Bitcoin hits record $72,881 as institutional adoption and ETF success propel crypto surge

Bitcoin surges to new heights, hitting a record $72,881, propelled by unprecedented capital inflows into crypto products and imminent supply reduction. Last week saw a staggering $2.7 billion pour into crypto assets, with Bitcoin claiming the lion’s share. The success of recently launched US spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, garnering $9.5 billion in net inflow, underscores the institutional embrace of crypto. As the market evolves, industry insiders predict a push towards $80,000, driven by increasing institutional demand and the upcoming halving event.

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By Ryan Weeks

Bitcoin is sustaining a record-breaking run, lifted by the unprecedented amounts of capital flowing into crypto products as well as a looming reduction in the digital token’s supply growth.

The original cryptocurrency reached an all-time peak of almost $72,881 on Monday and was trading at $72,220 as of 7:15 a.m. in London on Tuesday. A record $2.7 billion flowed into crypto assets last week, according to a report from CoinShares international Ltd., with the bulk of that going to Bitcoin. Both the token and a gauge of the largest 100 coins are up roughly 70% this year. 

The success of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds launched in the US on Jan. 11 is a key driver of recent momentum. The ETFs from the likes of BlackRock Inc. and Fidelity Investments have attracted a net inflow of about $9.5 billion so far. In the UK, the London Stock Exchange said it would accept applications for Bitcoin and Ether exchange-traded notes, while Thailand’s securities regular signaled that it would open overseas crypto ETFs to retail buyers. 

Institutional Demand

“We are seeing institutional adoption in the US,” Ophelia Snyder, 21Shares’ co-founder and president, said on Bloomberg Television. “It’s quite early still. Not all of the institutions, not all of the wire houses, have access to it.”

The structure of the Bitcoin market is changing as they enter the fray, for instance a greater focus on US trading hours, she added. 

Some commentators are flagging the possibility of further gains. Tony Sycamore, a market analyst at IG Australia Pty, wrote in a note that Bitcoin “is expected to be well-supported on dips by those looking to position for a push toward $80,000 in the months ahead.” Fairlead Strategies LLC technical analyst Katie Stockton also suggested $80,000 is within reach in the medium term.

Futures Market 

In the derivatives sector, outstanding contracts — or open interest — at Chicago-based CME Group’s Bitcoin futures market reached a fresh peak. The number breached 30,000 for the first time on Monday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The increase is a sign of greater US institutional demand for crypto-related exposure and hedging.

Bitcoin’s rally is creating roughly 1,500 new “millionaire wallets” daily, according to crypto analytics firm Kaiko Research, though the nature of blockchain data means it is difficult to determine which of those wallets are held by individuals and which by companies. That is still lower than the pace of millionaire wallets minted during the token’s 2021 bull run, however, when more than 4,000 wallets a day hit the million-dollar mark. 

Next month, Bitcoin undergoes an event known as the halving, which as the name suggests cuts the supply of new Bitcoin in half. Demand from ETFs, constrained supply and expectations of looser monetary policy are all stoking a bullish mood in crypto — leading investors to put memories of the painful and deep 2022 bear market to one side.

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