Bitcoin (BTC), the flagship cryptocurrency, is approaching its all-time of nearly $20,000 which it set back in December 2017 during the historic crypto market bull run. Bitcoin peaked at $18,950 this past week, and has begun to move higher toward its new year-to-date highs at $19,400+.
OKCoin notes in a crypto market update that Bitcoin is now only a few percent shy of hitting its all-time high of $19,783 (although this figure varied depending on the trading platforms with Gemini reporting a BTC price of $19,999 in December 2017). Over this past weekend, the leading digital currency was rapidly fluctuating between the lows and highs, and failed to make a break decisively in either direction (positive or negative), OKCoin confirmed in its report.
According to the exchange’s report, digital asset analysts are “optimistic” that Bitcoin will reach new all-time highs in the coming days as the BTC price looks to “turn $19,000 into support.”
The report added:
“Altcoins (or alternative coins besides Bitcoin), especially 2017-era coins such as XRP and ETH, came into their own this past week. XRP has gained 80% in the past three days while ETH has gained approximately 25%. Bitcoin’s weekend consolidation has given some time for capital and attention to cycle from it to these altcoin plays.”
“Many [crypto industry participants] also see this as a sign that there has been an influx of retail participants, referencing the fact that many of these investors have likely been quick to jump for coins they recognize from the previous bull market such as ether and XRP. Some also suggest that since XRP and ETH were lagging Bitcoin, they are finally catching up now.”
Jason Lau, COO at OKCoin, noted that Bitcoin’s recent price movements have begun to “snowball” in that as the BTC price has surged, it has led to a lot more attention from media outlets across the globe. This may lead to further capital inflows as investors that initially felt that Bitcoin was just a fad may return to the market given the current situation.
Jason also mentioned that the increase in the open interest of the BTC futures market, along with a “risk-on sentiment” as seen by bullish price action in stock markets, indicates that Bitcoin “remains very bullish.”
Ari Paul, CIO at BlockTower Capital, remarked:
“For most of this rally, we’ve seen a clear pattern of algorithmic style buying during US hours and flat activity during Asia hours. Those are largely HNWs (high net worth individuals) buying large amounts facilitated by algos.”
As can be confirmed with historical cryptocurrency volatility indicators, BTC’s volatility is quite low (relatively) even though there’s been strong upward price momentum.
The report from OKCoin points out that “for the most part, the past six weeks have been filled with two types of price action: strong moves higher and flat periods of consolidation.”
Paul claims that over-the-counter (OTC) trading desks that need to accumulate crypto-assets for their customers are using certain algorithms or a TWAP bid so that capital can keep flowing in consistently, preventing BTC from making significant downward movements.
Paul further noted:
“I’ve been on a number of calls in the last few weeks with billionaire hedge fund managers discussing [Bitcoin].”
He claims that BTC might be benefiting from an increase in interest from investors looking to hedge their investment portfolios during these uncertain times.
“These buyers are only interested in BTC and they’re buying on a monetary narrative. A blend of, ‘this hedge’s inflation and fiat depreciation’ and ‘It’s an under-owned (store of value) SoV likely to appreciate by multiples even if only because other portfolios add a small %’.”