Crypto Roundup, November 16, 2020: Bitcoin continues ascent towards all-time highs

Bulls push through $16k as daily Covid cases in the US hit new record

The Bitcoin buying frenzy continued this week, with cryptocurrency markets rallying alongside stocks on the prospect of a Biden presidency coupled with a split Congress. This would likely lead to legislative gridlock, leaving Biden unable to push through planned tax hikes.

News of a COVID-19 vaccine briefly dented the crypto rally on Monday, before the upswing continued. Bitcoin then hit a 2020 high above $16K on Friday, just as new Covid-19 cases in the US reached another daily record of over 180,000.

Meanwhile, altcoins have found mixed fortunes. Litecoin is leading the charge with 13% weekly gains, while Bitcoin Cash has slipped 6% after a contentious hard fork split the coin in two for a second time.

This Week’s Highlights

  • Bitcoin seduces another billionaire
  • Ethereum defies downtime

Bitcoin seduces another billionaire

Another billionaire has become a cryptocurrency investor. Stanley Druckenmiller, who formerly managed money for George Soros, sung the praises of Bitcoin on CNBC last Monday, claiming the asset could perform better than gold: “If the gold bet works, the Bitcoin bet will probably work better.”

Just two days later, hedge fund titan Ray Dalio dismissed Bitcoin, but overall, institutional interest in cryptocurrency has skyrocketed in November: Funds are flowing into institutional crypto investment firm Grayscale at a record rate, and open interest for Bitcoin futures on the CME surged to near all-time highs last week at $934 million.

Ethereum defies network downtime

The lights went out on Ethereum last Thursday, after a bug in the code split the network’s transaction history in two. As a result, blockchain infrastructure providers including Infura and Blockchair were cut off from the network, leading several crypto exchanges to briefly disable withdrawals of ETH and ERC-20 tokens.

Yet despite fears that the network had broken, the price of Ethereum didn’t even flinch, finishing flat on the day and rising 1% over the week.

The week ahead

As Bitcoin pushes past the $16k milestone, calls for a pullback are growing louder. Peter Brandt has pointed out on Twitter that during the 2015-2017 crypto bull market, Bitcoin made nine significant corrections, averaging a 37% drop each time.

Bitcoin 2017 — present day

So far however, Bitcoin has only fallen a maximum of 10% since early September, which could be due to the larger presence of institutions leaping in to buy when price starts to fall.

In the coming week, escalating coronavirus cases across the US are likely to continue bolstering Bitcoin’s safe haven appeal. And if the upswing continues, we could soon be challenging the record high of $20,000.