Bitcoin Hovers Near Yearly High as Halving and ETF Loom



Bitcoin held on Monday to most of the gains made over Thanksgiving week, with continued anticipation regarding the coin’s upcoming halving event and optimism surrounding the still-unconfirmed approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF keeping the cryptocurrency hovering near highs not seen in well over a year.

The world’s top cryptocurrency currently sits at $36,940 according to data from CoinGecko. That’s a slight 3.27% drop from Friday, when Bitcoin smashed through $38,000 for the first time since the crypto market’s collapse in May 2022.  

All in all, BTC appears to be generally accumulating—and retaining—value in anticipation of multiple events likely slated for the new year. 

In April, the cryptocurrency is set to undergo its latest “halving”, which will reduce the amount of BTC available to be claimed through Bitcoin mining by 50%. Given the likely proportional drop in new BTC flooding the market that the occasion is set to trigger, many anticipate the event will deflate BTC market supply, and therefore increase the coin’s price. 

Halvings will continue until no new BTC is produced, and the coin reaches a final supply of 21 million tokens. There are currently about 19.5 million BTC in circulation.

In the last week, other indicators have pointed to Bitcoin’s network health improving in the run up to April’s halving. The network’s hash rate hit 491 exahashes per second last week—an impressive computer power usage statistic that speaks to Bitcoin’s current high level of mining activity, and, correspondingly, safety. 

This increased hash rate is likely due to miners using new, more efficient machines purchased in anticipation of April’s halving, Bitcoin analyst Henrike Christin Müller previously told Decrypt

Further pushing Bitcoin’s encouraging price gains this last month have been persistent rumors that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might finally approve a spot Bitcoin ETF, which would allow traditional financial institutions and investors to gain exposure to BTC without owning any cryptocurrency. Blockchain analysts at CryptoQuant have previously said the product could lead to a $1 trillion boost for Bitcoin and other digital assets.

Though the SEC recently opted to punt decisions about several Bitcoin ETFs into the new year, there have been recent indicators that financial behemoth BlackRock might be on track to list the financial product in the near future. 

But regardless of the actual likelihood of an imminent approval of a Bitcoin ETF, market enthusiasm about the prospect is at an all-time high—and even the slightest indicators of good news on the subject have continued to shoot BTC higher in recent weeks.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed by the author are for informational purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice.



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