Digital currencies on Friday were on pace to log three consecutive sessions in the green, with all major coins trading in positive territory.
Bitcoin BTCUSD, +0.73% the most prominent digital currency, has popped back above $6,500, last trading at $6,519.09, up 4.1% since Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken crypto exchange.
It has been a fruitful 72-hours for digital currency owners that suffered a setback earlier in the week after a vicious selloff wiped $20 billion off the value of all cryptocurrencies in the space of 24-hours. Friday’s broad-based rally has added $12 billion to the market cap of all cryptocurrencies, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Ether at whim of futures market, says analyst
Ether ETHUSD, +4.10% which runs on the Ethereum network, has borne the brunt of the August selloff, hitting an 11-month low Tuesday, with crypto experts pointing to the flailing initial coin offering market for the reason behind the slump. However, leading crypto analyst Tom Lee, managing partner of Fundstrat Global Advisors, said in a research note that the introduction of Ether futures by the Bitmex exchange might explain the recent decline of the second largest digital currency.
Citing an analysis by Justin Saslaw of Raptor Capital Management, Lee said the Ether decline “is more due to the Bitmex futures/swap launch…and the impact of fundamentals is substantially less than perceived. Liquidity remains a critical factor in performance of digital assets, not surprising, given the early stage nature of these markets.”
Saslaw concluded that the introduction of the two-way liquidity had attracted short selling, which can be attributed to the weakness of Ether.
Ether is trading up 6.1% at $300.12 in afternoon trading Friday.
Bitcoin will trade to $15,000 by year-end, says exchange co-founder
The co-founder of CoinCorner, a small Isle of Man-based crypto exchange, said in an email to MarketWatch that rising demand from wealthy individuals will see the world’s biggest digital currency pushed higher by year-end. “For the last few months, the price of bitcoin has been at $6,000 which we believe will continue for a while but we predict the price will reach $15,000 by the end of the year,” said Danny Scott.
”We are also seeing huge amounts of investment coming through from high net worth individuals and institutes purchasing bitcoin in high volumes. This all adds to the increase and interest of the cryptocurrency,” he said.
Elsewhere, other altcoins, or coins other than bitcoin, are trading higher Friday. Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, +6.70% is up 7.5% at $559.40, Litecoin LTCUSD, +3.05% has added 6.2% to $58.66 and Ripple’s XRP XRPUSD, +4.20% is trading at 34 cents, up 15.1%.
Futures ended the week on a positive note. The Cboe Global Markets Inc.’s September contract XBTU8, +1.02% closed the session up 1.4% at $6,472.50 while the CME Group Inc August contract BTCQ8, +0.94% finished up 1.2% at $6,480.