The No. 1 crypto’s nearly 11.7% weekly rise and 34% gain so far in November has helped the asset hit a market value of around $334 billion, according to digital-currency data site CoinMarketCap.

That level surpasses the roughly $322.7 billion value that bitcoin hit on Dec. 17 when its price was nearly $20,000.

Although bitcoin’s price BTCUSD, 3.96% BTCUSD, 3.96% hasn’t exceeded that 2017 record level, it currently sits about 10% shy of touching a round-number milestone at $20,000. It quietly has been drawing more attention and notching a fresh all-time peak for an asset considered one of the most polarizing of this generation of financial markets.

Bitcoin bounce
Bitcoin's price is knocking on the door of a record high near $20,000

Bitcoin’s record market capitalization reflects the attention that the blockchain-based asset has garnered over its rivals.

So-called bitcoin dominance, or the share of bitcoin’s value as it contributes to the universe of recognized digital currencies, was at 66.5%, as tracked by CoinMarketCap. Bitcoin’s market-cap dominance is near to its highest level since May of 2020.

Bitcoin and other cryptos were boosted last month after PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL, 1.49% said it would allow customers to buy cryptocurrency through their accounts and use it for merchant payments.

Bitcoin prices have gained nearly 151% so far this year, with Bitcoin futures BTC.1, 3.29% trading on the CME Group seeing a similar rise. By comparison, gold GCZ20, 0.64% has gained 23% in the year to date, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.52% has climbed 4.4% so far in 2020. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.29% has gained about 12% and the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, 0.09% has surged roughly 33% over the same period.

Still, bitcoin bears and detractors aren’t hard to find. On Tuesday, Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, and a longtime bitcoin skeptic, on Twitter challenged proponents of the currency to explain to him why bitcoin is worth his attention and not doomed to collapse.