(P) Bitcoin surges past $15,000 to hit its highest level since January 2018
Why is its price soaring?
Bitcoin continued its weeks-long surge on Thursday, rising more than 8% to pass $15,000 for the first time since January 2018. The digital token's latest rally, more than 30% in the past month, comes as the outcome of Tuesday's US presidential election, when the election was uncertain.
With a high of more than $15,200 in Thursday trading, bitcoin hasn't sat at this level since the early stages of its late 2017 bubble unraveling when it topped out at just below $20,000. The cryptocurrency went on to fall as much as 80% from its peak over the ensuing year, bottoming out near $3,700.
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Late last month, Fairlead Strategies founder Katie Stockton said bitcoin was set to break above its $14,000 resistance level on "positive long-term momentum" and "room to overbought territory." Now, traders likely have their eyes set on clusters of resistance near bitcoin's all time high of just under $20,000.
"The breakout puts next and final resistance at the high from 2017 above $19,500," Stockton told Business Insider on Thursday, adding that it could consolidate sideways for a few weeks before reaching those levels.
"There are some signs of short-term upside exhaustion from an overbought/oversold perspective, supporting a few weeks of consolidation, but we would see this as healthy from a technical perspective," Stockton said.
Support for bitcoin is currently around the $12,500 level, Stockton added : there's even potential for bitcoin to surpass its all time high and surge past the $20,000 level, JPMorgan believes. The bank sees the potential for bitcoin to more than triple in the long run as it becomes a more acceptable alternative to gold among investors.
"The potential long-term upside for bitcoin is considerable as it competes more intensely with gold as an 'alternative' currency we believe, given that Millenials would become over time a more important component of investors' universe," JPMorgan said.
Bitcoin soared past $15,500 this week, hitting its highest level since January 2018, fueled by a cocktail of a weak dollar and acute uncertainty over the US political and economic outlook.
Bitcoin has risen 17% in the past week, hitting $15,527 as of 09:00 am ET on Friday. The price has gained almost 60% since the end of August and is up nearly 300% so far this year.
Projections of a declining dollar suggest that investors are looking to alternative investments - and that is fueling demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, he said. It has also pumped up the likes of gold, silver and other hard commodities, although not by nearly as much.
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