result of both bitcoin’s boom and the altcoin escalation is that the aggregate value of all cryptocurrencies is spiking.

And not merely “like the last time,” or any such rubbish. The rise in value of all coins in the crypto market has smashed its 2014 record, and it has hit a parabolic curve upwards that should worry even the least conservative among us:

The above chart, via the inimitable CoinMarketCap, indicates that the value of all cryptocurrencies is now comfortably over the putative value of Uber. (I will leave it to you to determine which financial metric is more of a fantasy.)

What is driving the amazingly steep rise in the value of the crypto market? Oddly, not bitcoin. In fact, it turns out that bitcoin is a smaller player in the recent run than we might have thought.

Observe the following two charts, paying especial attention to their headers:

In human, the charts show that the nearly parabolic jump in the aggregate value of cryptocoins is not due to bitcoin’s own appreciation. That fact is shown clearly in the second chart, which tracks the falling percentage of aggregate value that bitcoin’s own worth represents, compared to all altcoins.

Bitcoin has fallen to less than 50 percent worth of the market as altcoins’ value have exploded. So the recently aggregate value accretion is predicated on the appreciation in value of the least-proven, most-speculative assets in the class.


From the Crunchbase Daily:

Fastly raises $50M to deliver content fast

  • Content delivery platform Fastly has raised $50 million in a new funding round led by Sorenson Capital. The San Francisco-based company says it is bringing in about $100 million a year in revenue and is approaching breakeven. To date, the six-year-old company has raised about $180 million.

As bitcoin rises, ICOs follow suit

  • Move over IPOs. Now there are ICOs. An Initial Coin Offering, or ICO, is a fundraising tool through which one uses established cryptocurrencies to buy some new form of cryptocoin. But although these offerings are intriguing, a Crunchbase News analysis concludes that they’re best reserved for those with a massive appetite for risk and zero fear of losing capital.

Ruling deals a blow to patent trolls

  • So-called patent trolls took a hit this week after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously to tighten restrictions on where patent lawsuits can be filed. The decision is expected to make it harder to launch infringement cases in courts seen as friendly to plaintiffs and was lauded by technology companies, which are typically defendants in such suits.

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.


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