Bitcoin prices approached $19,000 today, moving closer to hitting a fresh, all-time high at a time when institutional investors are increasingly taking an interest in the space.
The world’s largest digital currency by market value reached as much as $18,956.34 around 5:45 p.m. EST, according to CoinDesk data.
At this point, it was up close to 8% from the recent low of $17,593.17 it hit yesterday morning, additional CoinDesk figures show.
Further, the digital asset was trading roughly 5% below the all-time high of $19,920.53 it attained earlier this month.
[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]
Bitcoin has spent much of the last few weeks fluctuating between $18,000 and $20,000, and the latest rally took place after the cryptocurrency fell below $17,600 yesterday and then proceeded to climb.
When explaining these latest gains, analysts pointed to technical support and the impact of recent developments involving institutional investors.
Marouane Garcon, managing director of crypto-to-crypto derivatives platform Amulet, commented on the digital asset’s latest price movements, describing $18,000 as “an accurate support level.”
Tim Enneking, managing director of Digital Capital Management, also provided some input, emphasizing that:
“There is a lot of space between $13.7k and $19.8k with very little technical ammunition to determine support and resistance levels – simply because, historically, the price has spent an immaterial amount of time in that range. Therefore, traders naturally gravitate toward numbers which end in a lot of zeros.”
He noted that many of the fluctuations we have seen this month have involved bulls and bears pushing the digital asset between price levels like $18,000 and $19,000.
The cryptocurrency’s latest price movements have taken place against a backdrop of institutional adoption, with the most recent example being insurance giant MassMutual’s decision to buy $100 million worth of bitcoin for its portfolio.
To add to this, Ray Dalio, and founder, co-chairman and co-chief investment officer of hedge fund Bridewater Associates, recently generated headlines for taking a more optimistic stance on bitcoin.
During a Reddit “ask me anything” session that took place on December 8, Dalio stated that:
“I think that bitcoin (and some other digital currencies) have over the last ten years established themselves as interesting gold-like asset alternatives, with similarities and differences to gold and other limited-supply, mobile (unlike real estate) storeholds of wealth.”
John Todaro, director of institutional research for TradeBlock, described these developments nicely:
“Institutional investors and traders remain open and interested in bitcoin—arguably the most open they have been in the history of the asset, which continues to be a positive.”
Disclosure: I own some bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ether and EOS.