Crypto Weekly Round-Up, November 23, 2020: Bitcoin buoyed by institutional funds, as XRP surges 60%

Ethereum nears $600, and XRP surges 60%, as Bitcoin closes in on all-time high

As institutional funds flood into Bitcoin and Ethereum, the crypto market is more buoyant than ever. Bitcoin has risen 10% to almost hit $19K, and Ethereum has blasted past the $500 milestone.

The continued rally comes amid surging institutional adoption, with big name analysts flipping bullish as they catch on to the digital gold narrative, and Silicon Valley firms including Airbnb following PayPal with planned support for cryptocurrency.

These bullish catalysts pushed Bitcoin higher all through last week, then as the weekend hit, other major cryptos took the party to the next level. XRP surged 60%, followed by Cardano with 40% gains, and Ethereum with 25%.

This Week’s Highlights

  • World’s biggest asset manager gets behind Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin market cap hits all-time high

World’s biggest asset manager gets behind Bitcoin

The chief investment officer of fixed income at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, thinks Bitcoin is here to stay.

Speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Box on Friday, BlackRock’s Rick Rieder said the cryptocurrency could replace gold because it is “so much more functional than passing a bar of gold around.”

This follows several bullish Bitcoin comments from other big investors, including Deutsche Bank analyst Jim Reid, who recently said that investors increasingly “prefer Bitcoin over Gold as an inflation hedge”, and Citibank, which suggested the digital gold could surge as high as $318K next year.

Bitcoin market cap hits all-time high

As the price of Bitcoin sits on the verge of an all-time high, other market metrics are already hitting new records.

Bitcoin’s market cap has now surpassed $330 billion — higher than the previous record of $329 billion set in December 2017, according to CoinGecko. While the cryptocurrency is still worth slightly less than it was, this is offset by the supply, which has expanded by roughly 10% since the previous record.

Elsewhere, other metrics suggest that the increased market cap is likely to be due to institutions, which are more immersed in the market than ever before. Open interest on CME futures hit record highs above $1 billion this week, and Grayscale’s cryptocurrency under management now surpasses $10 billion.

The week ahead

According to blockchain investment fund Pantera Capital, the lack of supply driving prices higher is only likely to become more acute as more institutions follow PayPal into the cryptocurrency market.

But while demand might be robust, traders are likely to be treading carefully as we approach the previous all-time high, and the Fear & Greed Index reaches levels not seen since June 2019.

When traders get too greedy, the market is typically due for a correction, which looks highly likely following Bitcoin’s consistent upwards-trajectory over the last seven weeks. The last time Bitcoin approached previous all-time highs (a little above $1,000 in 2016), prices fell 30% before the rally resumed in February 2017, lasting for 10 months, and resulting in a gain of more than 1800%.