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Cryptocurrencies | Bitcoin jumps to a nine-month high



(London) Bitcoin hit a nine-month high on Tuesday, despite a string of bad news for the sector and against the tide of investor panic since the collapse of US bank SVB.

At a high of over $26,300 and up some 8%, bitcoin hit levels not seen since June, on the heels of US inflation data and after benefiting since Sunday from market action. Fed to protect Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) savers.

The last few sessions could have seen bitcoin prices melt, as was the case at the end of 2022 after the bankruptcy of one of the largest platforms in the sector, FTX.

This weekend, the USDC, a so-called stable cryptocurrency, because it is supposed to be pegged to the dollar, saw its course turbulent, because its issuer, Circle, announced that it had left 3.3 billion dollars in the coffers of the bankrupt bank. SVB.

And on Sunday, Signature Bank, one of the favorite banks in the sector, also went out of business, a few days after Silvergate, another establishment popular with crypto enthusiasts.

These bankruptcies, caused by a wave of bank withdrawals, raise the question of the long term “partnerships between traditional banks and crypto companies”, notes Clara Medalie, analyst for the data provider on digital assets Kaiko.

“Silvergate and Signature were very important for companies in the sector, and for the moment there is no credible alternative,” she explains to AFP.

Fed help

While the world stock markets or raw materials have unscrewed for several sessions, bitcoin has taken more than 30% since Friday evening. It remains down more than 60% from its all-time high reached at the end of 2021 at $68,992.

The decentralized cryptocurrency, which was launched in 2008 by vocal opponents of the bailouts of major Wall Street banks by the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the US Treasury, owes part of its gains to the action of these two actors, which guaranteed the deposits of failing banks.

“Bitcoin took off when the government assured that it would reimburse deposits, but there was another catalyst: Binance”, completes Mme medal.

Changpeng Zhao or “CZ”, the boss of Binance, the first platform for cryptocurrency exchanges, announced overnight from Sunday to Monday on Twitter that he was going to use a relief fund he had set up after the bankruptcy from FTX.

Objective: invest a billion dollars in cryptoassets such as bitcoin, ether or BNB, cryptocurrency issued by his group.

“The announcement itself was enough to push the market up,” comments medal.

CZ may have been prompted to act by the sharp correction that the cryptocurrency market has been experiencing since Thursday and the bankruptcy of Silvergate.

Russian mountains

James Butterfill, head of research for the investment group Coinshares, points out that the prospect of higher Fed rates had hitherto weighed on the sector.

The surge in the price of bitcoin in 2020 and 2021 was partly due to the abundance of liquidity provided by central banks, which had opened the monetary tap wide during the COVID-19 pandemic and are now tightening it to fight inflation. .

“Now it is clear that overly tight monetary policy is starting to do damage, and not just for crypto, and expectations for rate hikes are limited,” adds Butterfill.

Despite the surge in the price of bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, the future is not necessarily rosy for the sector, whose recent setbacks have distanced part of the world from traditional finance.

“There are institutional buyers”, that is to say from professional funds, “but they remain a minority”, recognizes Mr. Butterfill, who mentions “productive discussions” with some of them “despite the reputation problem caused by FTX”.

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