After weeks of floundering about in a decline, cryptocurrency markets gained $40 billion in two days. Bitcoin led the rally in crypto prices with two bumps in its price in less than five days. In the first instance, it vaulted 8.5% to $6408 in five hours on Friday night. But that was not the end of its rally. On Monday, it pushed another 4.4%, rising to $6,612.76 in less than three hours. As of this writing, it is trading at $6,452.96, up 10% from its low on June 24.
Ethereum’s ether and Ripple’s XRP displayed similar increases in their price trajectories. Considering the importance of these cryptocurrencies within the context of overall crypto markets, it is not surprising that other coins followed suit registering gains of between 5% to 10% in their price.
Analysts have been cautious in assigning probable reasons to bitcoin’s rally, partly because the cryptocurrency has had several false starts in price multiple times during its prolonged slump this year. The cause of bitcoin’s price increase plays an important role will be an important determinant on whether the effect is sustained or a dead cat bounce.
Here are two possible reasons for the jump in cryptocurrency markets.
This past week has seen a slew of positive press reports relating to the entry of institutional investors in cryptocurrency markets. Perhaps the biggest announcement was the launch of Coinbase’s custody solution. The service already has ten customers and a crypto hedge fund manager has predicted that custody solutions could bring a “wave of capital” into crypto markets.
Ripple’s XRP, which has been hammered by negative press reports, was the subject of a long feature in the New York Times in which Nathaniel Popper detailed Ripple’s attempts to gain mainstream cred through popular media. The Times article closely followed an earlier, extensive feature about blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the same publication’s business section.
While several EU governments and agencies have criticized bitcoin and cryptocurrencies for fostering criminal activity, researchers seem to be coming around to the idea of cryptos in the mainstream economy. An EU research group released a paper last week detailing challenges ahead to integrate cryptocurrencies into mainstream economies. More importantly, the paper took a conciliatory view of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies within national economies and suggested a regulatory regime that is “harmonized across governments.”
Increased Trading Volumes
The other possible reason for an increase in crypto valuations is an increase in trading volumes. According to CCN.com, there was a “solid increase” in trading volumes for major cryptos. Bitcoin trading volumes remain well over $4.6 billion and ether’s volume stabilized at $1.7 billion. The volume of trading between cryptocurrencies (as opposed to trading between cryptocurrencies and a “stablecoin” like Tether) is also increasing, signifying traders who are growing increasingly comfortable with such trades.
“Previously, even in strong corrective rallies, analysts stated that due to the low volumes, regardless of the optimistic momentum indicators, oscillators, and moving averages, the cryptocurrency market cannot find a firm base to surge up in value,” the publication stated and predicted an increase in trading volumes in the coming weeks.