Bitcoin prices shot up in trading yesterday, breaking the $6,600 price point for the first time in a number of weeks, as a reminder of the volatility that still exists in the world’s biggest cryptocurrency market.
Bitcoin rose by $400 in the space of 20 minutes, peaking at a 5.05% jump on the day to post one of its biggest gains in weeks, and to return bitcoin above the $6,600 threshold for the first time since late July.
At the time of writing, the price had fallen back to $6,674, but remains above the $6,600 level, reversing the bearish tendencies of the market in recent weeks.
The spike in price is one of the most significant of the year, coming as it does in the face of sell-side pressures in the market. Analysts have attributed the rise to positive investor sentiment, following an upcoming decision on the latest proposals for a bitcoin ETF, with a verdict due this week.
ETFs, or exchange traded funds, are seen by some analysts as a holy grail for cryptocurrency investment, providing a legitimate, regulated vehicle institutional investors can buy and sell for cryptocurrency speculation. Rather than investing in the markets directly, it is thought ETFs would appeal more to regulated investors like banks and pension funds.
Several ETFs around bitcoin have been presented over the last couple of years, with regulators continuing to dismiss these applications. However, with the latest proposals nearing deadline day, some within the industry are optimistic about the chances of approval, which could be one factor in influencing the rising price.
Others have described the eventual ruling on the ETF as a “defining moment” for bitcoin in 2018, after a challenging year so far for prices. If approved, the ETF news is likely to send bitcoin further still, and back closer to the levels seen in 2017.
The rise in price coincided with an increase in market cap of $11 billion in just a single hour, taking the total market cap for bitcoin to $221 billion.