Bitcoin (BTC) broke above $44,000 for the first time since January 12, following the debut of the spot exchange-traded funds (ETF). The surge in price was attributed to increased accumulation by large holders and new all-time highs in US equity indices. BTC rose from $42,700 to as high as $44,300, marking its highest price in four weeks.
Analysts from Bitfinex suggested that the recent pressure on BTC prices could be due to increased selling by miners. However, the opposite dynamic seemed to have overwhelmed sellers, leading to the surge in price. Crypto analyst Ali Martinez also noted that bitcoin whales, or large investors, increased their asset accumulation. The number of bitcoin wallets holding over 1,000 tokens reached a multi-month high of 73, according to Glassnode data.
The positive performance of US stock markets also likely supported the rise in crypto assets. The S&P 500 closed at a record high, nearing the 5,000 level, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was close to its all-time high. The Nasdaq Composite continued to approach its record as well.
In addition to BTC, Ethereum’s ether (ETH) also experienced gains, surpassing $2,400 for the first time in two weeks. This was driven by renewed optimism surrounding spot ETFs. Asset managers Ark Invest and 21Shares amended their joint application to align with recently approved spot bitcoin ETFs, potentially to appease regulators. The updated filing also hinted at the possibility of staking some of the fund’s tokens to earn rewards.
Altcoins associated with Ethereum, such as Polygon’s MATIC, Optimism’s OPT, Arbitrum’s ARB, and Lido’s LDO, also saw gains ranging from 2% to 5%.
Overall, the surge in BTC and ETH prices, along with the increased accumulation by large holders, suggests growing conviction in further price gains. The positive performance of US equity indices and the optimism surrounding spot ETFs also contributed to the upward momentum in the crypto market.