Market movers: Bitcoin regains $20,000 as ether soars 15%

Quick Take

  • Bitcoin was trading at $20,666, while ether was up 15% at $1,537.
  • The global crypto market cap was trading above $1 trillion again on Wednesday. 

Ether soared 14% and bitcoin climbed back above $20,000 for the first time since early October as crypto markets rose amid fading expectations of further aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

Bitcoin was trading at $20,666 today, up over 7% in the past 24 hours, according to data via Coinbase, having regained the $20,000 mark on Tuesday.

Ether's gains were even more pronounced as Ethereum's native coin gained 14.9% to trade at $1,537, according to data via Coinbase. Ether hadn't traded above $1,500 since The Merge

Tuesday's price moves resulted in a flood of trade liquidations, with $686 million in short liquidations on Tuesday — $519 million of which occurred on FTX, according to The Block's Data Dashboard. 

While bitcoin has held the line during some material Nasdaq sell-offs recently, it's encouraging to see it rally on a risk-positive day, said Strahinja Savic, head of data and analytics at FRNT Financial.

"That said, from a technical perspective, the move requires more context. It’s entirely possible there are some ‘holdout’ sellers. In other words, speculators that entered the market in 2021 or later have been dying for a slightly higher exit from the recent range of around $19,500," he added. "We’ll find out in the days to come and traders are particularly focused on the top end of the multi-month range at $25,000."

Other speculators have attributed the rise in prices to easing Fed rate hike expectations and a weakening U.S. dollar. The Fed is expected to rise rates by 75 basis points next week, bringing the target rate to 3.75-4% from 3-3.25%.

Meanwhile, the Dollar Index — a measure of the value of the U.S. dollar relative to a basket of foreign currencies — is trading around 110, its lowest level since Oct. 5. Bitcoin's price in dollars will naturally rise as the U.S. currency weakens. 

The global crypto market cap was back above $1 trillion on Wednesday, according to The Block's data dashboard, after struggling to maintain this position consistently over the past three months. 

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