Bitcoin (BTC) was higher, following through on the upside after Wednesday’s 7.4% jump to a new 2020 high. It was the biggest single-day increase in almost three months. 

The surge past $12,000, with prices now around $13,000, came after the consumer payments giant PayPal (PYPL) announced it would allow its 346 million customers to hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and to use the digital assets to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network. 

“Traders are now eyeing for BTC to test the $14,000 long-term resistance from 2019, which we believe should be breached in the coming months ahead,” Lennard Neo, head of research for the cryptocurrency-focused structured-products firm Stack Funds, wrote early Thursday in a report

In traditional markets, European indexes slid and U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open as lawmakers in Washington failed to agree on a new economic stimulus package as data showed a rising number of coronavirus cases. 

Market Moves

The official confirmation Wednesday that PayPal is pushing into cryptocurrencies (reported months ago by CoinDesk’s Ian Allison) ignited a fresh rally in prices for bitcoin, already seen as one of the world’s top-performing asset classes this year. 

And it might be the fear of missing out, or FOMO, that now pushes bitcoin prices even higher.

“Big moves can trigger periods of pure FOMO,” Matt Blom, head of sales and trading for the publicly traded cryptocurrency financial firm Diginex, wrote Thursday. “Sophisticated traders are definitely aware of the opportunity.” 

The FOMO instinct might be especially strong as the coronavirus-infected economy relegates Wall Street stock and bond traders to hoping for trillion-dollar stimulus packages just to keep asset prices from falling.

“Markets are pretty aggressively priced,” said George Pearkes, global macro strategist at Bespoke Investment Group, told Bloomberg News

Bitcoin appears to get uplift from new stimulus announcements, since many cryptocurrency investors see it as a hedge against inflation. But digital assets also get the benefit of the doubt as a new technology that might revolutionize the financial industry, or as a form of payment that might find adoption from Argentina to Nigeria

“This coalescing of fintech and bitcoin is yet another bullish development for investors,” Zac Prince, CEO of the crypto lender BlockFi, told CoinDesk in an email.

btc-vs-stocks-and-gold
Bitcoin is vastly outperforming gold and bitcoin based on year-to-date returns.
Source: TradingView

With just a couple months left in 2020, the largest cryptocurrency is on track to outperform – by far – pretty much every other major traditional asset class, from stocks to bonds to gold. It would be the second year in a row that’s happened. 

Bitcoin prices, which doubled in 2019, are now up 80% so far this year. That compares with 6.3% for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of large U.S. stocks and a 27% increase for gold. 

PayPal’s announcement, and bitcoin’s ensuing rally, garnered ink from mainstream financial publications including Bloomberg Newsthe Financial Times and MarketWatch.

“It’s the sheer scale of PayPal’s reach that is attracting the headlines,” Jason Deane, an analyst for the foreign-exchange and cryptocurrency analysis firm Quantum Economics, wrote in a report. “This could well go down in history as a watershed moment, the point at which bitcoin goes properly mainstream.” 

Such speculation might just be hype, sheer folly, a bubble mentality. Or it might be inevitable. Or all of the above. 

– Bradley Keoun

Bitcoin Watch

godbole17
Bitcoin daily price chart.
Source: TradingView

Bitcoin’s price rally looks overdone, as per technical indicators. However, these metrics often trap investors on the wrong side of the market and are unreliable.

The cryptocurrency jumped to 15-month highs above $13,200 on Wednesday after online payments giant PayPal added support for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. At press time, bitcoin is trading near $13,000, representing a 20% gain for the month.

The 14-day relative strength index (RSI) is now hovering above 70, indicating overbought conditions. The RSIs on the 4-hour and hourly charts also show the price rally is overdone.

But other measures show that the latest price level might have staying power.

Data extracted from the Bitcoin blockchain show a surge in inflows to cryptocurrency exchanges, typically a sign that sellers are queuing up to sell. According to the blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis received a total of 106,519 BTC on Wednesday, the highest daily inflow since Oct. 2.

Even so, prices are holding up, signaling there’s also a strong bid from interested buyers. It’s not unprecedented: A similar spike in inflows was observed Sept. 4, but the cryptocurrency rallied to 15-month highs. 

All things considered, the price rally is likely to continue.

– Omkar Godbole

Read More: Above $13K: Bitcoin Unfazed by Profit Takers After Rise to 2020 High

Token watch

Zcash (ZEC): Partnership between tokenizer Tokensoft and custodian Anchorage leads to wrapped zcash (WZEC) that can be used on Ethereum blockchain and deployed in DeFi protocols.

Ethereum Classic (ETC): Multiple 51% attacks against the network has led to the latest fix called MESS, but critics say it’s not enough.

Litecoin (LTC): PayPal’s decision to support litecoin on its platform may sit at odds with the community, but it has helped boost its value over the last 24-hours.

What’s hot

Digital-asset brokerage Voyager Digital agrees to buy French crypto exchange LGO, will issue 1M shares (currently around 50 cents each) for the acquisition and undertake token merger (CoinDesk)   

DeFi yield-farming platform Harvest Finance doubles total collateral value locked to $704M in one week, unseating decentralized derivatives exchange Synthetix (CoinDesk)

Popular cryptocurrency options exchange Deribit will require all users to be ID verified before end of year (CoinDesk)

Crypto exchange Kraken officially restarts trading operations for Japanese customers (CoinDesk

U.S. commodities-market regulator issues advisory to brokers on how to look after users’ digital currencies in segregated accounts, part of “holistic framework” (CoinDesk)

Nigerian bitcoin peer-to-peer trade volume grows amid rising tensions over alleged police corruption, as locals look for easy ways to send remittances and shelter savings from inflationary domestic currency (CoinDesk):

nigeria-bitcoin
Nigeria’s bitcoin peer-to-peer trade volume.
Source: Shuai Hao/CoinDesk Research

Analogs

The latest on the economy and traditional finance

More than 5,000 job cuts at Hong Kong airline Cathay has left local real estate market reeling (Bloomberg)

U.S. stimulus package unlikely to pass before Nov. 3 election, Goldman Sachs says (CNBC

Mere prospect that the Federal Reserve might intervene in bond markets is keeping U.S. Treasury yields close to historic lows (Bloomberg)

More than half of all small- and medium-size businesses in Europe are fearful for their survival in next 12 months (Reuters)

Alibaba to buy more than a fifth of fintech giant Ant Group’s potentially $35B IPO (Bloomberg)

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Disclosure

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.