Bitcoin has reached a significant milestone, surpassing the $50,000 mark for the first time in more than two years, driven by expectations of potential interest rate cuts and recent regulatory approvals for Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
The cryptocurrency’s value has increased by 16.3% since the beginning of the year, reaching its highest point since December 27, 2021. As of 12:56 p.m. EST (1756 GMT), Bitcoin was trading at $49,899, with a 4.96% increase for the day, maintaining levels around $50,000.
Antoni Trenchev, the co-founder of Nexo, a crypto lending platform, noted the significance of Bitcoin breaching the $50,000 level, especially after the recent launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs that triggered a 20% selloff instead of a surge above this psychological threshold.
Crypto-related stocks also experienced gains, with Coinbase Global, a crypto exchange, rising by 4.9%, and crypto miners like Riot Platforms and Marathon Digital seeing increases of 10.8% and 11.9%, respectively. Additionally, shares of MicroStrategy, a prominent Bitcoin buyer, surged by 10.2%.
In the crypto market, the price of Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, also rose by 4.12% to $2,607.57.
Analysts are closely watching global stock indexes, which have inched higher as traders speculate on the timing of potential interest rate cuts by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Both analysts and the general financial market foresee a possibility of rate cuts starting in May this year.
Matteo Greco, a research analyst at Fineqia International, highlighted the inflows into BTC spot ETFs as a key driver behind Bitcoin’s recent price surge. The recent approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the first U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs marked a significant milestone for Bitcoin and the broader crypto industry.
Furthermore, Greco pointed out that outflows from Grayscale Investment‘s Grayscale Bitcoin Trust have started to slow down, with BTC Spot ETFs witnessing a total net inflow of around $1.2 billion, the highest weekly inflow since their launch.
In the midst of these developments, the market is eagerly awaiting the outcome of seven pending ETF applications linked to the spot price of Ether, with the SEC expected to make final decisions on several proposals by May.
Investors are also eyeing the upcoming Bitcoin ‘halving’ in April, a process aimed at slowing the release of new Bitcoin tokens, given that the supply of Bitcoin is capped at 21 million tokens, with 19 million already in circulation. Historically, Bitcoin has seen rallies after halving events, the latest of which occurred in 2020.
Ben Laidler, the global markets strategist at eToro, emphasized the significance of Bitcoin’s price milestone, the potential Fed interest rate cut, and the possible approval of an Ethereum spot ETF, highlighting these as critical developments for the crypto market, which is the smallest, youngest, and largely retail-driven asset class.
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