Bitcoin price boom: Cryptocurrency surges by nearly 20 percent ahead of halving

As of 7.03am on Thursday (2.03pm Singapore time) bitcoin had gained as much as 18.57 percent to $9,388.30. The advance comes as excitement builds over the upcoming halving of bitcoin. The decentralised digital currency is less than two weeks away from the event.

The jump in bitcoin prices comes as the coronavirus pandemic is hitting the global economy hard.

According to date from, the entire market capitalisation or value of cryptocurrencies increased by $35.3 billion (£28.23 bn) in 24 hours as of 7.19am UK time.

Bitcoin accounted for most of that movement.

The cryptocurrency reached its highest level since March 7.

In March cryptocurrencies were hit with two waves of selling but have since made a recovery.

The selling was caused by the anticipation of the halving and also central bank monetary policy, analysts have said.

As the COVID-19 epidemic took hold, central banks across the world came out with stimulus packages economies form the impact of the crisis.

Banks have also suggested they are prepared to take things further in the future, if necessary.

Vijay Ayyar, the head of Asian business at the cryptocurrency platform Luno, told CNBC: “My sense is that overall markets are not reflecting reality on the ground though, but this is also the result of the Fed in the US being extremely clear that they will do anything to make sure there is economic stability.

“We could be seeing a lot of money flowing into equities and crypto as well, as a result of the new money printing.”

Mr Ayyar was referring to the Federal Reserve’s pledge to keep its benchmark interest rates near zero.

The US central bank has said it will not move the rates until the American economy recovers from the coronavirus crisis.

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The country is at the centre of the global outbreak and as of Thursday a total of 61,669 people had died after testing positive for COVID-19.

This week the US reached a grim milestone when the number of infections passed 1 million.

The Federal Open Market Committee – the branch of the Federal Reserve Board that determines the direction of monetary policy – warned the pandemic is set to “weigh heavily” on the economy.

In a statement, they said: “The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.

“The Committee expects to maintain this target range until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.”

In May the next halving of bitcoin is expected to happen.

Before the coronavirus outbreak swept across the world, the halving was tipped to be bitcoin’s biggest event of the year.

The rewards miners receive currently stand at 12.5 per block mined.

The planned reduction will see this figure reduce to 6.25.

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