The cryptocurrency market witnessed a significant uplift, with Bitcoin reaching a near 19-month high, indicative of a growing appetite for risk among investors. This surge in Bitcoin's value, which saw an increase of 1.6% to $38,337, has been ongoing since October, buoyed by the optimism surrounding the potential approval of a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF), which is expected to attract more capital investments into the digital asset sector.
Crypto-focused economist Noelle Acheson highlighted that the positive momentum in Bitcoin's value was bolstered by various factors throughout the year, including increasing expectations for a spot ETF, resolution of uncertainties around Binance, and the anticipation of more money printing in 2024. This rally positively impacted the shares of Bitcoin mining companies like Riot Platforms, Marathon Digital, and TeraWulf, which saw rises between 1.7% and 4%.
J.P. Morgan responded to this rally by increasing its price targets for several crypto mining companies, expecting a boost in profitability as Bitcoin's value climbs. This optimism extends beyond just miners, as Coinbase, a prominent U.S. cryptocurrency exchange, experienced a share price increase of about 2.5%, outperforming Bitcoin’s own growth rate, despite reporting a decline in trading volume earlier in the month.
However, it's important to note the cautionary perspective offered by Michael Elliott, a CFRA Research analyst, who pointed out that Coinbase and other crypto exchanges could face ongoing volatility due to potential legal challenges and upcoming regulations. This sentiment was echoed amidst the backdrop of the founder of the world's largest crypto exchange, Changpeng Zhao, stepping down and pleading guilty to U.S. anti-money laundering law violations.
In this dynamic environment, other significant gainers included U.S. software developer and Bitcoin investor Microstrategy, with a near 3.5% rise, and the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which added 2.1%