According to data from CryptoCompare, at 17:00 UTC on Thursday (July 23), Bitcoin finally managed to do what it had not been able to do for over a month: it broke above the $9,650 level (a level last since on June 24) to reach the intraday high of $9,659, seemingly grinding away towards the even more psychologically significant $10,000 level.

One Month CC BTC-USD Chart on 23 July 2020.jpg

Since Bitcoin was trading around $9,189 at 17:00 UTC on July 20, this means that during the past 72 hours, Bitcoin has surged 5.11% (against USD).

As for the past 24-hour period, Bitcoin is up 2.46% against USD.

Although in the crypto space, 2.46% may not seem like that big a deal, it is worth remembering that when the week started, Bitcoin’s volatility was at its lowest level since November 2018, and Bitcoin’s price action over the past couple of weeks had become so boring that even some Bitcoiners were jokingly calling Bitcoin a stablecoin.

Also, it should be noted that this 2.46% gain has come on a day when the S&P 500 is at 3233.72, down 42.30 points (i.e. 1.29%), despite the fact that many observers have been saying during the course of the current COVID-19 pandemic that Bitcoin seems to be positively correlated with the S&P 500.

So, what is behind Bitcoin’s mini rally? We can’t be certain, of course, but the answer to this question depends on whom you ask.

One hypothesis is that consolidation periods usually end with a sharp break below a support level or break above a resistance level, and that this recent rally should not come as too much of a surprise after the long period of low volatility that Bitcoin has experienced.

For those who are not strong believers in technical analysis, a more convincing explanation might be that the current bullish investor sentiment in the crypto space is due to yesterday’s announcement by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which is “an independent bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury” that “charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.”

Brian P. Brooks is the Acting Comptroller of the Currency. He has been with the OCC since 1 April 2020. Prior to that date, he worked as Chief Legal Officer of Coinbase between September 2018 and March 2020.

Anyway, yesterday (July 22), around 18:46 UTC, the OCC made a historic announcement: for the first time ever, U.S. banks were given the green light to provide custody services for cryptoassets:

This news came as a huge but pleasant surprise to the crypto community who had given up hope of seeing any crypto-friendly regulations in the U.S. after witnessing — over the past couple of years — numerous attempts at getting a Bitcoin ETF approved by the SEC fail.

Ian Lee, who is an investor in early-stage crypto startups, explained in a very well-written Twitter thread the significance of this decision by the SEC:

Lee closed this thread with the following summary:

Another strong contender among the hypotheses that could explain Bitcoin’s current rally is that the market expects further monetary stimulus by the central bank of the United States, i.e. the Federal Reserve (aka “the Fed”).

According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) yesterday, “Federal Reserve officials are set to discuss next week how to provide more economic stimulus, though they have signaled comfort leaving policy on hold until they learn more about how the coronavirus pandemic is weighing on the U.S. economy.”

The Fed’s upcoming actions must have been on the mind of Tyler Winklevoss, Co-Founder and CEO of the Gemini digital asset exchange, when he composed the following pair of tweets on July 18 and July 22:

Around the time that Bitcoin set its intraday high of $9,659, prominent macro-economist and crypto analyst/trader Alex Krüger explained why he feels that now is the time to go long on Bitcoin:


Featured Image by “WorldSpectrum” via