02/22 update below. This post was originally published on February 20
BitcoinBTC +1%, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies have rocketed into 2023, soaring despite growing fears the U.S. could be waging a “quiet” war on crypto.
The bitcoin price topped $25,000 per bitcoin, up 50% since the beginning of the year, helping to boost the ethereum price and adding over $100 billion to the combined crypto market—including BNBBNB +0.8%, XRPXRP -0.4%, cardano, dogecoin, polygon and solana.
02/22 update: A bitcoin and crypto sentiment shift could be underway, with traders increasingly cheering what appears to be a softening of China’s stance toward crypto following its brutal crackdown in the summer of 2021 that wiped billions from the crypto market.
“The big question is, in spite of interest rates going up and the dollar gaining strength, is there a catalyst that can push [the bitcoin price over $25,000?],” Gareth Soloway, the chief market strategist at Verified Investing, told Coindesk, pointing to the China narrative as attracting new bitcoin buyers that had been spooked by Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and the threat of looming U.S. regulation over the last year. “I think this narrative out of Hong Kong could be something that helps.”
After Hong Kong’s financial regulator announced plans that could lead to an opening up of the crypto market this week, Bloomberg reported China’s mainland government in Beijing could have quietly endorsed the idea, fueling expectations the crypto market could be in for an Asia-led boom.
“Interest in crypto is a global phenomenon, and regulators in Europe and now in Asia have realized that a base level of regulation is not only necessary but also desirable to build confidence in this nascent industry,” Bradley Duke, co-chief executive at ETC ETC +0.6% Group, said in emailed comments. “Both investors and crypto service providers benefit from the stability brought by sensible regulation—a point that for now seems lost to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).”
Now, the cofounder of bitcoin and crypto exchange Gemini, Cameron Winklevoss of Facebook-founding fame, has issued a “bull run” price prediction—warning the U.S. can either “embrace [crypto] or be left behind.”
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“My working thesis [at the moment] is that the next bull run is going to start in the East,” Winklevoss, who founded the New York-based bitcoin and crypto exchange Gemini with his twin brother Tyler, posted to Twitter.
The last bitcoin bull run turned into a bitter crypto winter in late 2021, with the bitcoin price crashing to under $16,000 per bitcoin from a peak of almost $70,000. The combined crypto market, which reached $3 trillion in November 2021, saw $2 trillion in value wiped away in just 12 months.
Cameron Winklevoss made his “next bull run” bitcoin price prediction just hours before Hong Kong’s securities regulator announced plans to allow retail investors to trade bitcoin, ethereum and other major cryptocurrencies later this year under a new crypto exchange licensing regime.
U.S. regulators are meanwhile cracking down on bitcoin, ethereum, cryptocurrencies and crypto companies in the wake of the shock FTX collapse last year that sent shockwaves through the crypto market.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been accused of waging war on bitcoin and crypto by cutting the industry off from banking services—branded “Operation Choke Point 2.0.”
The bitcoin price has surged back from its recent lows this year but remains far below its 2021 peak … [+]
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“Any government that doesn’t offer clear rules and sincere guidance will be left in the dust. Quickly,” Cameron Winklevoss said.
“This will mean missing out on the greatest period of growth since the rise of the commercial internet. And it will mean missing out on shaping and being a foundational part of the future financial infrastructure of this world (and beyond).”
Last week, Singapore-based DBS revealed its crypto trading volume almost doubled in 2022.
“The increase in trading volume on DBS’s digital asset platform is a reminder that any government, even the U.S., that does not offer clear guidance could potentially be left behind in the fourth industrial revolution,” Marcus Sotiriou, market analyst at digital asset broker GlobalBlock, wrote in an emailed note.