The cryptocurrency market has witnessed a significant surge, with Bitcoin, the pioneering digital currency, breaking the $38,000 barrier. This upward trend is largely attributed to the anticipation of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approvals and strategic acquisitions by MicroStrategy, a major corporate proponent of Bitcoin.
As of early Friday morning, Bitcoin was trading at $38,653.94, marking a notable 2.5% increase over the past 24 hours and a 3.3% rise over the week. This upward movement has been underpinned by a 24-hour trading volume of approximately $20.8 billion. The current circulating supply of Bitcoin stands at 19,557,800 BTC, contributing to a market cap of roughly $756.9 billion, as reported by CoinMarketCap.
Analysts and financial institutions are closely monitoring the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) stance on multiple spot Bitcoin ETFs. The likelihood of these approvals, as predicted by ETF analysts, stands at 90% by January 2024. Adding to this optimism, Standard Chartered has projected that Bitcoin could reach a staggering value of $100,000 by the end of 2024.
MicroStrategy's unwavering commitment to Bitcoin is also fueling the rally. The company's recent acquisition of an additional 16,130 BTC for approximately $593.3 million has increased its total Bitcoin holdings to 174,530 BTC, acquired at an average price of $30,252 per Bitcoin. Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy's co-founder, confirmed this development on social media, highlighting the company's significant influence in the cryptocurrency market.
October marked the beginning of Bitcoin's price rally, spurring speculations that it could surpass the $40,000 mark by the end of 2023. This speculation is further bolstered by the observed trend of substantial withdrawals of crypto assets from centralized exchange platforms. According to Glassnode, a blockchain data and intelligence provider, approximately 37,000 BTC, valued at around $1.4 billion, have been moved off exchanges since November 17. This trend indicates a growing preference among investors to take direct custody of their crypto assets, signifying a shift in investor behavior and confidence in the digital currency market.
The combination of regulatory developments, corporate investments, and changing investor strategies is shaping a dynamic and potentially transformative phase for Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency sector.