April 1, 2023

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Bitcoin closes in on record above $66K, leads cryptocurrencies on fresh bull run

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) embarked on another bull run on Monday, leaping a 9% since Sunday night, with investors piling into the booming cryptocurrency trade.

In early Monday trading, the largest cryptocurrency gave back some of those gains, but was still within shouting distance of $66,080, close to its historic peak set last month near $67,000. By evening, Bitcoin broke new all time highs, reaching $67,792.77 according to Coinbase.

Bitcoin’s gain of almost $7,000 on the day was reflective of a broader bull trend across the cryptocurrency market, which is now valued above $3 trillion amid a broad-based crypto rally, according to CoinGecko data. 

Juthica Chou, Head of OTC Options Trading for cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, told Yahoo Finance that the U.S. Securities Exchange approval for the first crypto-related ETFs last month cannot be underestimated as a major driver for the bitcoin rally.

“It massively de-risked bitcoin and this space in general,” said Chou.

The two Bitcoin ETFs approved and launched last month – BITO and BTF – are composed of Bitcoin futures contracts, not the underlying asset traded in the spot market. While the Security and Exchange Commission’s Chair Gary Gensler shows no sign of allowing a spot ETF for Bitcoin this year, many asset managers are exhibiting optimism approval could happen in 2022.

Gearing up for the possibility, crypto lender BlockFi and investment firm Neuberger Berman submitted a joint filing for a spot-based “BlockFi NB Bitcoin ETF” to the SEC today according to Bloomberg ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas. The filing follows a previous partnership between BlockFi and Neuberger to establish a separate joint entity, in addition to BlockFi’s filing for a futures-based Bitcoin ETF slated for December.

Other major cryptocurrencies like the memecoin, Doge (DOGE-USD) is also up 4% on the day. And after setting new highs last week, Ether (ETH-USD) once again outdid itself logging gains in the last day, blowing past its previous record high to climb above $4,800 this morning. 

While gains for both BTC and ETH ran in parallel last month, Chou pointed out that investors tend to go for Bitcoin and Ethereum for different reasons.

“Ethereum is where we’re seeing more types of metaverse activities. For example, NFTs and other tokens, decentralized trading so there’s a different set of utility that’s built upon the Ethereum network,” said Chou.

The fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap, SOL (SOL1-USD), which also set new records last week, gave back gains early Monday as some buyers booked profits.  

“After losing ground to alternative cryptocurrencies such as Solana last week, the incumbents BTC and ETH came roaring back to life late Sunday,” Martha Reyes, head of research at digital asset prime brokerage and exchange BEQUANT, told Yahoo Finance.

The analyst said that other positive signs include the no major signal for heightened funding rates, or open interest. Those are telltale signs in the crypto derivatives markets for an increasing buildup of leverage, which can either suggest price euphoria or a jump in leverage-induced volatility.

Reyes also pointed to Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA.AX), saying last Friday it planned to be one of the first major banks within the country to develop a platform letting its retail customers trade cryptocurrencies. The same day one of the country’s top crypto regulators, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), green lighted exchange traded funds (ETFs) that hold BTC and ETH traded on the spot market.

The announcements serve as only the latest affirmation that investors across the world and of all sizes are showing more interest in portfolio exposure to digital currencies.

‘Another good week for crypto investors’

Nigel Green, the CEO and founder of asset management firm deVere Group, thinks Bitcoin’s run has more momentum that will carry the currency to new highs. 

“This is going to be another good week for crypto investors as interest and demand, as well as regulatory recognition, take flight again,” Green said on Monday. 

According to Green, Bitcoin is sitting at 61 on the relative strength index (RSI), a technical indicator. The recent buying momentum for the asset hasn’t scaled above 70, a level that technical analysts deem “overbought,” the investor added.

In the bond market, real (inflation-adjusted) yields slid in early U.S. dealings. Analysts say the slump reflects overall inflation concerns — a boon to BTC’s story as a scarce digital asset that serves as a hedge against inflation, which has been spiking broadly in the face of easy Federal Reserve monetary policy and strong global demand. 

Along those lines, the passage of the Biden administration’s infrastructure bill is expected to be a tailwind for already surging prices. Meanwhile, new consumer price data coming Wednesday is expected to show worsening signs of inflation in the U.S. economy. 

David Hollerith covers cryptocurrency for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @dshollers.

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