Bitcoin’s recovery from a rout last week is stoking speculation that the cryptocurrency can breach $20,000 for the first time.
The most-traded digital asset rose as high as $19,907 on Monday, rebounding from its Thanksgiving Day plunge to set successive record highs this week. The surge buoyed other cryptocurrencies, including Ether and Litecoin.
“Fear of missing out is slowly kicking in,” said Antoni Trenchev, managing partner of Nexo in London, which bills itself as the world’s biggest digital-coin lender. “We are only just beginning to see some of our retail clients borrowing against their Bitcoin to buy more Bitcoin and that will ultimately propel the rally well into the $20,000s.”
Bitcoin, worth less than $1 back in 2010 when it was touted as currency for purchases, is now amassing proponents who argue that its strictly controlled supply and wider investor base show it’s become a store of value.
Critics, however, say this year’s 175% rally is a bubble that can’t be supported by claims that digital assets should diversify portfolios and take flows from gold.
Vijay Ayyar, head of business development with crypto exchange Luno in Singapore, sees investors targeting up to $25,000. But after that he expects a 30% drop, since Bitcoin tends to “get everyone bullish and then dump,” he said.
The broader Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which has more than tripled this year, also advanced on Monday.
Bitcoin’s surge this week “is likely a result of major institutional investors joining the bandwagon and purchasing a portion of BTC’s limited supply in the midst of a bull run,” said Gunnar Jaerv, chief operating officer of Hong Kong-based custodian First Digital Trust.
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