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Why Bitcoin Is Surging Despite Crypto Industry Woes

In the backdrop of recent upheavals and debates surrounding the cryptocurrency sector, Bitcoin, the largest digital currency, is experiencing a resurgence. Its value has surged to nearly $42,000, marking a significant milestone as it crossed the $40,000 threshold for the first time in 19 months.

This resurgence comes amid the sector’s uncertainties, notably since the dramatic downfall of the FTX crypto exchange last year, culminating in the conviction of its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, on seven counts of fraud in November. Additionally, Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, agreed to a $4.3 billion settlement last month, acknowledging its breach of U.S. laws related to money laundering and sanctions violations. Binance’s CEO, CZ, also pleaded guilty to a federal charge and resigned from his position as CEO.

Despite these scandals, Bitcoin has witnessed a remarkable 150% increase in value this year, although it remains below its peak of around $69,000 in late 2021. Originating in 2009, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, and while there are more than 11,000 cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin remains the most valuable in dollar terms and boasts the largest market capitalization among digital assets, according to CoinGecko data.

Various factors are contributing to the current upswing in Bitcoin’s value, including the anticipation of regulatory approval for major investment companies to offer spot Bitcoin ETFs. These ETFs are similar to pooled investment assets that may be traded as are stocks. They are expected to be approved by federal authorities in January 2024 and might greatly improve accessibility for crypto investors.

Yiannis Giokas, Moody’s senior product director, suggests that with more managers venturing into the spot Bitcoin ETF market, both institutional and retail investors, including the more conservative ones, may find a heightened level of comfort in investing in this domain. Furthermore, Bitcoin prices are benefiting from a prevailing sentiment on Wall Street that the Fed, having concluded its benchmark interest rate increases amid receding inflation, might even consider relaxing monetary policy by mid-2024 to maintain economic stability. When interest rates decline, investors tend to gravitate toward riskier assets, such as cryptocurrencies.

Greg Magadini, Amberdata’s director of derivatives, notes that lower interest rates are viewed as favorable for Bitcoin. Giokas is upbeat, seeing 2024 as a potentially key year for Bitcoin, owing to its role as a proxy for the entire crypto industry. He notes that past tendencies, such as Bitcoin reaching $40,000 in 2021 before a bull run, contribute to the rational anticipation of another market uptick.

The uptick in the price of Bitcoin is likely to motivate entities such as Stronghold Digital Mining Inc. (NASDAQ: SDIG) to ramp up mining efforts in order to benefit from the rising prices of the cryptocurrency.

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