Bitcoin is Up 133% YTD as ETF Hype Grows, Price Hits 18-Month High
Bitcoin (BTC) ended November on a high note, recording its best monthly close in over 18 months. The cryptocurrency surged above $38,000 amid several positive developments regarding the spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF), MicroStrategy’s (NASDAQ: MSTR) BTC purchases, and strong enforcement actions by regulatory bodies.
Bitcoin Hits $38K for the First Time Since April 2022
Bitcoin extended its upward momentum on Friday, December 1, breaching above the $38,000 threshold for the first time since April 2022.
The world’s biggest cryptocurrency staged a significant rally over the past few weeks, bringing its year-to-date gains to 133%. At the time of writing, BTC was trading at $38,656, up 2.5% in the past 24 hours.
The rally comes after months of stagnation. BTC was trading in a limited range between mid-August and mid-October amid a lack of catalysts and macroeconomic pressures that eased in the more recent period.
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What Fueled Bitcoin’s Latest Upswing?
Bitcoin’s price resurgence is likely driven by several factors that are rejuvenating investor optimism.
The latest catalyst that lifted BTC’s price above the $38,000 mark were memos that showed that the SEC was formally engaging with asset managers BlackRock and Grayscale ahead of a long-awaited decision on whether the securities regulator would approve a spot Bitcoin ETF.
Notably, the SEC held discussions with Grayscale on Thursday regarding the potential transformation of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF. Previously, the agency had opposed this transition, but Grayscale contested the decision in court and emerged victorious.
In a separate memo, SEC officials also talked with BlackRock and the Nasdaq representatives on Wednesday. The world’s largest asset manager had filed for a Bitcoin ETF in June, a move mirrored by several other asset management firms shortly after that.
Another factor that likely lifted crypto investors’ mood was the latest MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin purchase. Specifically, Michael Saylor’s firm acquired an additional 16,130 BTC for more than $539 million, bringing its total holdings to 174,530.
Meanwhile, recent developments regarding Binance and its former CEO, Changpeng Zhao, made no significant adverse impact on the market, allowing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to retain their upward momentum. Zhao pleaded guilty to criminal charges in November, resigning from his CEO position and agreeing to a $4.3 billion settlement with the Department of Justice, bringing a multiyear investigation into the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange to an end.
Do you think Bitcoin will remain on an overall uptrend in 2024? Let us know in the comments below.