Bitcoin (BTC), the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value, has climbed to levels not seen since May 2022 on Friday amid quiet trading in traditional markets, the day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
The cryptocurrency briefly touched $38,000 earlier Friday morning but retreated to levels around $37,800. BTC has now held above the $38,000 threshold for a few hours and appears to be attempting to push higher.
The uptick in price comes as investors are expecting a possible approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Crypto-related stocks also gained on the day, with Coinbase's COIN gaining 6%, Stronghold Digital Mining (SDIG) 6.4% and Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA) by 4%.
"With the BTC ETF lurking around the corner - which may be Jan .11 for the 19b1 consent (not s1 approval) there will be a new layer of volatility to the market," said Laurent Kssis in an interview with CoinDesk.
"Due to the ease of trade and cost-effectiveness, a bitcoin ETF will attract more turnover in volumes from institutional investors currently not seen on crypto exchanges as they are not allowed to execute on these non-regulated exchanges by their compliance depts," explained Kssis.
Kssis predicts that bitcoin could rally to $40,000 over the weekend.
"When approved, the volatility of BTC will be significant during these periods which create additional risks for investors but as well opportunities for those arbitraging. Would not be surprised if we see 40K being broken this weekend," Kssis said.
Ether (ETH), the second largest cryptocurrency by market value, also gained over 3% on Friday.
UPDATE (Nov. 24, 18:27 UTC): Adds price action of crypto-linked stocks.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.