Bitcoin’s price shot up on Monday, ending an almost three-week-long sideways churn that saw persistent demand around $60,000.
The cryptocurrency topped $66,000 during the European hours and appeared set to challenge the record high of $66,975 reached on Oct. 20, CoinDesk data shows. Ether, the native token of Ethereum’s blockchain, also broke its previous record early Monday; its price briefly passed $4,700 around 1:00 UTC, according to CoinDesk data. Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, whereas ether, is the second largest.
Yuya Hasegawa, crypto market analyst at Japan’s exchange bitbank, said sinking real or inflation-adjusted bond yield may be powering bitcoin higher. “Real yields sliding due to inflation fears may have caused the recent BTC rally,” Hasegawa told CoinDesk in an emailed statement. Data from the U.S. Department of Treasury shows the 10-year real yield dipped to -1.09% on Friday, the lowest since Aug. 30.
Bitcoin is widely perceived as a store of value asset like gold. While Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell reiterated last week that price pressures may be transitory, fear persists of inflation running out of control.
“The inflation narrative still dominates the headlines and people are feeling the pinch globally,” Coinbase said in its weekly email on Friday. “Whether it’s gas prices in the U.S., energy prices in Europe or food prices in Latin America, the headwinds of supply chain constraints and a shrinking labor force has investors looking for a store of value.”
On-chain data also show bullish signs for bitcoin in the medium term, said Eddie Wang, senior analyst at OKLink research, crypto exchange OKEx’s on-chain data research arm. The network’s hashrate, or computing power, has been steadily increasing since July, the mining difficulty, a metric that describes how difficult it is for miners to find new bitcoin blocks and earn rewards, has also increased eight times, and miners have accumulated over BTC 3,000 in their wallets since September, Wang said.
The number of unique wallets with a balance of more than zero has returned to 39 million, close to the record high of 39.28 million non-zero wallets in May, Wang said, citing the data as an indicator of a positive sentiment in the market.
An increase in bitcoin-pegged coins and stablecoins is also a sign of a bull market, Wang said. The analyst noted that 6,022 wrapped bitcoin (WBTC) were printed on Ethereum in the last seven days, and Tether printed 1 billion ERC-20 USDT on Nov. 5.
Data tracked by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis shows renewed accumulation by large investors, i.e., whales. Investors holding at least 1,000 BTC snapped up 142,000 coins in the last week of October, taking the cumulative tally to nearly 200,000 BTC - the highest in 2021.
According to Daniel Kukan, senior cryptocurrency trader at Swiss-based Crypto Finance AG, bitcoin’s latest upside move appears to be spot-driven, as funding rates or cost of holding long positions in the perpetual futures market remains low.
Data provided by Coinglass.com shows the average funding rate was 0.0250% early Monday versus 0.0589% on Nov. 3. Exchanges calculate funding rates every eight hours. A very high funding rate is widely taken to represent excess bullish leverage. A combination of rising costs and sideways price action often forces traders to trim long positions, leading to a price pullback.
Kukan said the sideways action seen in the past couple of weeks was a typical bull market pause. “It was a healthy consolidation and the market has not tested the short term support of $58,000, which is a strong signal,” Kukan added. “I can see some interest to sell at slightly above $70,000, [but I] guess we are going to take out that level rather fast.”
The Japanese exchange bitbank expects bitcoin’s price to be as low as $58,000 and as high as $76,000 this week.
Bitcoin’s previous all time high was on the back of the approval of the first bitcoin futures-backed exchange-traded funds in the U.S.
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