- Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $58,930 as of 20:15 UTC (4:15 p.m. ET). Up 0.3% since 0:00 UTC. Flat over the previous 24 hours.
- Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $58,491-$60,102 (CoinDesk pricing)
Bitcoin was little changed after briefly pushing above $60,000 earlier Friday, but quickly found selling pressure that brought the largest cryptocurrency's price back down to about $58,900 as of press time.
"This could be an interesting weekend for bitcoin as much of the institutional money is expected to be dormant," said Edward Moya, senior market analyst for the foreign-exchange broker Oanda. "Weekend volatility has been somewhat of a story this year, so many crypto watchers will look to see if any whales try to take advantage of illiquid conditions."
Though bitcoin has roughly doubled in price this year, the gains have stalled around $60,000 despite continuing signs of growing mainstream adoption, including lofty price predictions from Wall Street firms including JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank, and the brokerage firm BTIG.
BTIG issued a “buy” rating on shares of Michael Saylor’s MicroStrategy, the business intelligence firm and bitcoin storehouse. The firm's analysts said their valuation was partly based on an assumption that BTC could rise to $95,000 by the end of 2022.
Bitcoin has been increasingly embraced by big investors as a potential hedge against inflation in the face of trillions of dollars of stimulus from governments and central banks around the world attempting to jolt their coronavirus-racked economies.
Greg Cipolaro, head of research for the digital-asset manager NYDIG, wrote Friday in a weekly newsletter that he sees bitcoin "as an alternative to existing economic systems, which is why we think it has elicited so much interest, especially in the current easy money era."
Ether Jumps to New All-Time High
- Ether (ETH) trading around $2,100. Climbing 6.5% since 0:00 UTC, 5.9% over the previous 24 hours.
- Ether’s 24-hour range: $1,950-$2,097 (CoinDesk pricing)
Ether jumped Friday to a new all-time high as the second-biggest cryptocurrency extended its winning streak to five days.
The native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, ether traded as high as $2,097 around 20:41 UTC, according to CoinDesk 20 data.
The price has rallied 24% this week in the wake of Visa's decision to facilitate crypto-based settlements on the Ethereum network.
Billionaire investor Mark Cuban, a member of the CNBC show "Shark Tank" and owner of the Dallas Mavericks professional basketball team, said on a recent podcast episode he's bullish on cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, but that ether is "the closest we have to a true currency."
According to data tweeted by options analytics platform Genesis Volatility, traders are aggressively buying the $25,000 call option expiring on Dec. 31, 2021, listed on Deribit, the world's largest crypto options exchange by trading volumes and open interest.
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