LIVE – Updated at 12:15
The price of bitcoin is once again surging at the start of the week, amid a fresh wave of positive news in the crypto space.
The cryptocurrency reached above $57,000 on Monday to hit a fresh five-month high, taking its total gains for October to 32 per cent. It briefly dipped below $57,000 on Tuesday morning before continuing on its rally.
Other leading cryptocurrencies are yet to mirror bitcoin’s fortunes, with Ethereum (ether), Cardano (ada) and dogecoin all remaining relatively steady over the last week.
Bitcoin’s gains have pushed the overall crypto market cap above $2.3 trillion, overtaking the value of tech giants like Amazon, Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft. Only Apple is worth more than the cryptocurrency market, though only by less than $50 billion.
The recent surge has reinforced the beliefs of some crypto analysts, who predicted earlier this year that new record highs would be seen before the end of 2021.
We’ll have all the latest news, analysis and expert price predictions right here.
Five countries will accept bitcoin as legal tender in 2022, crypto boss predicts
11:27 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Following El Salvador’s pioneering Bitcoin Law, which made the cryptocurrency legal tender in the Central American country last month, there has been a lot of speculation over which countries might follow suit.
A bold new prediction has just come from Alex Hoeptner, the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Bitmex, who believes that at least five countries will adopt bitcoin by the end of next year.
Hoeptner says “all of them will be developing countries,” citing remittance fees, inflation and politics as the three main factors driving the adoption.
“Over the next year, and as El Salvador works out the kinks in its rollout, savvy politicians will be thinking of how they can take a similar path, and how it might benefit both them and their constituents,” he said. “What El Salvador did is take the first leap of faith, making similar moves by other countries much easier to consider.”
JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon says bitcoin is ‘worthless’, exposing stark lack of knowledge
09:57 , Anthony Cuthbertson
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon has said he believes bitcoin is “worthless”, while also revealing that his clients disagree.
He said that JPMorgan will provide customers “as-clean-as-possible access” to bitcoin, saying that his personal opinion on the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency is irrelevant when there is such strong demand for it.
It is not the first time the controversial CEO has spoken out against bitcoin, though his latest comments have revealed a fundamental misunderstanding about the cryptocurrency. He questioned whether bitcoin’s fixed supply – no more than 21 million coins will ever exist – will magically increase in the future, asking: “How do you know it ends at 21 million? You all read the algorithms? You guys all believe that? I don’t know, I’ve always been a skeptic of stuff like that?”
If he bothered to “read the algorithms” himself, he would realise that it is just five lines of code that limit bitcoin’s supply.
— Bitcoin (@Bitcoin) October 12, 2021
Bitcoin ETF speculation pushing price up?
09:31 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Widely reported speculation that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is interested in four separate bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) is being cited as one of the driving factors behind the cryptocurrency’s astonishing price rise since the start of October.
We’ve heard from Konstantin Anissimov, executive director of the crypto exchange CEX.IO, who says the rumours are just one of several factors pushing bitcoin’s price higher.
Here’s what he had to say:
There are a few reasons why bitcoin is currently experiencing a bullish surge.October has been a good month for crypto investors. El Salvador’s move to adopt bitcoin as legal tender has been seen in a positive light.El Salvador’s President, Nayib Bukele announced that they will use surplus funds from The Bitcoin Trust to build a veterinary hospital. The use of bitcoin for such a noble cause has surely played a role in public approval and a gain in price.Another reason for Bitcoin’s increase in value is JPMorgan’s recent note to investors – it said that the prized crypto asset seems to be a better hedge against inflation than gold. I believe the latest bitcoin rally is a direct result of inflation concerns and investors are using the cryptocurrency as a hedge against it. The US’s positive stance on cryptocurrencies in recent weeks is another contributing factor.The public sentiment is bullish at the moment and there appear to be no roadblocks in the near future. 2021 has been a topsy-turvy year for cryptocurrencies as is usually the case – we could be in for a good end to the year!
Mystery whale buys $1.6 billion of bitcoin
07:58 , Anthony Cuthbertson
A mysterious investor, or group of investors, has placed an order to buy $1.6 billion worth of bitcoin on a cryptocurrency exchange.
Such a large volume trade has inevitably contributed to bitcoin’s price surge, pushing it above $57,000 for the first time since May.
Ki Young, a crypto analyst and CEO of on-chain data firm CryptoQuant, speculated that traders may be taking on large positions ahead of a rumoured approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission of a futures-based bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). This kind of announcement would be huge for bitcoin, and would almost certainly lead to fresh new price highs.
Bitcoin price closing in on ATH as crypto market closes in on Apple
07:51 , Anthony Cuthbertson
Bitcoin has risen by nearly a third in value since the start of the month, with the price gains pushing the overall crypto market cap above the value of tech giants like Amazon, Alphabet (Google) and Microsoft.
The cryptocurrency market is currently worth $2.32 trillion, meaning only Apple is worth more at $2.36 trillion.
The market value of bitcoin alone is more than $1 trillion, meaning one more price rally could push it above silver. Some analysts and investors, such as MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor, believe the world’s most valuable cryptocurrency will one day “flip” gold, due to its inbuilt scarcity. That would put the price of a single bitcoin at around half a million dollars.
Hello and welcome…
07:35 , Anthony Cuthbertson
to The Independent’s live coverage of the crypto market. With another bull run seemingly underway, we’ll have all the latest news, updates and analysis throughout the week for bitcoin, Ethereum (ether) and other leading cryptocurrencies.
We’ll also be bringing you expert price predictions, as well as seeking to answer the question of whether we really are set to see a new all-time high for bitcoin within the next 10 weeks. It’s currently less than $7,000 away from hitting a new record, with its notorious volatility meaning such a jump could be achieved in just a few hours – though such a significant price move could also go the other way.