Late Monday, cryptocurrency markets surged higher, with bitcoin trading up more than 4.6% in the last 24 hours to above $30,000, according to CoinGecko data.
Bitcoin approached the psychologically significant $30,000 mark, while ether broke through the $1,900 barrier for the first time since August. Monday’s gains are part of a broader rise in cryptocurrencies that began at the start of the year and has been fueled by a slew of bank runs that have thrown into doubt the viability of centralized banking options. Bitcoin has gained 79% since the beginning of the year, while ether has gained 59%.
While major bitcoin indices have yet to print $30,000, bitcoin has reached that level on crypto exchanges Coinbase and OKX. It did not cross the critical level on the main cryptocurrency market Binance.
Monday’s trading session on Wall Street was a mixed bag, with US market indexes trimming losses as investors absorbed a new jobs report. Traders are also anticipating a week of new earnings and banking earnings reports. On the day, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite were slightly moved.
In the crypto markets, investors have been focusing on Ethereum’s so-called Shanghai upgrade, which is set to take effect on April 12. It has been perceived as a bearish event since it will allow users to unlock their ether and eventually sell into the open market.
Vance Spencer of Framework, a significant ether holder, observed that crypto may finally be decoupling from larger macro. “We’re going up because everyone larped as a macro economist for a full year while also forgetting to allocate to the asset class they spend 12 hours a day commenting on via crypto Twitter, and now they’re panicking,” he explained.
Rich Rosenblum, co-founder and president of GSR, a cryptocurrency market maker, attributed bitcoin’s surge to interest rate hikes, which “are no longer as viable as an option now that we are seeing the unexpected consequences of them, i.e. bank runs.”
“If forced to keep rates low, inflation could become unhinged, creating the ultimate bitcoin bull case,” he continued. Rosenblum also mentioned a desire for “de-dollarization,” implying that countries are purchasing gold and bitcoin in order to acquire independence from the United States.
“A few billion dollars is small on the global stage of sovereigns, but it can have a large impact on crypto, especially during a time of crimped liquidity,” he said.