Major cryptocurrency bitcoin breached the key $30,000 level for the first time in 10 months on Tuesday, adding to its steady gains as investors raised bets that the US Federal Reserve will soon end its aggressive monetary tightening campaign.
Bitcoin peaked at $30,438 in Asian trade and was last 2 per cent higher at $30,262. It has gained about 6 per cent since the start of the month, after rising 23 per cent in March.
The token’s surge follows Friday’s closely-watched US nonfarm payrolls report that showed employers maintained a strong pace of hiring in March, pointing to a still-resilient economy.
However, banking sector turmoil sparked by last month’s collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has raised market expectations that the Fed is unlikely to lift interest rates much higher for longer as it looks to ease the stress on the sector.
“The reason behind the broad-based rally in crypto is traders’ optimism toward central banks’ monetary policy,” said Tina Teng, markets analyst at CMC Markets.
“Bets for a sooner Fed pivot on rate hikes have been dramatically strengthened following the bank turmoil in early March.”
Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, stood near last week’s roughly eight-month peak of $1,942.50. It was last 0.75 per cent higher at $1,925.80.
Crypto investors are eagerly anticipating a major revamp to the Ethereum blockchain this week that is set to allow them to gain access to more than $33 billion of ether currency.
Dubbed Shapella, the software upgrade will let market players redeem their “staked ether” – coins they have deposited and locked up on the network over the past three years in return for interest.