Bitcoin spiked to its highest level in more than a year Friday, moving against a rather dreary stretch for stocks and keeping its 2023 winning streak alive thanks to extended optimism stemming from major financial institutions’ recent embrace of the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin rose as much as 4% to $31,255 in early afternoon trading, hitting its steepest price since June 7, 2022.
The world’s largest crypto token is up 21% since BlackRock applied for what would be the U.S.’ first bitcoin spot exchange traded fund last thursday.
Bitcoin’s rally far outpaces the S&P 500’s 2% loss over the last eight days, while its Friday spike came as the S&P slipped 0.7%.
“With a de-risking moment occurring on Wall Street, it is rather impressive how the crypto trade is holding up,” Oanda analyst Ed Moya wrote Friday, adding “the crypto market is still buzzing over the potential launch of U.S.-approved bitcoin ETFs.
Bitbank analyst Yuya Hasegawa wrote Friday: “It feels like the current recovery has a short expiration date,” noting the choppy macroeconomic conditions and likelihood of further monetary tightening from the Federal Reserve.
BlackRock describes its proposed ETF as a means to invest in the digital asset while “remov[ing] the obstacles represented by the complexities and operational burdens involved in a direct investment in bitcoin.” Crypto investors big and small have endured a brutal last year-and-a-half, highlighted by high-profile bankruptcies of exchanges and lenders like FTX and Celsius. Bitcoin crashed nearly 80% between November 2021 and November 2022 amid crypto industry turmoil, but it’s up 98% since hitting a multiyear low of about $15,700 on November 21, 2022 amidst FTX’s collapse.
What To Watch For
Bitcoin’s price surge appears to price in BlackRock and its peers’ ETF application as a watershed moment for crypto, but it’s far from a guarantee U.S. regulators will approve it considering the Securities and Exchange Commission’s long standing opposition to such funds.
BlackRock’s Spot Bitcoin ETF Plan Appears To Be A Case Of Perception Bending Reality (Forbes)
Bitcoin Surges Past $30,000 For First Time In Months (Forbes)
U.S. Government Owns Way More Bitcoin Than Any Other Country–So Why Aren’t They Selling It? (Forbes)