The price of bitcoin has hit a new all-time high on Tuesday, continuing a record-breaking rally that has pushed the overall crypto market close to $3 trillion. Ethereum (ether) also saw a fresh price peak, while Cardano (ada) and other major cryptocurrencies experienced a significant surge overnight. The $3 trillion crypto market cap is now worth more than the top dozen of the world’s largest banks, with industry experts attributing this to massive institutional investment and renewed interest from retail investors. “It reflects what we have been saying all along, that bitcoin is the future,” Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer of the cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex, told The Independent. “This milestone has been fuelled by global interest, institutional customers, and the outstanding evolution in blockchain technology. We expect this to continue as increasing numbers of participants add digital tokens to their investment portfolios.” Bitcoin’s latest gains saw it reach above $68,000 for the first time in its history, according to CoinMarketCap’s price index, and several leading analysts believe the cryptocurrency is on course for six figures before the end of 2021. One notable price prediction model from the pseudonymous Dutch analyst PlanB has remained remarkably accurate since it was first published back in June when bitcoin was worth less than $40,000. It was less than a third of a per cent away from the price forecast for the end of August and September, and just 2 per cent off October’s closing price. According to PlanB’s model, bitcoin will hit $98,000 by the end of November and will finish 2021 at $135,000 – though he has warned investors that the market could turn at any moment by major regulatory announcements or even geopolitical events.