Bitcoin bursts above $66,000

Published March 5, 2024
The cryptocurrency last hit a record $68,999.99 in November 2021.—Reuters
The cryptocurrency last hit a record $68,999.99 in November 2021.—Reuters

LONDON: Bitcoin rallied to a two-year high on Monday, breaking above $66,000 as a wave of money carried it within striking distance of record levels.

The price hit a session high of $66,240, up 5.4 per cent in Europe, having already hit a new two-year high in Asian trading.

The largest cryptocurrency by market value has gained 50pc this year and most of the rise come in the last few weeks where inflows into US-listed bitcoin funds have surged.

Spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds were approved in the United States earlier this year. Their launch opened the way for new large investors and has re-ignited enthusiasm and momentum reminiscent of the run up to record levels in 2021.

“The flows are not drying up as investors feel more confident the higher price appears to go,” said Markus Thielen, head of research at crypto analytics house 10x Research in Singapore.

Net flows into the 10 largest US spot bitcoin funds reached $2.17 billion in the week to Mar 1, with more than half of that going into BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust, according to LSEG data.

Smaller rival ether has hitched a ride on speculation that it too may soon have exchange-traded funds driving inflows. It’s up 50pc year-to-date and by Monday was trading at two-year highs, up 2.6pc on the day at $3,518.

The rally has come in tandem with records tumbling on stock indexes from Japan’s Nikkei to the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq and with volatility gauges in equities and foreign exchange turning lower.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2024

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