Bitcoin hits highest price since 2021
The price of Bitcoin broke over the $50,000 mark this week, for the first time in two years amid investor excitement over inflows into spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and the upcoming supply halving.
The price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency has recovered since tumbling below $40,000 in the initial days following the opening of spot ETFs in early January. Valued at nearly $1 trillion, Bitcoin has once again entered the top ten of the world’s most valuable assets by market capitalization, ahead of such giants as Tesla and Visa. It was trading above $51,000 per token on Wednesday.
The recent price surge follows a landmark approval of the first-ever spot Bitcoin ETF by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on January 11. ETFs allow more retail investors to hold Bitcoin indirectly via funds that trade on exchanges. According to Coindesk, the new spot ETFs attracted billions of dollars in their first weeks of trading.
Experts say the next Bitcoin ‘halving’ – a mechanism to limit supply that takes place every four years – could be another source of price upside. The next one is scheduled for this coming April. With the $50,000 level achieved roughly two months before the halving, investors anticipate the Bitcoin price could break above its previous all-time high of $69,800 reached in November 2021. Meanwhile, the founder of Draper Associates, Tim Draper, has projected the halving could even push the price of Bitcoin as high as $250,000 by July.
Bitcoin’s rally comes even as the crypto industry has suffered a slew of scandals recently, starting with the collapse of the FTX crypto exchange in November 2022. This placed the sector under intense scrutiny from US lawmakers and resulted in the conviction of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried. In November 2023, another major crypto exchange, Binance, was fined $4.3 billion for various violations, ranging from money laundering to bank fraud.
Nevertheless, Bitcoin more than doubled in value during 2023 on its way to posting a 152% gain for the year. Other digital currencies also saw price gains.
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