Bitcoin surged late Monday, topping $45,000 to hit its highest level in nearly 21 months, as the rally in cryptocurrencies continues into 2024.
The world’s largest cryptocurrency hit an intra-day high of $45,519.52 at around 10.30 p.m. ET on Monday, according to CoinDesk data. That’s its highest level since April 5, 2022 and the first time it has traded above the $45,000 mark since then.
In early Tuesday trade, bitcoin extended that rally to touch an intra-day high of $45,913 before paring some gains, although it was still trading around the $45,600 mark, up 7% on the day.
The continued price gains for bitcoin come off the back of bumper 2023, when the price of the digital coin rose 152% — and many commentators expect the bold rises to continue.
It comes amid growing excitement among traders that the U.S. could approve the first bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). This would allow investors to buy a product that tracks the price of bitcoin without having to own the cryptocurrency directly, likely appealing to larger institutional investors.
In 2024, bitcoin will also undergo the “halving”, a technical event in which rewards offered to miners of the cryptocurrency are slashed in half. This reduces the supply of bitcoin onto the market. Previous halving events have often preceded steep price rises.