Bitcoin (BTC) drifted higher, changing hands around $59,000, as buyers awaited the next wave of institutional demand, according to Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, a foreign exchange broker.
A brief price pop earlier Monday came after MicroStrategy, the Nasdaq-listed business intelligence firm, bought $15 million of BTC at an average price of $59,339 per coin, adding to its already substantial hoard.
The largest cryptocurrency by market cap has risen by about 36% over the past month. Oanda’s Moya told CoinDesk in an interview that the bullish sentiment stemmed at least partly fueled by excitement over the much-anticipated public stock listing of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
Now, the focus shifts back to institutional players with deep pockets, which could support the next leg higher above $60,000 in BTC.
- “We’re in wait-and-see mode, in what seems to be a healthy consolidation right now for bitcoin. Market is recycling all the stories about top investment banks that already put their position on crypto,” said Moya.
- Despite BTC’s struggle to break an all-time high around $61,000, Moya does not see short-term resistance as a barrier to continued upside. “Consensus is, a break above $60,000 is not a matter of if, but when. Next barrier is at $75,000.”
- Institutional demand is needed to sustain the rally as retail investors have spent their stimulus dollars in other ways than just buying up BTC.
- “Retail traders are probably bidding up altcoins after missing the big move in bitcoin,” said Moya.
Some altcoins have been outperforming BTC over the past month. Ether (ETH) reached an all-time high and is up about 60% since March. XRP is up about 90% over the same time period versus BTC’s gain of about 36%.