Bitcoin’s rebound continued on Tuesday, carrying the largest cryptocurrency above US$8 000 for the first time in two months and leading a revival among digital currencies that have been under pressure for much of the year.
The most-followed crypto asset jumped as much as 5% to $8 083.95 during London trading hours, according to composite Bloomberg pricing. Rival tokens ether, litecoin and ripple rallied as much as 7.6%. While bitcoin last breached $8 000 in May, it’s still about 17% below its high for that month.
With the latest gains, the total value of cryptocurrencies worldwide is again approaching $300-billion, according to data on almost 1 700 coins followed by Coinmarketcap.com. Bitcoin still remains almost 60% down its peak of almost $20 000 in December.
“We’ve been in depressed levels for the last six months, so it’s really one way from here, which is up,” said Timothy Tam, CEO of CoinFi, a cryptocurrency data analysis company, in a phone interview from Hong Kong. “The timing is always difficult to predict but I think we’re at the start of a secular bull market.”
Optimism over bitcoin improved after a host of regulators and central banks addressed the nascent industry over the past two months, yet fell short of trying to stunt it. Prices were supported after a report that BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, was studying whether to invest in bitcoin futures, and media have pointed to sentiment underpinned by reports of a possible exchange-traded fund holding bitcoin.
There’s also renewed optimism after Bitmain, the cryptocurrency mining rig maker, completed another funding round, Tam said. The company was reported by Caixin to have raised $300-million to $400-million at a valuation of about $12-billion.
The cryptocurrency space has otherwise struggled this year, as the industry grapples with increased regulatory scrutiny around the world as well as security concerns, with hacks a persistent problem for exchanges. Thieves made off with almost $500-million worth of tokens from Japanese exchange Coincheck in January, while most recently two Korean crypto bourses suffered cyberattacks in June. — Reported by Eric Lam, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP