Bitcoin has passed a major milestone that could see the cryptocurrency shake off months of market stagnation and reach new price highs, industry experts predict.
The price of bitcoin has risen by more than $1,700 over the last month to $5,600, finally signalling an end to the market crash that saw its value tumble from a high close to $20,000 in late 2017.
These gains of 40 per cent mark the first time since October 2015 that bitcoin has achieved the so-called golden cross, whereby its 50-day moving average passed its 200-day moving average.
This milestone is seen by traders as a significant marker that bitcoin has switched from a bear market to a bull market – meaning prices will continue to go up as more investors are buying than selling.
"The stars are aligning for a bitcoin bull run," Simon Peters, an analyst at online trading platform eToro, told The Independent.
"The short-term moving average for the price of bitcoin has finally moved above the longer-term average, which is often referred to as a golden cross, so investors are starting to believe that we might just be approaching a new phase for the price of bitcoin."
After passing $5,000 earlier this month, market analysts see $6,000 as the next crucial price point that will test the direction of the market.
If it does manage to continue past that price, Mr Peters predicts the value of bitcoin will carry on rising throughout 2019 to take it to around 60 to 70 per cent of its all-time high.
This forecast would take bitcoin to around $14,000 – more than double its current price.
Other experts, however, believe bitcoin will experience more short-term losses before any major rise in value.
"As bitcoin edges back up, that previous $6,000 support leve has now turned into resistance and is now firmly in the spotlight," George McDonaugh, CEO of digital asset investment firm KR1, told The Independent.
"A more back above here will bring the $10,000 level back in focus. I think breaking through it on its first attempt any time this month in unlikely. What is most likely to happen is that it will test $6,000, fail and head back down towards $4,000.
"I would expect the price to break through $6,000 on any second or third attempt and from there the aim would be to get back to $10,000."
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