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Bitcoin jumps to nearly 3-month high as crypto attempts to clear next hurdle at $51,000

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Bitcoin was trading near highs not seen since mid-May on Monday, as the world’s most prominent crypto and the rest of the digital-asset complex staged a recovery from recent lows.

At last check, bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.22% was changing hands at $46,037, up 3.4% on CoinDesk and substantially higher since its nadir beneath $30,000 hit in late July.

According to Dow Jones Market Data, bitcoin was trading near its highest levels since May 15 when it changed hands at $48.254.76. Bitcoin has rallied more than 10% over the past five days, and is up 32% over the past month. Prices for the asset are still well off the mid-April peak at around $65,000.

Meanwhile, Ether ETHUSD, +2.23% on the Ethereum blockchain, was changing hands at $3,124.37, up 1.5%, at its loftiest level since May 18, based on 5 p.m. Eastern Time closing levels on CoinDesk.

Katie Stockton, technical strategist at Fairlead Strategies, told MarketWatch that bitcoin has cleared three tiers of resistance in the past three weeks: including the 50-day moving average; a separate metric known as the cloud model, which helps define an asset’s support, resistance and momentum, and “(as of today) the 200-day [moving average].” 

“The minor breakouts reflect positive short-term momentum and improved intermediate-term momentum following July’s successful test of support near $30K. The next hurdle on the chart is just above $51K,” she wrote.

Bitcoin has been under pressure for months on the back of growing scrutiny by regulators around the globe. China cracked down on trading in crypto and banned mining of bitcoin, forcing the mining complex in the region, one of the biggest in the world, to leave for new territories more amenable to digitally extracting bitcoin using high-powered computers that can solve complex mathematical problems.

Meanwhile, lawmakers on Capitol Hill were reviewing an amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure bill to make clear that miners and providers of crypto services wouldn’t be required to follow new tax-reporting rules on crypto brokers.

However, it seems unlikely that any amendment will be included in a final draft of the infrastructure legislation.

Still, not everyone believes that bitcoin and other assets, like dogecoin DOGEUSD, +0.88%, are out of the bearish woods.

Yves Lamoureux, president of macroeconomic research firm Lamoureux & Co., told MarketWatch that the crash in commodities like gold GC00, -0.08% and silver SI00, +0.69% in Asian trade on Monday highlight the fragility of markets like bitcoin, which are relatively thinly traded compared with more traditional assets.

“This latest [fear of missing out, or FOMO] isn’t helping the market price discovery,” he said.

Bitcoin is up nearly 58% so far in 2021, Ether is up 322%, while dogecoin, the popular meme asset, has risen more than 5,000% in the year to date. By comparison, gold is down 8.3%; while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.37% is up nearly 15% so far in 2021, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.01% is up by about 18% and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.55% has gained more than 15%.

Crypto-related funds also were trading higher on Monday. Crypto index fund provider Bitwise Asset Management’s Bitwise Crypto Industry Innovators ETF BITQ, -1.55% was up 5%, the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust GBTC, -1.87%, one of the largest bitcoin asset managers, was trading up over 6%, while bitcoin miner Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. MARA, -2.56%, and crypto-adjacent company MicroStrategy Inc. MSTR, -0.56%, one of the biggest holders of bitcoin, were all trading sharply higher.

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