On Tuesday, February 13th, the price of Bitcoin (BTC) crossed the coveted $50,000 mark for the first time in more than two years as the performances of the recently approved spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and the upcoming BTC supply halving in April helped lift investors’ confidence.
The apex cryptocurrency has enjoyed a strong run in recent months, mostly due to expectations that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would soon allow the creation of ETFs tracking its price. Such a product would also expose mainstream investors to Bitcoin without them having to buy or store it.
Bitcoin Crosses $50,000 For The First Time Since Late 2021
Last month, the SEC greenlit ten BTC-focused ETF applications from several big players in the traditional and crypto industry, such as BlackRock, ARK 21Shares, Fidelity, Grayscale, and Valkyrie, among others.
Despite the anticipation, the event failed to propel BTC’s price to the heights investors had imagined. Before the ETFs were listed on US stock exchanges, many market experts warned of a “sell-the-news” event where the asset would lose its gains as investors rushed to cash in on the hype.
Bitcoin briefly declined close to the $38,000 range – its lowest valuation in three months – before rallying about 25% since January 22.
The price of the world’s most-traded cryptocurrency reached a session high of $50,328 yesterday, its highest level since late 2021, according to data by Bloomberg and Trading View.
Investor Hopes Renewed As Bitcoin Halving Event Closes In
The occasion holds significance because Bitcoin has attained the $50,000 level roughly two months ahead of its block reward halving. Investors now anticipate the leading crypto asset to make a run for its all-time high of $69,800, which was last seen on November 8, 2021.
Market observers are increasingly optimistic about the outlook.
Fadi Aboualfa, head of research at digital asset custodian firm Copper.co, said enthusiastic buyers are bringing in more enthusiastic buyers to push Bitcoin’s price upwards.
He highlighted that the cryptocurrency already has momentum on the back of several green weeks and has a “large chance” of going higher when the markets start to notice upward movements similar to last week. Bitcoin gained 10% in value over the last seven days.
Bitcoin Is On The Road To Recovery Following 2022’s Crypto Winter
However, the cryptocurrency remains well below its all-time high from November 2021, but the rally marks a heartfelt moment for the crypto market following a series of high-profile scandals and collapses in recent years that brought the sector to its knees.
In March 2022, Terraform Labs’ algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD lost its dollar peg to become obsolete. The token’s crash resulted in investors losing $60 billion and the market falling below the trillion dollar valuation.
Do Kwon, the founder of Terraform Labs, went into hiding, leading South Korean and US authorities to go on a hunt for him. He was finally caught in Montenegro attempting to leave the country with a forged passport. Kwon is looking at extradition to either the US or South Korea to face trial.
Later that year, FTX, once the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, went under after its executives mismanaged $10 billion worth of investor and customer funds for personal gains. The case which prosecutors described as one of the biggest financial frauds in American history caused tremendous losses to crypto investors and the market as a whole, resulting in BTC falling to the $15,000 range.
FTX’s founder and former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) was arrested by authorities in the Bahamas, where the company was headquartered. He was extradited to the US and faces up to 110 years in prison for his crimes, which include money laundering, campaign financing, and securities fraud, among others.
Last November, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, the co-founder and CEO of Binance – the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange – stepped down from his role as chief executive after he and his company pleaded guilty to violating federal anti-money laundering laws.
CZ, who is a resident and citizen of the United Arab Emirates, could face up to 18 months in prison if proven guilty. Binance had earlier reached a settlement agreement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) for $4 billion to drop criminal investigations against it.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at $50,042 – up 4% in 24 hours.