Bitcoin has skyrocketed over the month of May, reaching a market value of US$1.46 billion at one point on Tuesday.
On Tuesday (May 14), bitcoin surpassed US$8,000 after climbing 25 percent on Monday (May 13) alone. This is the first time since August 2018 the top cryptocurrency has reached this level.
Additionally, bitcoin’s market capitalization reached over US$1.46 billion as its price rose as high as US$8,265 on Tuesday, according to CoinMarketCap. The cryptocurrency’s market capitalization started at US$1.39 billion and trended upwards over the course of the day.
However, according to TechCrunch, many are questioning what is behind bitcoin’s recent price spike, with some pointing to trade recession fears in traditional markets, and others pointing to market frenzy.
Still others believe there is a “short squeeze” taking place. This means that short sellers betting against bitcoin have been forced to buy back their positions at market price, creating buying pressure.
Technical analysts are saying that bitcoin prices have broken key levels of resistance, specifically US$6,000, US$6,400 and $6,800. The cryptocurrency began the month of May at US$5,392.
In a report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Elmwood Asset Management, data shows that assets under management (AUM) inflows for crypto hedge funds have grown to a median of US$4.3 million. This is over triple the median US$1.2 million in AUM inflows seen in January 2018.
Surveying 100 hedge funds, the report further notes that the funds performed, on average, significantly better than bitcoin, with an average loss of 46 percent compared to bitcoin’s 72 percent decline in 2018.
The firms estimate there to be 150 crypto hedge funds in the marketplace.
On Tuesday, CoinDesk reported that an executive at TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) said that the company is getting an influx of interest for crypto, saying that 60,000 clients are interested in digital currencies. Thomas Chippas, CEO of ErisX, was quoted by the news outlet as saying there is investor demand for bitcoin futures that are physically settled.
Currently, Bakkt, a bitcoin-centered futures exchange, is in talks with the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). According to a Bakkt blog post, the exchange is working towards developing physically settled bitcoin futures, with an anticipated test date planned for July.
Meanwhile, also on Monday, Ice Futures filed with the CFTC for bitcoin futures contracts approvals. Its bitcoin futures are anticipated to begin trading sometime in 2019.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Dorothy Neufeld, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.