Bitcoin’s Dominant Trend Cycle Points to Continued Rally through the Spring
Bitcoin’s slow grind to the north resumed on Thursday, as the world’s largest blockchain continued to stabilize after its brief run-in with extreme overbought levels. On a fundamental note, the push to make bitcoin a mainstream investment asset is in full swing after Amazon rival Rakuten announced its entry into the cryptocurrency market.
The bitcoin price peaked at $5,320.80 on Bitfinex, its highest level in over a week. At the time of writing, BTC/USD was trading at $5,284.80, having gained 0.6%. The slow grind to the north comes after prices pulled back from extreme overbought levels, which had threatened to undermine future rally attempts.
Bitcoin’s bottom is firmly protected near the psychologically significant $5,000 region. Price has only crossed below this level one time during the latest uptrend and that was a brief pullback on April 11. The leading digital currency is currently riding a two-month winning streak and looks poised to continue that trend for the duration of April. As Hacked reported earlier this week, bitcoin’s dominant trends usually last an average of five-to-six months, which means the current push higher could last for the remainder of the spring season.
In terms of volatility, the bitcoin market has stabilized in recent weeks. The 30-day volatility index is currently valued at 3.56%, according to bitvol.info. This number reflects the extent to which bitcoin’s price varies over time.
More than $12.7 billion worth of BTC traded hands on virtual exchanges Thursday, according to CoinMarketCap.
Rakuten Introduces Crypto Exchange
North American and European investors may not be familiar with Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce giant that has quickly emerged as one of Amazon’s key rivals in the east. The company, which generated nearly $9 billion in sales last year, recently announced that it was setting up a new cryptocurrency exchange called Rakuten Wallet. The new exchange was approved by Japanese financial regulators last month and Rakuten is already accepting account registrations. The platform will open to the public in June of this year.
Whereas most major retailers have been either agnostic or non-committal on the subject of cryptocurrencies, Rakuten believes the new asset class represents the wave of the future. Back in January, the company said that “the role of cryptocurrency-based payments in e-commerce, offline retail and in P2P payments will grow in the future.”
Rakuten backed up those claims by acquiring a local cryptocurrency exchange called Everybody’s Bitcoin. The acquisition was finalized last year for 265 million yuan ($2.4 million U.S.).
Crypto Adoption Quickly Spreading
Although merchant adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has been slow to materialize, major banks and traditional payment platforms have already pivoted toward digital payments. The extent to which they integrate crypto payments is still up in the air, but recent developments in the global remittance and smartphone markets suggest adoption is picking up.
For starters, Western Union and MoneyGram have already piloted Ripple’s payment infrastructure to boost liquidity and international payments; the former has gone even further to announce that it is ready to start accepting cryptocurrencies in the future.
Meanwhile, Samsung has confirmed that its new line of Galaxy smartphones will come equipped with a cryptocurrency wallet supporting Ethereum and hundreds of ERC-20 tokens.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are literally dozens of major initiatives currently underway to boost institutional adoption of cryptoassets. Major players like Intercontinental Exchange, Fidelity Investments and Nasdaq Ventures are all participating in the adoption drive through several strategic investments and business decisions. Read more about it here: Crypto Adoption is Spreading Like Wildfire; Where is Bitcoin Headed?
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.
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