Bitcoin Defies Expectations as It Hits a Record High

Cryptocurrency reaches $69K
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2024 10:10 AM CST
Bitcoin Surges to a Record High
An advertisement for Bitcoin cryptocurrency is displayed on a street in Hong Kong in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)

The roller coaster of bitcoin continues, this time with a high: The cryptocurrency reached a record-high price of $69,000 on Tuesday, reports the Wall Street Journal. The outlet cites Dow Jones Market Data, but the high mark differs slightly depending on the outlet. The New York Times, for example, cites a slightly lower record of $68,800. Regardless of the specifics, bitcoin is indisputably booming in record territory.

  • Big rebound: It's a "remarkable comeback" given that the price crashed below $20,000 in the aftermath of the FTX collapse in 2022, per the Times. The price is up 300% since then, and it's up from $40,000 at the end of last year. The rally has defied analyst expectations, according to the Journal.
  • Two factors: A report at CNBC cites two main factors: the SEC's recent approval of investment vehicles known as bitcoin "spot" ETFs, which have given crypto more mainstream credibility, and an upcoming bitcoin "halving." CoinDesk, meanwhile, cites a "continuing massive wave of buying" of those spot ETFs as the most important catalyst. Essentially, they allow ordinary investors to buy bitcoin through brokerage accounts instead of riskier cryptocurrency exchanges.

  • What's a halving? "The adjustment, which happens every four years, cuts in half the number of bitcoin that can be unlocked by miners," explains the Journal. "The theory is that the halving would limit the supply of bitcoin, making it more of a store of value." Put another way, the halving "is designed to create a scarcity event around the asset," per CNBC.
  • Euphoria: "Bitcoin reclaiming its all-time high yet again shows it is never going away," Alex Thorn of Galaxy Digital tells CNBC. "In its 15 years of existence, bitcoin has seen four 75% [plus] drawdowns, and each time it has come roaring back." Adds Nathan McCauley of Anchorage Digital, per the Times: "This is just the beginning of this bull market. The best is yet to come."
  • Not so fast: The Times notes that ongoing court cases brought by the SEC threaten to crimp the ability of crypto companies to operate in the US. "There's no inherent value," says former SEC official John Reed Stark. "There's no proven track record of adoption or reliance."
(More bitcoin stories.)

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