From a 2018 low point, of just over $100 billion total market capitalization over the weekend, cryptocurrencies have rebounded nearly 14% to Tuesday's highs. Image: iStock
Image: iStock

Following what many have referred to as a crypto winter, markets finally rallied this week as Bitcoin saw a spurt that added US$1,000 to its price in just over one hour on Thursday.

The movement has lifted all crypto-currencies, some by as much as 50%, and many are now hoping the big bear run is finally over.

After days of stagnation, with the Bitcoin price hovering just under $7,000 on Thursday, the coin rose from $6,850 to $7,800, with a record $1.2 billion traded over a single hour. Total trading volume for Bitcoin almost doubled from a lackluster $5 billion to $9.2 billion, where it currently remains.

The rally has had a positive effect on all crypto-currencies with many of the altcoins trading double digit percentages higher on Friday. Total market capitalization has climbed above $300 billion for the first time this month and many investors will be hoping the bearish pressure of 2018 has finally been exhausted.

Geopolitical tensions between the US and Russia may have had an impact as investors become reluctant to put their money into dollar-related assets. News that institutional heavyweights including George
Soros, the Rockefeller Group and the Rothschild family are entering the crypto industry probably have added to the positive market sentiment.

Trade is still dominated by Asian nations with Japan and South Korea leading Thursday’s charge and crypto exchanges in the region – such as Binance, Upbit, OKEx, Huobi, bitFlyer and Bithumb – controlling the lion’s share of the total trade volume in Bitcoin and altcoins. US exchange Bittrex opened its digital doors to new registrations once again this week, but was overwhelmed by demand and had to temporarily suspend them.

Ethereum, which has taken a beating over the past two months, has also finally shown some positive momentum, increasing almost 33% over the week from a low of $368 to about $485 where it currently
trades. When Bitcoin rallies most of the altcoins are usually pulled up with it, in a cycle that has been repeated endless times over the past six months or so.

The crypto mood seems to be a positive one once again. And as governments and central banks now seemingly accept that digital currencies are here to stay and start rolling out regulatory frameworks and security measures to protect investors, this can only be another good sign for the industry in general.

Crypto has been long overdue some good news in 2018.

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