Bitcoin has again shot past $4,000 per bitcoin, giving fresh hope to long-suffering investors who have been stuck in a bear market for over a year—the second weekend in a row the bitcoin price has rallied.
The bitcoin price jumped from around $3,900 earlier today to over $4,100, according to the latest prices from Luxembourg-based bitcoin exchange Bitstamp, and pushed bitcoin’s market capitalization over $70 billion and the total value of all cryptocurrencies to over $140 billion.
Bitcoin’s sudden price leap comes after a week of positive bitcoin news, with the confirmation of Samsung’s latest crypto-wallet supporting phone, tech billionaires talking bitcoin up, and approaching network upgrades.
The bitcoin price has been stuck in a year-long bear market, but the bulls are back in town.Getty
Meanwhile, the price of ethereum has also shot up, rising some 6%. Elsewhere, Ripple’s XRP, litecoin, and EOS made strong gains, adding around 5% each.
The bitcoin price has struggled to break out of its long-running bear market so far this year, with investors and traders desperately trying to call a bottom to the tumbling market that’s seen the value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fall by more than $400 billion in a little over a year.
The bitcoin price hit an all-time of almost $20,000 in December 2017 but has been falling since then, dropping as low as $3,000 per bitcoin over the last few months.
“This entire rally seems to have been caused by a shortage in the supply of new ethereum,” eToro’s senior market analyst Mati Greenspan said in a note to clients yesterday. “This recent rally certainly has the big fish nibbling.
“We’ve been in the accumulation zone for a while now and this latest push off the floor might just be enough to bring the market out of a slump, but there are several technical levels that need to be broken before that happens.”
The ethereum network had, until the beginning of this year, been producing about 20,000 to 30,000 new ether per day. However, since the beginning of the year the amounts have been tapering off and last week was producing 13,000 per day.
The bitcoin price leaped higher earlier today, climbing back over the $4,000 mark.CoinDesk
Next week ethereum’s long-awaited Constantinople upgrade is due to go ahead next week, on February 27.
The upgrade, which will speed up processing times, improve the way the network monetizes data storage, and reduce mining rewards from three to two, is ethereum’s eighth hard fork.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have also been supported by a raft of bullish comments from the likes of Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and Tesla’s Elon Musk.
Earlier today eccentric millionaire John McAfee said he expects bitcoin to be worth $1 million in a little under two years.
“People are waking up to the fact that Bitcoin will be $1,000,000,” McAfee tweeted. “But when? ‘Someday’. ‘Maybe 5 years’. ‘Within a decade’. I’m the only one giving you a hard date: Dec 31st, 2020.”
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies jumped suddenly earlier today.CoinMarketCap
Bitcoin markets have also been enlivened recently by news U.S. bank J.P. Morgan is creating its own cryptocurrency to rival Ripple’s XRP.
The bank, which wants to use the private digital token to lower costs and speed up international transfers, has long been a critic of bitcoin and decentralized blockchains and the announcement has been taken as an endorsement of bitcoin’s underlying technology.