The digital currency is on the rise again. Photo: iStock

Bitcoin is rising. Again. The Digital Assets Indices produced by MVIS estimates says that the overall crypto market is up by a whopping 75% so far in April.

Reuters reports that Bitcoin, after losing 50% of its value in the first quarter of 2018 – following that mesmeric 1,400% surge during 2017 – is on a sure but steady climb that sees it now sitting just above $9,000. Many in the market are now predicting – or should that be praying? – that this granddaddy of digital coins will soon be above $10,000 and beyond.

Nearly all currencies have seen gains, with something like $30 billion changing hands in the last 24 hours and the market capitalization for all digital currencies is now approaching the $500 billion mark. That means the combined market cap for crypto is bigger than Facebook’s.

So what’s driving the market?

According to some, the rise is to do with Russian oligarch money being shifted outside the reach of US sanctions. Perhaps or perhaps not. But there is, for certain, a movement of more “mainstream” money too.

Quartz writes that a recently published survey says about one in five institutional financial firms have plans to start buying and selling digital tokens within the next 12 months.

And Goldman Sachs looks set to get in the game too.

According to Business Insider, the American financial behemoth has just hired its first employee to focus exclusively on digital currencies as it looks at launching a live Bitcoin trading desk.

Justin Schmidt joins Goldman’s securities division as its first head of digital asset markets and British banking giant Barclays now seems set to do something very similar. And if these two do launch live crypto trading desks, many more will surely rapidly follow.

According to Forbes, the market upturn is in part due to the increased scrutiny of regulators globally, combined with the involvement in the market place of heavyweights George Soros and the Rockefeller family. It all brings necessary legitimacy and security, argues Forbes.

But for others, it’s still the world’s greatest “pump and dump” scam that’s based on nothing more than greed.

But whatever it all means, one thing is true. There will be a lot of people watching what this market does tomorrow. And for many days after that too.

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