Following its roughly 15% move ahead over the past 72 hours, bitcoin is little changed Wednesday at $44,000. The speculative juices are flowing though, with a number of altcoins moving sharply higher.
Among the leaders is Avalanche’s AVAX token, whose 17% gain on Wednesday makes it the leader among those cryptocurrencies with a market value above $1 billion. This comes following the token's near-doubling in price in November.
Another big mover is Helium, the crypto connectivity project that migrated from its own blockchain to layer-1 Solana last year. It's higher by 42% on the day after the company announced it launched a mobile phone plan in the U.S. with unlimited data, texts and calls for $20 a month.
“The [bitcoin] rally has been quite extraordinary even by bitcoin's standards and highlights how excited the community is by the prospect of an ETF approval,” said Craig Erlam, a senior analyst at OANDA. Erlam said that lower interest rate expectations have also helped the cryptocurrency’s rise but he thinks the ETF hype is the primary driver.
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