The price of the top cryptocurrency hit an all-time high of nearly $ 42,000 less than a week ago, before quickly falling back to around $ 30,000 – more than 20% less. But it has roared again in the past few days and is trading for just under $ 40,000 again. The cryptocurrency is clearly benefiting from the recent dollar weakness and the expectation that the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates near zero for a few more years. That confidence is strengthened by the fact that more mainstream financial institutions like BlackRock ( declare Bitcoin to be a gold version of the 21st century. Bulls also point out that )PayPal ( and )square ( Customers can buy and sell Bitcoin, and top investors like Mike Novogratz, Paul Tudor Jones and Stanley Druckermiller are backing the cryptocurrency. )
Interest from well-known investors and blue-chip companies is one of the reasons Bitcoin fans think the current rally is different from late 2017 – when prices rose to nearly $ 20,000 before they hit just a year later fell to around $ 3,500.
“In 2017, the increase was mainly driven by retail investors looking to make quick money. Now we can largely attribute the recent growth to substantial institutional exposure,” said Jai Bifulco, chief commercial officer at Kinesis, a gold and cryptocurrency company in one Email to CNN Business.
“However, cryptoassets are extremely volatile,” he added.
Bumpy road ahead, but prices could continue to rise?
That is certainly the case. Some experts believe that Bitcoin prices may have more leeway due to the Covid-19 crisis.
“Economic uncertainty due to the pandemic has led to an influx of investors looking to protect assets from traditional market slumps,” said Don Guo, CEO of Broctagon Fintech Group, a cryptocurrency exchange consultancy, in an email to CNN Business .
“As governments seek remedial action through monetary stimulus, investors are turning to Bitcoin to hedge against expected inflation,” added Guo.
Not everyone is convinced that the price can continue to rise.
“Bitcoin used to be easy to define as an online cash system, today it’s much more ambiguous,” wrote Alex Pickard, vice president at Research Affiliates and a former bitcoin miner, in a recent report. “Bitcoin, like gold, is a vehicle for speculation. It is not a vehicle for investment.”
Pickard added that “maybe [bitcoin] is just a bubble fueled by a frenzy of retail and institutional money out to get some of the action. “
Both can be true.
The recent spike in Bitcoin price may be a classic case of an asset running too high too quickly. But like with the Big Dot Coms like Amazon ( By the late 1990s, long-term investors who hold on may ultimately be rewarded – provided they can weather major slumps along the way. )