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Bitcoin blows past its previous 2020 high while ether’s crypto market share dips from its 2020 high in September.
Bitcoin’s price has been on a tear this week, rising for the third straight day and hitting as high as $12,916 on spot exchange Bitstamp on Wednesday. The recent development from payments firm PayPal confirming it will incorporate crypto for its users and merchants helped sparked the record 2020 high for the world’s oldest cryptocurrency, at $12,709 as of press time.
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“PayPal dropped the most important piece of news for large retail adoption this year, full support for bitcoin,” noted Henrik Kugelberg, an over-the-counter crypto trader based in Sweden. PayPal’s stock price (NASDAQ: PYPL) is also hitting record highs in 2020 and is up 92% this year so far.
The potential for bitcoin to be inserted further into consumer finance is what is helping its bull run, noted Zac Prince, CEO of crypto lender BlockFi. “This coalescing of fintech and bitcoin is yet another bullish development for investors,” he said. “It’s going to be an exciting 12 months ahead as bitcoin continues to expand further into consumer finance.”
It is not just the PayPal news helping bitcoin trend higher, noted Micah Erstling, a trader at GSR. “It’s promising to see bitcoin holding above the $12,000 mark with continued institutional interest and wider regulated adoption taking place,” Erstling told CoinDesk. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on central bank digital currencies (CBDC) “clearly demonstrates that digital assets are being taken seriously, while Square and PayPal headlines are fueling a better digital ecosystem via payments and treasury.”
The last time bitcoin hit this price level was back on July 10, 2019. The overall excitement has led to volume on major USD/BTC spot exchanges Wednesday that were much higher than normal, at $1,165,166,691 as of press time. In fact, the last time volume was so high was back on Sept. 4, when daily volume was $1,089,417,516.
Several market analysts see bitcoin heading much higher before 2020 is over, including Katie Stockton, a technical analyst for Fairlead Strategies. “The breakout in July put the next major resistance on the chart at the 2019 high, aligned with a long-term Fibonacci retracement level near $14,000, she said. “We think a test of this level is likely in the months ahead.”
Constantin Kogan, a partner at cryptocurrency fund-of-funds BitBull Capital, echoed that sentiment. “Bitcoin has a good chance of reaching its $14,000 resistance mark for about a two-times gain this year as the market hasn’t fully absorbed all the positive news.”
As for derivatives, bitcoin open interest on CME, a venue for sophisticated investors that is often used to hedge risks, has been on an uptrend, noted William Purdy, a derivatives trader and founder of analysis firm PurdyAlerts.
“Futures open interest rising as price rising is a bullish trend that suggests the trend will likely to continue as fresh money is seen entering the market,” said Purdy. “CME volume surging shows strong institutional interest.”
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However, quant trader QCP Capital highlighted some 2020 uncertainty still ahead in its investor note Wednesday. “We look to the U.S. elections as a medium-term risk still. With all the regulatory reminders we’ve already had this month, anything emanating from that department around election time would be a major cause for concern.”
Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was up Wednesday trading around $391 and climbing 6.2% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).
After hitting a 2020 high of 14% on Sept. 1, ether’s share of the cryptocurrency market cap has declined. A measure of an asset versus the larger crypto market capitalization, “dominance” is a metric traders watch to gauge sentiment. As of press time, the number was at 11.7% Wednesday.
Despite the drop, George Clayton, managing partner at investment firm Cryptanalysis Capital, doesn’t put too much stock in ether’s dominance decline and remains ebullient on decentralized finance, or DeFi, deployed on the Ethereum network. “DeFi has Ethereum going gangbusters – lots of utility going on,” he said “I cannot be bearish ETH.”
Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are all green Wednesday. Notable winners as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):
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