• Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $58,682 as of 20:05 UTC (4:05 p.m. ET). Climbing 0.4% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $56,934-$59,835 (CoinDesk 20)

Bitcoin was flat to slightly lower Wednesday though closed out its best start to the year since 2013 on signs of growing adoption of cryptocurrencies by the likes of Wall Street firms Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.

“The great portfolio rebalancing is already underway,” Matt Blom, head of sales and trading with the digital-asset firm Equos, wrote in an email.

Some analysts forecast that prices could jump to $70,000 bitcoin forecast based on a “bull flag” pattern seen in price charts, but rival analysts critiqued the model, saying the flag had no pole.

The largest cryptocurrency’s price over the past week has been pushing back up toward $60,000, and a breach of that crucial psychological level could trigger to a rally to a new all-time high, analysts said. The record price now sits at $61,557, reached earlier this month.

Prices have doubled so far in 2021, bitcoin’s best first-quarter performance in eight years.

In absolute dollar terms, bitcoin’s price jumped about $30,000 during the three-month period, well exceeding the cryptocurrency’s next-best quarter, a gain of about $22,000, during the fourth quarter of 2020. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of large stocks, for comparison, is up about 5.7%. (Stocks rose Wednesday, with President Joe Biden set to unveil his next stimulus plan to follow the recent $1.9 trillion deal.)

Crypto lending firms including CoinDesk sister company Genesis and BlockFi are cutting the interest rates they pay on large-scale bitcoin deposits, potentially signaling an end to the glorified 4% to 6% levels that have served as a staple of the lucrative market.

Bitcoin price chart, by quarter, shows just how dramatic this year's rally has been.
Source: TradingView

Ether rises with bitcoin

Ether price over the past three months.
Source: CoinDesk
  • Ether (ETH) trading around $1,904. Climbing 3.6% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Ether’s 24-hour range: $1,773-$1,917 (CoinDesk 20)

Ether rose, after holding support around $1,800. The cryptocurrency is up about 30% for the month, versus a 25% gain in BTC. 

The decentralized finance (DeFi) space continued to grab headlines this week after Aave announced Wednesday that it will work with Ethereum layer 2 Polygon to bypass congestion on the blockchain network. 

Enterprise software company R3’s Corda network now has a bridge to public blockchains. The group of RBS bankers, now known as LAB577, will use its native token, the Ethereum-compatible XDC, as a settlement coin inside Corda. 

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