Altcoins and DeFi tokens rally as Ethereum price hits $1,650

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Sentiment throughout the cryptocurrency sector continues to improve as Ether (ETH) price ventured into uncharted territory and notched a new all-time high of $1,653 on Feb. 3. 

Meanwhile, Bitcoin (BTC) bulls appear to have their eyes set on the $40,000 mark and according to Cointelegraph analyst Marcel Pechman, this Friday’s $1 billion BTC options expiry favors bulls.

Data from Cointelegraph Markets and TradingView show a price increase of 4.46% for the top cryptocurrency, which currently trades at $36,994, while Ether is up 8.38% and trades at $1,633.

BTC/USDT 4-hour chart. Source: TradingView

Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy plans to hold a meeting on Feb. 4 with 1,400 public companies during which CEO Michael Saylor will discuss how companies can integrate Bitcoin into their corporate strategy.

Concerns that recent large institutional purchases and whale wallets are leading to the centralization of Bitcoin were addressed by on-chain analyst Willy Woo, who showed that “small and medium holders control roughly 40%” of the available supply and “distribution keeps getting better.”

Traditional markets receive a boost from tech stocks

Today also saw a continuation of the upward momentum in the traditional markets as a combination of positive corporate earnings and economic stimulus-related developments from the Biden administration helped improve overall sentiment within the market.

U.S. officials could gather as soon as Feb. 4 to discuss the growing influence of social media investing groups on the financial markets. It’s expected that the discussion will center around the recent evolution of r/Wallstreetbets and the use of platforms like Robinhood and Reddit to manipulate markets.

The S&P 500 and Dow were able to bounce back from early downward pressure to finish the day up 0.10% and 0.11% while the NASDAQ was hit with a late selling surge that led to a slightly negative finish of 0.02%. Mega-tech stocks such as GOOGL, which finished up 7.28%, helped push markets higher into the closing bell.

DeFi tokens continue to outperform other crypto assets

Daily cryptocurrency market performance. Source: Coin360

Developments related to brokerage firms blocking access to certain assets has placed a bright spotlight on the positives of decentralized finance. DeFi tokens have benefited from this attention, along with the strong breakout from Ether.

The extra attention helped boost AAVE and SushiSwap (SUSHI) to new all-time highs of $345 and $14.84, while UMA saw its price surge by 59% to a 2021 high of $21.56.

The overall cryptocurrency market cap now stands at $1.11 trillion and Bitcoin’s dominance rate is 61.6%.