Decrypt’s Art, Fashion, and Entertainment Hub.
Bitcoin squeaked briefly above $45,000 on New Year's Day, a view it hasn't enjoyed since April 2022, and echoing the rollercoaster of January that year, when the price of the world's leading cryptocurrency oscillated above the threshold three times within a matter of days, interleaved with dips as low as $36,000.
Bitcoin was last at $45,000 on April 5, 2022, and sunk as low as $15,742 on November 9, according to Coingecko. Its New Year's Day market cap exceeded $836 billion, seeing trading volumes of $22 billion.
At the time of writing, BTC is up over 171% compared to this time last year, rising more than 13 perccent over the past month, and up over 5% for the day. Bitcoin kicked off 2023 at under $17,000 per coin.
This year, it's the drawn-out anticipation of the approval of a Bitcoin spot ETF by the SEC that appears to be driving much of the upward movement. But many deadlines have come and gone with no formal action on any number of pending applications to offer a spot ETF. Could 2024 finally be the year it happens? And will the price of Bitcoin jump or plummet?
Big round numbers like $45,000 don't have any special significance except that they represent psychological barriers for investors. Reaching one tends to increase confidence, which spurs more trading, and could then create a flywheel effect—at least, that's what Bitcoin holders are hoping.
In the big picture, that means Bitcoin is edging closer to surpassing the high it saw last year when it started the year just shy of $50,000. BTC stayed mostly above $40,000 for a few months, but fell off a cliff after algorithmic stablecoin TerraUSD collapsed and set off a wave of liquidations and bankruptcies.
As the world's largest and oldest cryptocurrency continues its rally, its total value by market capitalization continues to balloon. Bitcoin at $855 billion surpassed Elon Musk's Tesla in terms of market cap a while ago, after leaping past the $750 billion mark, according to CompaniesMarketCap. It's now also flipped Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which commands a $774 billion market cap, and Meta Platforms (formerly known as Facebook), which stands at $815 billion.
Edited by Ryan Ozawa.