Bitcoin tops $10,200 as cryptocurrencies extend rally

  • Bitcoin jumps above $10,200 early afternoon Thursday New York time, marking a recovery from a low below $6,000 last Tuesday.
  • The gains came as other cryptocurrencies rallied and followed reports that alleviated fears of heavy-handed crackdown by authorities in South Korea and the U.S.
  • In a Thursday report, Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Tom Lee said historical performance of bitcoin bottoms “implies new highs by July.”

Bitcoin jumped above $10,000 Thursday for the first time in two weeks, as other major cryptocurrencies climbed and regulatory fears subsided.

The cryptocurrency climbed 8 percent above $10,200 in early afternoon trading New York time on Coinbase, the largest U.S. marketplace for buying major cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin also topped $10,200 on CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index, recovering more than $4,000 after dipping below $6,000 last Tuesday.

A number of other major cryptocurrencies, including ethereum, ripple, bitcoin cash and litecoin were also higher Thursday. On Wednesday, litecoin got a major boost from news that a payments processor for the digital asset, called LitePay, is set to launch later this month.

Bitcoin 30-day performance

Source: Coinbase

In a Thursday report, Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Tom Lee said historical performance of bitcoin bottoms “implies new highs by July.”

During “bull” periods of upward trends, such as the current environment, bitcoin recoveries take 1.7-times the duration of the decline. That “implies that 85 days are needed to recover prior highs — this is July 2018.”

Lee raised his mid-2018 bitcoin target to $20,000 after an intraday plunge in December, and predicted in January that bitcoin will reach $25,000 by the end of this year.

'FOMO is back in the markets'

South Korea appeared to soften its attitude toward cryptocurrencies this week, with one report suggesting that the government is looking at the possibility of a cryptocurrency exchange licensing system. The licensing system could be similar to that of New York’s “BitLicense” system, which provides firms handling virtual currencies a license to operate, according to the report.

South Korea is one of the biggest cryptocurrency markets in the world. Its government spooked investors last month after one minister said it was preparing a bill to ban trading via cryptocurrency exchanges.

A South Korean minister said Wednesday that that its “basic rule” was to prevent illegal activities associated with cryptocurrency trading, adding that a ban was just one of many options the government had been considering.

“FOMO (fear of missing out) is back in the markets,” Mati Greenspan, senior market analyst at eToro, told CNBC in a phone interview. “Crypto investors have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for a rally. Yesterday it was litecoin which had a clean break out from its resistance levels and investors jumped on and are still riding it today.”

Greenspan added: “There’s been a lot of FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) over the past few weeks. The FUD is fading now.”

— CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.

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