As of press time bitcoin (BTC) was changing hands at $41,344, up 6.2% over the past 24 hours. Other CoinDesk 20 digital assets were also in the green, with ether (ETH) rising 4.5% to $2,453 and chainlink (LINK) jumping 13% to $21.72.
Although the bitcoin price slipped after 0:00 coordinated universal time (UTC) on Saturday, it had notched 10 consecutive daily increases from July 21 through Friday, the longest winning streak since 2013.
Bitcoin reached an all-time high near $65,000 in mid-April as market euphoria peaked and the U.S. exchange Coinbase went public through a direct stock listing. But the price tumbled over the next few months as China cracked down on cryptocurrency mining and exchanges and regulators around the world moved to tighten industry rules. The Federal Reserve began to consider tapering its $120 billion-a-month of asset purchases – a form of extreme monetary stimulus that has been a big driver of the investment narrative that bitcoin could serve as an effective hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
Retail investors who had piled into bitcoin as prices soared early in the year rushed to exit positions, while big institutional investors grew reluctant to enter the market at lofty valuations. Prices traded in a range between $30,000 and $40,000 for about two months.
But after bitcoin briefly dipped below $30,000 on July 20, the cryptocurrency began a steady ascent that has put it on track for an 18% gain in July, the first monthly increase in three months.
“The incredible winning streak comes at a very strange time when the FUD is thick,” Mati Greenspan, founder of the cryptocurrency and foreign-exchange analysis firm Quantum Economics, wrote Friday in a newsletter. FUD is an acronym for “fear, uncertainty and doubt,” a term often used by crypto traders and analysts to refer to any negative news.
Bitcoin price resistance is still seen as stiff in the low-$40,000 range: “BTC is potentially rangebound until it breaks and closes above $42,000,” according to the digital-asset firm Eqonex. “Trendline support has moved up to $38,200, with $36,500 the next support.”
But some industry analysts are now wondering aloud if the worst of bitcoin’s recent bear market might have passed.
“Something feels different this week,” Coinbase wrote Saturday in a market analysis. “Max fear seems to have disappeared.”
On a year-to-date basis, bitcoin is up 43%, vastly outperforming the 17% year-to-date gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.