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How altcoins like ether captured more and more of the crypto market

The cryptocurrency market was worth more than $1.6 trillion by the end of the July 2021. And bitcoin controls more than 47 percent of that market, according to Tradingview.com, down from more than 70 percent at the start of 2021. Altcoins, or alternatives to bitcoin, have surged in number and value since 2018. Crypto networks with advanced technologies such as Ethereum, Polygon and Uniswap have captured more and more of the crypto market. And there's also stablecoins, utility coins and meme currencies like Dogecoin. Here's how altcoins work, and why they're becoming a larger and larger force in the crypto market.
09:34
Fri, Aug 6 20211:29 PM EDT

MacKenzie Sigalos, CNBC Business News

The entire global cryptocurrency market was worth $1.6 trillion by the end of July 2021. That's more than six times what the crypto market was worth in July of 2020.

Mati Greenspan, Quantum Economics Founder and CEO

And it became very trendy on Wall Street to kind of trade cryptocurrencies. And I think that's really what the last 18 months have been about, that hype cycle.

MacKenzie Sigalos, CNBC Business News

In fact, the current number of altcoins clocks in at more than 11,000 and counting. This includes ether, USDC, and of course, dogecoin.

Mati Greenspan, Quantum Economics Founder and CEO

When Elon Musk shilled dogecoin on Saturday Night Live, I mean, that was the peak right there. You don't get any more hype than that.

MacKenzie Sigalos, CNBC Business News

Bitcoin's dominance has fallen in the last five years.

In December of 2016, bitcoin dominated the crypto market, controlling 96% of the industry. Now altcoins are taking up a larger and larger share.

By the end of July 2021, bitcoin made up less than half of the global crypto market. Crypto's renewed attention and volatility has caught the eye of government officials like U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. She's now pushing for regulators to police digital currencies, specifically the kind known as stablecoins.

But with the number of altcoins growing in number and value, will it be too little too late?

Here's how altcoins work.