Bitcoin hits highest price in 21 months

Bitcoin surpassed $45,000 (R823,261) for the first time in nearly two years as anticipation of an approval of an exchange-traded fund investing directly in the biggest token intensified.

The cryptocurrency jumped as much as 4.3% to its highest level since April 6, 2022 and traded at $45,355 as of 12:25 p.m. Singapore time.

Other tokens also advanced with Ether, the second biggest, rising as much as 2.6%.

Bitcoin has risen over 20% since the start of December as a Jan. 10 deadline for the US Securities and Exchange Commission to give its blessing for a spot ETF Bitcoin draws closer.

There’s a fear of missing out among some traders in the US and Europe ahead of the looming approval and investors have started “buying on January 1, first thing New Year’s morning,” said Hayden Hughes, co-founder of social-trading platform Alpha Impact.

‘Nerves of Steel’

Options traders had been betting on Bitcoin hitting $50,000, riding on the spot ETF optimism.

A major correction is unlikely given the broader bullish sentiment and the upcoming halving, said Cici Lu McCalman, founder of blockchain adviser Venn Link Partners, referring to a process that cuts the quantity of Bitcoin that miners receive per block reward in half.

“I think traders would need nerves of steel to short BTC,” she said.

The halving – sometimes referred to as halvening – is planned for April and happens once every four years or so. The coin hit records after each of the last three halvings.

Bitcoin’s near 160% rebound last year partially repaired some of the damage caused by a precipitous 2022 crash that reverberated around the crypto industry.

The token outperformed global stocks and gold over the period but remains below its 2021 pandemic-era record of almost $69,000.

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Bitcoin hits highest price in 21 months