Bitcoin prices swung higher Thursday, as a sense of calm returned to the cryptocurrency market following a prolonged period of volatile moves.
Bitcoin (BTC/USD) was trading near session highs at 12:55 BST, having gained 8.5% to $2,457.14, according to Bitstamp. Prices opened at $2,294.41 and have been trekking higher ever since.
At its current valuation, the bitcoin market is worth $40.25 billion on supplies of roughly 16.46 million.
It has been a wild couple of months for the cryptocurrency market. After reaching an all-time high in mid-June, bitcoin corrected 20% as the debate over scaling came to a head. For now, it appears that the majority of the blockchain community (by hash power) has agreed to adopt the SegWit protocol, which should be enough to avoid a hard fork and eventual chain split on August 1.
Goldman Sachs says bitcoin is poised to re-test the $3,000 level and could go as high as $3,700 in the not-too-distant future. In a note to clients, head of technical strategy Sheba Jafari said the digital payment system’s recent swing lows have the potential to “act as strong support” in the short term. She added that “the balance of signals appear to be shifting more to a positive tone.”
Just two weeks earlier, Jafari predicted a large drop in bitcoin as prices retreated from record levels. Bitcoin has been the world’s best-performing currency in six of the last seven years.
The total market capitalization for cryptocurrencies was back above $83 billion on Thursday after plunging to $60 billion over the weekend. Ethereum was up more than 10% during early-morning trade. Litecoin was down roughly 1%.