Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency market has been on a tear lately, rising some 38% over the last month as investors pile into bitcoin and some of its most popular alternatives including ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, EOS, and bitcoin cash.
The bitcoin price exploded at the beginning of the month, leaving traders and analysts unsure of what exactly caused the sudden upswing and causing many to doubt whether bitcoin, ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, EOS, and bitcoin cash would be able to hold on to their recent gains.
However, earlier this week, the total bitcoin and cryptocurrency market capitalization, the combined value of some 2,000 cryptocurrencies, hit another year-to-date high according to CoinMarketCap data, climbing to $186 billion, with bitcoin making up an eye-watering $90 billion of that—though the broader rally has been labeled “altcoin season” due to some of the double-digit gains many smaller cryptocurrencies have made.
This week’s continued bitcoin and altcoin price rally comes amid the launch of a Coinbase cryptocurrency card spending card in the U.K. and bullish comments from many bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry watchers and analysts, causing a surge in sentiment that’s allowed most major cryptocurrencies to maintain their new, higher prices.
“After the false breakout earlier this week, cryptos took a step down,” Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at brokerage eToro wrote in a note to clients. “The fact that we failed to go further up speaks volumes about the current appetite, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will go lower, as many bears have indicated.”
Ahead of bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency market hitting a new year-to-date high, technical data appeared to show bitcoin is at its most overbought since December 2017, when it hit its all-time high, with similar trading patterns preceding heavy sell-offs.
“In fact, in my view, the most likely scenario is that we now create a new range, or even, hopefully, a sustained stabilization … The market is clearly still excited,” Greenspan added.
The total bitcoin and cryptocurrency market cap spike hit as shortly after investment management firm BKCM’s Brian Kelly, a bitcoin and crypto industry commentator, told CNBC’s Fast Money that institutional adoption, coupled with a growth in crypto networks, will “without question” push bitcoin past its $20,000 high, set in late 2017, over the coming two years.