Facebook’s announcement that it was launching its own cryptocurrency, called Libra, has caused a resurgence of interest in crypto — and bitcoin, the most famous digital coin, surged to an 18-month high on Wednesday (June 26), according to a report by Reuters.
Bitcoin has been on a steady rising run, and it hit $13,666.02 on the Bitstamp exchange, which is the highest it’s been since January of last year. Bitcoin has surged 260 percent, but it’s still under the all-time high of almost $20,000 from December of 2017.
The year 2018 was not kind to cryptocurrency, but bitcoin has been on a streak for the last 8 days — and with Facebook’s Libra announcement, with a tentative June 2020 release date, the interest should continue.
The rise is two-pronged, analysts say. Facebook has helped, but also investors have been looking for safety and have helped to push up the price.
“Cryptocurrency traders were reinvigorated by Facebook’s launch of their own digital coin and momentum appears to be stirring up fresh new investors,” said Edward Moya, a senior market analyst in New York. “Bitcoin skeptics are cautious in trying to stop this surge and may look for the next key resistance level, which is $15,000.”
Since banks are keeping interest rates low, many investors want to diversify — and crypto is a good way to do that. Also increasing are bitcoin CME futures volumes, as investors try to find the coin through the derivatives market.
Michael Moro, chief executive officer at Genesis Global Trading, said that traders who have access to both futures and spot markets have been buying the latter and selling the former.
“It should be noted that this a very different market today than it was in 2017,” said Moro. “2017 saw an overwhelming number of ICOs (initial coin offerings), which was very distracting. 2019 has fewer distractions. It’s also a different space because the CME bitcoin futures product wasn’t available until December 2017.”