Bitcoin price: Strong gains may put new all-time highs in reach
Bitcoin seems to have shaken the mid-week sideways trade and looks poised to resume challenging its previous all-time high.
- Bitcoin moves upward after several days of consolidation.
- Analysts say Bitcoin doesn’t behave like a typical bubble.
- Comptroller of the Currency to step down week’s end.
Bitcoin is currently trading in the US$37,000 to US$38,000 range, according to Coinbase data at the time of writing. Bitcoin has traded in a huge range of 15.3% with the low being recorded a day ago at US$32,550 and the day’s trend very much being upwards.
After recording an all-time high nearing US$42,000 Bitcoin plummeted as low as US$31,000 before trading sideways during the week around 10% on either side of US$35,000. As the weekend approaches that sideways trajectory appears to be history.
Along with Bitcoin the rest of the market for digital assets is largely up with 40 or more of the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation showing gains. Among the top performers are 0x up by 20% and Polkadot up by 25%.
Bitcoin bubble or march to equilibrium?
The table shows a “selection of history’s largest financial bubbles”. The analysts at Man Institute say that the bubbles are one-offs like, for example, in the case of Tulips mania which was a favourite throw away for Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan.
There are other bubbles which can take years before they reach their peak price such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the lead up to the Great Depression, which took nearly 8 years to increase in price nearly 5.5 times from its original price according to information tabled in their report.
What the Man Institute analysts say is that the Bitcoin price “volatility” is a process of “price discovery” more like a “new asset class”. They say that each peak in the price of Bitcoin is not a bubble and the digital asset is not like the other bubbles mentioned in their report.
The analysts sum up by saying that the intense volatility around the price of Bitcoin isn’t a random bubble and that the price of Bitcoin will “eventually” stabilise and lend itself greater legitimacy in global financial markets.
Acting US Comptroller for the Currency steps down
Acting US Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks, an appointee of the Trump administration, is “expected” to step down from the position as the incoming Biden administration is sworn in on 20 January as reported by Politico.
Brooks yesterday penned an op-ed for the Financial Times in which he said that banking regulation is likely to be based on blockchain technology similar to decentralised finance blockchain algorithms. In the article, Brooks wrote that “Banking is headed down the same road. And it’s being driven by the technology behind decentralised finance, or DeFi.”
Brooks, who was General Counsel at Coinbase before being appointed as Comptroller of the Currency, has played a big role in shaping US regulation of digital assets. Some of the biggest impact has been around financial interactions with digital assets.
For example, financial institutions can now offer banking services to stablecoin issuers, integrate Bitcoin custody into their own service offerings, run nodes on blockchains and facilitate payments using stablecoins.
However, the most important regulatory innovation as Comptroller has been enabling digital asset-linked fintechs to acquire national banking charters. This change has reduced barriers to the national market for authorised deposit-taking, bypassing the need to apply for licensing on a state by state basis.
Three startups have applied for the charters: BitPay and Paxos, with Anchorage becoming the first national cryptocurrency bank approved by Brooks as the US Comptroller of the Currency.
Interested in cryptocurrency? Learn more about the basics with our beginner’s guide to Bitcoin, see how to keep your crypto safe with our end to end guide to cryptocurrency security and dive deeper with our simple guide to DeFi.
Disclosure: The author owns a range of cryptocurrencies at the time of writing