On Thursday, bitcoin reached above $35,000 for the first time since May 2022, taking its overall market cap above $700 billion. The gains have been buoyed by renewed institutional interest, as well as hopes that an upcoming “halving” event will spark another record-breaking bull run.
Scheduled to take place in April 2024, the event will see the production of bitcoin cut in half as part of an anti-inflationary measure that was hard-coded into its underlying blockchain by its pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
“Bitcoin is beyond the point of no return, a bull market is inevitable,” said popular Dutch analyst PlanB, whose price prediction models have previously forecasted patterns related to halving cycles of the cryptocurrency.
“The only questions are: when does FOMO [fear of missing out] start, how high will this bull go, and how long will it last?”
Among those betting on a bull run is MicroStrategy, a software firm that has made bitcoin investment one of its core strategies in recent years.
The US company bought another 155 bitcoins at an average price of $29,586 per BTC in October, taking its total holdings to 158,400 BTC.
MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor said during an earnings call on Wednesday that “positive regulatory initiative” and increasing clarity would create “more comfort for institutional investors” to buy bitcoin.
Andrew Kang, MicroStrategy’s chief financial officer, added: “Our commitment to acquire and hold bitcoin remains strong, especially with the promising backdrop of increased institutional adoption.”
Recent data has also led to speculation that a new cycle for the crypto market is emerging, driven by a new wave of investors.
“The cumulative daily volume for 22 October to 28 October reached $2412 billion, the highest level recorded since the end of March,” noted Matteo Greco, a research analyst at crypto investment firm Fineqia International.
“This increase in volume is mainly due to heightened bitcoin trading activity. Specifically, BTC’s total trading volume in the past seven days hit $9.1 billion, a 42 per cent rise from the previous week and a substantial 139 per cent surge from two weeks ago. These trends suggest a gradual influx of new investors into the market.”
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