Bitcoin’s price has experienced a notable surge on the first day of 2024, reaching heights not seen in nearly two years. Over the past 24 hours, Bitcoin gained 7.2%, hitting an intraday high of $45,498 during the Tuesday morning Asian trading session. This uptick in price marks the highest level for the cryptocurrency since March 2022 and places Bitcoin only 34% below its all-time high of $69,000 recorded in November 2021.
Drivers of Bitcoin’s Price Surge
The surge in Bitcoin’s price is being attributed to several factors, including speculation and excitement surrounding the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of Gemini, hinted at Bitcoin’s potential as a leading asset for the year, mirroring sentiments from the previous year. Caitlin Long, CEO of Custodia Bank, also echoed this optimism about Bitcoin’s performance.
Trader and analyst “Nebraskangooner” suggested that if the momentum continues, Bitcoin could target the $48,000 mark.
Spot ETF Hype
Much of the current momentum in Bitcoin’s price is linked to the anticipation of spot ETF approvals. Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino indicated that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is still processing paperwork for these ETFs, with a potential announcement expected towards the end of the week. Crypto YouTuber Lark Davis also hinted at rumors of an imminent ETF approval.
Max Keiser, a well-known Bitcoin advocate, expressed a bullish outlook, emphasizing Bitcoin as a safe haven amidst other overbought or bubble markets.
Potential ETF Approval Dates
Experts in ETFs are closely watching January 10 for possible ETF approvals, although an announcement from the SEC could come as early as the end of this week.
Impact on Crypto Markets
Bitcoin’s surge has positively influenced the total market capitalization, which reached its highest level since May 2022 at $1.82 trillion. The crypto markets are now down by only 40% from their peak in November 2021, when the total market cap exceeded $3 trillion.
Other Cryptocurrencies Riding the Wave
Alongside Bitcoin, Ethereum and other altcoins such as Solana, Cardano, Avalanche, Polkadot, and Chainlink have also seen significant gains. Ethereum, in particular, recorded a 4.7% increase, reaching $2,385 at the time of writing.
This rally in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies marks a strong start to 2024, driven by speculative enthusiasm and potential regulatory developments in the crypto market.