Bitcoin rises above $7,000, further fueling interest in cryptocurrency market

Rival coins Bitcoin Cash up 26%, and Litecoin and Ether both at least 12% higher

May 13, 2019 @ 1:41 pm

By Bloomberg News

Bitcoin jumped above $7,000 and didn't look back, as its longest winning streak since 2013 continued to rekindle the global cryptocurrency market.

Monday's 16% advance comes only a few days after the digital asset broke through $6,000 and looks set to boost investor interest in conferences on the technology underlying the biggest crypto asset that are taking place in New York this week. Bitcoin's latest surge happened on Saturday, when the two U.S. exchanges carrying futures are closed, making it potentially difficult for short sellers to cover their wagers.

(More: Fidelity to start trading bitcoin)

"Bitcoin is acting differently since moving above its 200-day moving average" and the gains are occurring on strong volume, Fundstrat co-founder Tom Lee, a noted bitcoin bull, wrote in an email. Blockchain Week is underway, co-sponsored by the New York City Economic Development Corp., and the Consensus forum is set to start, where people are "expecting a higher-quality conference," Mr. Lee said.

With fundamental analysts often struggling to explain crypto markets, traders have recently pointed to institutions increasingly embracing digital coins. The likes of Fidelity Investments plans to buy and sell bitcoin for institutional customers soon, and E*Trade is dipping into the trading space.

Earlier this month, the Bank of Canada and Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that they had sent each other digital currencies using blockchain technology.

The most well-known digital token rose to as high as $7,324.64, up 16% from Friday, according to composite prices compiled by Bloomberg at 7:52 a.m. New York time. Rival coins surged in a broad rally, with Bitcoin Cash up 26%, and Litecoin and Ether both at least 12% higher.

Hedge funds and other investors had increased their net short bet against bitcoin in the week through May 7, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commissions said Friday. When trading opened on Monday, futures traded on CME opened 12% higher.

While bitcoin has more than doubled from its post-crash low, the crypto space is by no means free of headaches.

(More: ETrade to add cryptocurrencies to platform)

Binance, a large crypto exchange, reported a hack of 7,000 bitcoins with about $40 million. The companies behind the digital exchange Bitfinex and the cryptocurrency Tether recently said that the so-called stablecoin is backed by cash and short-term securities only equal to 74% of the outstanding coins rather than completely pegged to the U.S. dollar.

And that's aside from the volatility — bitcoin peaked above $19,000 in December 2017 before crashing back to earth in the succeeding months.

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