Bitcoin prices came under pressure in 2022 after the collapse of the algorithmic stablecoin terraUSD and subsequent bankruptcy filings from lender Celsius and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.
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Bitcoin rose 8% on Friday to break again above the $20,000 mark as the US dollar weakened and stocks jumped.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency was trading at $20,741.55 around 6 AM ET, after dropping to its lowest level since mid-June earlier in the week.
Other cryptocurrencies rose including ether, which was up around 4%. The total cryptocurrency market cap has once again jumped above $1 trillion.
The latest Bitcoin bullish trend was caused by slight weakness in the US Dollar which has seen an amazing rally this year. The US Dollar Index, which measures the US currency against a basket of other currencies, was down about 1% on Friday morning.
US stock indexes closed higher on Thursday and futures were higher on Friday. Bitcoin is closely correlated with US markets which often rise when stock indices rise. Bitcoin also tends to rise when the dollar weakens.
Bitcoin has been trading in the $18,000-$24,000 range since June and hasn’t been able to break out of this pattern.
Vijay May, vice president of corporate and international development at crypto exchange Luno, said Friday’s rally could be a “bearish retest” of $22,500 to $23,000.
“So unless it breaks through this level convincingly and closes above it, I still believe that this is a bearish rally that could see further divergence and pullback,” Aiyar said.
Bitcoin has been hit hard this year and is down more than 60% from its November high as the Federal Reserve aggressively raised interest rates to take the shine off risky assets like cryptocurrencies.
The cryptocurrency market has also been hit by failed projects and high profile bankruptcies that have spread across the industry.
Ethereum integration and inflation in focus
Crypto markets were expecting a A major network upgrade to Ethereum called consolidation, which proponents say will make the blockchain more efficient.
The merger is expected to be completed by mid-September.
In the run-up to the event, the price of Ether, the original token of Ethereum, greatly outperformed Bitcoin.
Financial markets are also looking for signs of slowing inflation when the US CPI is released next week. Investors are also watching for signs of the Federal Reserve’s rate hike path.
On Thursday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said he was “deeply committed” to fighting inflation, citing the possibility of further rate hikes.
If inflation subsides and with anticipation around an Ethereum merger, Yuya Hasegawa, crypto market analyst at Japanese crypto exchange Bitbank, said bitcoin could test the $22,000 level, but he also provided a warning.
“Given what some Fed members, including Chairman Powell, have said this week, a lot of optimism could be dangerous,” Hasegawa said in a note on Friday.