Cryptocurrencies have gone from an obscure part of finance to centre-stage over the last year. In the space of 12 months, bitcoin has exploded from trading at $8,166 on 8 March 2020 to hitting all-time highs of over $58,000 in February 2021 and now trading at $54,011 as of 9:31am GMT on 9 March.

Their meteoric rise has been accompanied by increased institutional interest, including from big names like HSBC, Goldman Sachs, BNY Mellon and JPMorgan.

There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies around the world but the core group of 20 coins constitutes around 99% of the market by volume, according to crypto website CoinDesk.

In the first week of March — the quietest week since early January — inflows into digital asset investment products were $108m, according to James Butterfill, an investment strategist at CoinShares. Of these inflows, 90% were bitcoin, with $4m invested in ethereum. Trading volumes for bitcoin, however, remained high, with a daily average of $11.8bn for 2021 compared to $2.2bn in 2020.

As cryptocurrencies continue their rollercoaster rally into 2021 and hitting record highs
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