Bitcoin broke through the US$24,000 price ceiling for the first time in two weeks to reach its highest price since mid-August in Thursday morning trading in Asia, as investors liquidated almost US$70 million of mostly short-position bets, according to data aggregator GlassNode. The short positions, or bets the price of Bitcoin would fall, had grown following a series of U.S. regulatory crackdowns this month on crypto services. Ether rose with the rest of the top 10 non-stablecoin cryptocurrencies, with Solana leading the gains.
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- Bitcoin rose 9.4% in the last 24 hours to trade at US$24,318 as of 8 a.m. in Hong Kong, bringing its gains over the past seven days to 6%, according to CoinMarketCap data. Ethereum rose 7.5% to US$1,674, a total gain of 1.4% for the week.
- Solana jumped 9.4% to US$23.88, up 2.9% for the past seven days. Cardano added 8.3% to US$0.41, a weekly gain of 6.1% following the successful deployment of the network’s Valentine upgrade yesterday. The upgrade aims to make it easier for developers to build cross-chain applications on the Cardano blockchain.
- BNB rose 7.1% to US$317.39. The token is still down 3.2% after the New York Department of Financial Services told Paxos Trust Co. to stop issuing the U.S. dollar-pegged Binance USD (BUSD) stablecoin. BUSD is issued through a collaboration with Paxos and BNB’s issuer Binance Global Inc., which runs the world’s largest crypto exchange.
- The total crypto market capitalization in the 24 hours rose 6.9% to US$1.10 trillion, the highest since mid-August, with total trading volume up 7.9% to US$63.61 billion.
- U.S. equities rose on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1%, the S&P 500 Index added 0.3% and the Nasdaq Composite Index finished the day up 0.9%.
- Wednesday’s gains follow the release the day before of January’s Consumer Price Index that showed prices rose 0.5% for the month and 6.4% year-on-year. While these figures were slightly higher than the expected monthly increase of 0.4% and annual 6.2%, they do show that inflation has followed a downward trajectory for the past several months in the world’s largest economy.
- The year-on-year CPI in December came in at 6.5% from the 7.1% recorded in November, which in turn declined from October’s 7.7% and 8.2% in September.
- The Fed, which has said it wants inflation back in the 2% range, has raised interest rates multiple times since last March to reverse the inflation surge.
- Analysts at the CME Group predict a more than 90% chance that the Fed will raise rates by a further 25 basis points at its meeting next month. U.S. interest rates are currently at 4.5% to 4.75%, the highest in 15 years, and Fed officials have repeatedly indicated they could raise rates to as high as 5% to get inflation back to the central bank’s target range.