Bitcoin’s ascent continues this week, as the cryptocurrency recently topped $35,000 for the first time since May 2022, exactly 18 months ago. This new bullish momentum for bitcoin excites investors, especially considering the news surrounding the digital asset, such as the US Securities and Exchanges Commission’s (SEC) seemingly close approval of BlackRock’s bitcoin spot ETF application. For more information, we spoke about BlackRock’s June application in a previous piece here. Bitcoin moved along around $27K for most of September and early October until, on October 22nd, it jumped over $30K after a rumour spread online that the SEC had indeed approved BlackRock’s spot ETF application. The rumour was quickly disproved, but bitcoin did not lose most of its gains, having “most significant single-month percentage rise since January.”, according to CoinDesk.

Bitcoin has essentially more than doubled in value this year, as around this time last November, when FTX collapsed, the asset’s price slid to under $16K. CNN attributes this growth to the excitement that investors are feeling regarding the “prospect of being able to buy bitcoin funds that trade on good old-fashioned stock exchanges”. However, the reasons are likely more than one, and more complex than simply investor excitement for the imminent approval of BlackRock’s ETF. Among these reasons are the approaching fourth Bitcoin halving event, which should occur sometime around April, and recent banking crises.

In terms of the approaching halving , an event when the reward for mining Bitcoin transactions is halved, this occurrence is usually followed by a boost of the crypto’s trading price on exchanges due to dynamics of supply and demand, as a CryptoPotato article puts it. For example, analyst Michael van de Poppe predicts the BTC spot price will be around $45-50K before the latest halving event. On the other hand, recent banking issues may also have caused its price to spike. Indeed, when Silicon Valley bank collapsed in march, bitcoin jumped from $20K to $28K in the space of ten days. This time around, the recent crisis in the Chinese shadow banking system may at east have been a contributing factor to BTC’s uptick, as happened in early 2020.

Lastly, investors are obviously attracted to bitcoin in troubled socio-political times as they look to diversify their portfolios, which CNN defines as a kind of digital safe haven. It only takes a second for fear to turn into interest, which is why this bullish momentum for bitcoin excites investors. In the words of Charles Edwards from Capriole Investments, “We now have the biggest asset managers in the world trumpeting bitcoin as a ‘flight to quality; amidst devaluing fiat currencies and mounting global tensions and war.” No truer words resonate in this historical moment, especially for bitcoin.