It is spring in the middle of winter.
Bitcoin price, which floundered in the $7,000 range for most of December, is decisively marching towards $10,000 this month. The last time that it traded at that price level was in September last year. As of this writing, the original cryptocurrency is changing hands at $9,299.72 per pop, up approximately 3.2% from yesterday’s price.
The increase is even higher over the last three days, with a price jump of approximately 12%. On an overall basis, Bitcoin price has skyrocketed by approximately 31% since the month’s start.
Other indicators for Bitcoin are also on track. Transaction fees on its network and hash rates, the total amount of computing firepower devoted to Bitcoin, continue to remain stable. Volumes on its network have doubled.
According to commentators, the doubling of volumes is representative of Bitcoin’s status as a safe haven asset, presumably a reference to investor fears over the Corona virus outbreak in China. The outbreak, which is spreading across the world, has stoked investor fears that it could hamper growth prospects for the global economy. Stocks in major markets experienced their biggest monthly declines on Monday this week as investors pulled back.
Whether investor money made its money into Bitcoin and cryptoassets is an open question, however. Bitcoin enthusiasts and analysts claim the answer to that question is in the affirmative.
Mati Greenspan, analyst at Quantum Economics, writes that transactions on Bitcoin’s network are likely not being settled back to an actual wallet, meaning they are not being conducted by investors who are interested in holding onto the cryptocurrency for the long term. Instead short-term speculation, again presumably driven by traders who are looking for short-term profits, is driving price gains.
But this may just be a hypothesis. Given the relatively opaque nature of Bitcoin’s network, however, there is no conclusive evidence about the source or reason for price gains in Bitcoin’s network. Adam Vettese, analyst at eToro, writes that crossing $9400 could prove to be the next significant hurdle of resistance for Bitcoin price.
Meanwhile, the season of predictions for Bitcoin is upon us. Luno head of business Vijay Ayyar told CNBC that Bitcoin could double in value by the end of this year to approximately $16,000. For Nexo co-founder Antoni Trenchov, that might be a conservative estimate and he is predicting a $50,000 price target. Per usual, there are no fundamental or technical reasons for the predictions.