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Bitcoin is growing without a massive rush. When will everyone start talking about cryptocurrency?

Retail investors are gradually returning to the cryptocurrency market, writes Bloomberg. The publication drew attention to an increase in commission income on the leading American cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase by 60% in the fourth quarter of 2023. There has also been significant growth in trading volumes on retail-focused brokerage platform Robinhood, where crypto trading volumes grew 242% year over year. Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) experienced another strong week, with net inflows exceeding $2.2 billion from February 12 to 16. The total volume was higher than inflows received by any other of the 3,400 ETFs available in the United States, according to Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas. According to BitMEX Research, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) took the majority of the capital, amassing $1.6 billion in positive flows over the week. Among spot Bitcoin ETFs holding billions of dollars in assets, Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund posted significant influx. It has raised $648.5 million in the last five trading sessions. The Ark 21Shares Bitcoin ETF raised $405 million over the same period, and the Bitwise Bitcoin ETF raised $232.1 million in capital. The outflow of funds from the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust contrasts with the inflow of other recently approved spot Bitcoin ETFs. Between Feb. 12 and Feb. 16, $624 million was withdrawn from the fund as investors continued to sell. Since switching from an OTC product to a spot ETF on January 10, Grayscale’s fund has seen more than $7 billion in capital outflows.

On February 15, the Bitcoin (BTC) rate exceeded $52 thousand for the first time since November 2021. The total capitalization of the cryptocurrency market has almost reached $2 trillion. At the same time, the activity of retail investors is still below the levels that preceded the previous phases of growth of the cryptocurrency market. Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has overtaken Bitcoin in growth rates over the past week. This trend may continue as Ethereum’s fundamentals look more attractive than Bitcoin’s, CoinDesk writes, citing Greg Magadini, director of derivatives at Amberdata, a company specializing in analyzing information about digital assets. Ethereum has risen in price by more than 16% over the past seven days and rose above $2,900 for the first time in almost two years, while the price of Bitcoin rose by 8.5%, reaching $52,300. The ratio of the price of Ethereum to the value of Bitcoin increased by almost 7%. , reaching 0.055.

Statistics from Google searches for bitcoin suggest there has been a sharp surge in interest in the cryptocurrency market following the successful launch of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in January. The subsequent period is characterized by a return to the levels inherent in the bearish period in the crypto market. The number of installations of cryptocurrency mobile applications also remains at levels characteristic of the period of market decline, Bloomberg noted.

Now we are just seeing the beginning of the excitement, which this time started a little earlier thanks to the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs, says Konstantinas Sizovas, leading cryptanalyst and CFO of the investment fund Astol Advanced Limited (Hong Kong). Demand on the scale of 2017 and 2021 will occur after the halving, the effect of which manifests itself for 12–18 months after the event. The share of institutional players has increased since the launch of spot Bitcoin ETFs, but, according to statistics, investors operating with amounts under $100 thousand still dominate the market. That is, there remains a high proportion of retail investors in the crypto market, who are more susceptible to the fear of lost profits and whose emotionality can partly explain the volatility of cryptocurrencies. The analyst attributes the growth of the cryptocurrency market to the activity of institutional players, but he explains the achievement of highs and high volatility by the significant participation of retail investors.

The high demand for cryptocurrency right now is indeed coming from American investors. Here you can quote data from the analytical company CryptoQuant, showing the difference in the price of Bitcoin on the Coinbase exchange and on Binance. On February 15, the Coinbase Premium Index reached a value of 0.12, which may indicate a significant influx of American investors to Coinbase. Konstantinas Sizovas explains investor activity both with the launch of Bitcoin ETFs, which have simplified access to cryptocurrency investing for more conservative investors, and with the anticipation of the upcoming Bitcoin halving, which historically precedes a cryptocurrency rally. That is, there is a stir around the cryptocurrency market comparable to the scale of 2017 and 2021. While initial coin offerings (ICOs) sparked rapid growth in 2017, the cryptocurrency market has once again revived in 2021 thanks to NFT technology and decentralized finance (DeFi).

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