Bitcoin rose on Wednesday morning in Asia to trade above US$30,500, as U.K. bank Standard Chartered’s Monday prediction for a Bitcoin rally continued to boost investor sentiment. Ether traded flat while most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged gains, with Solana’s SOL token leading the winners. U.S. equity futures moved higher in the Asia time zone on Wednesday ahead of the release of June inflation data.
Bitcoin rose 0.74% over the last 24 hours to US$30,608 as of 07:30 a.m. in Hong Kong, but still held a weekly loss of 0.63%, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Crypto investor optimism continues after Standard Chartered Bank’s Bitcoin projection on Monday that the coin would reach US$50,000 by the end of 2023 and US$120,000 in 2024.
“While predicting the timing of market moves is always tricky, the case for a significant increase in the price of Bitcoin in the foreseeable future is clear,” said Bradley Duke, founder and chief strategy officer of crypto ETP provider ETC Group.
“The supply-side of the equation remains famously fixed: the total amount of bitcoin is hard-capped at 21 million bitcoin, but the current news flow suggests that the demand-side is set to increase significantly,” Duke said.
“With Blackrock filing for a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the US, given their past success rate, the belief is that this application is likely to be approved. This will enable massive pent-up demand for Bitcoin in the US and elsewhere to finally be able to flow into the market, and it’s logical that the price of Bitcoin responds in a proportionate manner,” Duke added.
Elsewhere, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (Cboe) on Tuesday filed several amendments to its own spot Bitcoin ETF applications. It added surveillance-sharing agreements with the U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase. The move drove the latter’s share price to surge 9.78% on Tuesday.
Other factors are also contributing to a potential Bitcoin rally in 2024, according to Greg Moritz, co-founder at crypto hedge fund AltTab Capital. He noted that next year will be the Bitcoin “halving” event. This is a programmed occurrence in which the rate of new Bitcoin being produced is reduced by half, increasing scarcity.
“As scarcity increases and demand grows, assets generally rise in price,” Moritz said. “We’ve seen a very large uptick in interest from institutional capital, and when the smart money is getting into an asset class, it’s because they too see the potential for strong growth,” he added.
Meanwhile, Ether dipped 0.20% to US$1,877. Like Bitcoin, the second-largest cryptocurrency still has some losses to recover and is down 3.13% for the week.
Most other top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies logged gains in the past 24 hours with the exception of Ether, XRP and TRX. All three logged moderate declines within 0.35%.
Solana’s SOL led the winners, rising 3.11% to US$22.05 and jumping 13.67% for the week. The surge accompanies a growth in the Solana-based decentralized finance (DeFi) ecosystem. The Solana platform has seen its total locked value rise 8.3% since the start of July, according to DeFi data tracker DefiLlama.
“SOL has gained over 15% in the last seven days. While I remain dubious about its ability to truly become a leader in the smart-contract world again, it seems that traders see things differently or at least are willing to take a bet on the coin now being undervalued,” said Justin d’Anethan, head of APAC business development at Belgium-based crypto market-maker Keyrock.
Elsewhere, blockchain analytics firm Lookonchain reported on Wednesday that a so-called whale trader deposited more than 141,000 BNB tokens (US$35 million) to crypto exchange Binance. The move was a potential precursor to the Arkham (ARKM) token sale, which started on early Wednesday in Asia. The purchase has at least raised anticipation levels among investors prior to the event.
The total crypto market capitalization moved up 0.50% in the past 24 hours to US$1.19 trillion, while trading volume dropped 17.52% to US$27.46 billion.