Bitcoin Price Eyeing Return to $4,000 as Volumes Surge Again

Bitcoin’s price advanced on Friday and was eyeing an imminent return to a key psychological level following a large surge in trading volumes. Altcoins and tokens followed in bitcoin’s lead as digital asset values approached their highest levels in three weeks.

BTC/USD Update

The bitcoin price rose 0.8% to $3,951.16, according to CoinMarketCap. The leading digital currency reached a session high of $4,000.30 on Bitfinex. It last traded near $3,986, having gained 1%.

The modest uptick was accompanied by a surge in trading volumes not unlike the ones we’ve seen throughout the first quarter. Bitcoin’s 24-hour volume peaked just north of $11 billion on Friday, where it was approaching the highest level in over a year. As a reminder, these numbers reflect exchange-based volumes and not over-the-counter markets where activity is believed to be at least as large.

Prior to Friday’s rally attempt, bitcoin had carved out a very narrow trading range, with volatility falling to its lowest level in about three weeks. Usually, prolonged periods of lateral moves are followed by a rapid price spike in either direction.

Bitcoin’s share of the total cryptocurrency market cap has fallen to 50.8% as altcoins and tokens rose in lockstep with the original blockchain. The total market cap is currently valued at $136.7 billion. Bitcoin accounts for $69.5 billion of that total.

CBOE Postpones Additional Bitcoin Futures Listings

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Futures Exchange (CFE) announced Thursday that it would not add a new bitcoin futures market for March as the clearing house reassessed its product listings.

“CFE is not adding a Cboe Bitcoin (USD) (“XBT”) futures contract for trading in March 2019,” the exchange said in an updated notice to traders released on Thursday.

“CFE is assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading. While it considers its next steps, CFE does not currently intend to list additional XBT futures contracts for trading.”

In the meantime, the current list of bitcoin futures contracts will remain available for traders, with the last contract set to expire in June.

The market for bitcoin futures is growing rapidly, with rival CME Group seeing a record surge in trading at the start of 2019. CBOE and CME both launched competing bitcoin futures markets in December 2017 during the height of the bull market. Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) is planning its entry into the market later this year with a physically-backed bitcoin futures contract. Nasdaq is also said to be eyeing a bitcoin futures market sometime in 2019. Also read: What is Bakkt? Preparing for the Physical Bitcoin Futures Market.

Disclaimer: The author owns Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi