Bitcoin prices spiked to a new monthly high of over $7,725, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index. The rally comes on the day before the expiry for CME April bitcoin futures. 

According to comments shared with CoinDesk, bitcoin traders view Friday’s expiry as a primary catalyst for Thursday’s rally. There’s a “general expectation for a pickup in volatility” around CME expiry, said Kevin Kelly, former equities strategist at Bloomberg and co-founder of Delphi Digital. But bitcoin was “primed for a move given the recent consolidation,” said Kelly.

Over $68 million worth of contracts were liquidated on BitMEX Thursday morning, according to data from Skew, as futures open interest is still recovering from a 50 percent plunge at the end of Q1 2020.

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BitMX XBTUSD Liquidations
Source: Skew

Bitcoin’s performance during a period of macroeconomic instability may be underwhelming for some investors. But Thursday’s price action marks an over-100-percent recovery from bitcoin’s plunge at the end of Q1 2020. 

Thanks to bitcoin’s “strong macro fundamentals,” we’re “seeing buying interest coming back,” Kyle Davies, co-founder of Three Arrows Capital, told CoinDesk in a private message. 

Traditional markets also rallied Thursday morning, with the S&P 500 up almost 2 percent at the time of publication. 

“As traders have been closely monitoring stocks, the push higher in U.S. equities today may share some responsibility for the jump in bitcoin’s price,” Joseph Todaro, managing partner at Blocktown Capital, told CoinDesk. 

See also: CFTC Approves Bitnomial to Offer Futures Contracts Settled in Real Bitcoin

“Stocks look really strong,” another trader who expects bitcoin and equities to continue rallying together told CoinDesk in a private message.

Despite “the highly volatile and tumultuous macro environment brought on by COVID-19,” support for the popular bullish halving narrative “may be resurfacing as traders become more comfortable within the current market,” said Todaro. 

The price of ether also spiked Thursday morning from $178 to $194, according to Bitstamp. 

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