Bitcoin Is Back, Back, Back, Baby

Take a look at the frontpage of CoinDesk today and you could be forgiven for thinking our site is all about Bitcoin.

Just look at the headlines: BTC is above $50k. Options traders are betting on $75,000. Bitcoin’s market cap is back above $1 trillion. Bitcoin ETFs have accumulated $11 billion since being approved in the U.S. in January. The Fear and Greed Index, a measure of market sentiment, is in “extreme greed” territory, its frothiest moment since BTC’s all-time high in September 2021. Bitcoin is even a campaign meme.

Bitcoin is dominating narratives, dominating media coverage, and dominating mindshare among investors, particularly the institutional kind. To be sure, important projects like Solana (SOL) and Chainlink (LINK) are also rising in value. But this is very much a bitcoin-led market. Bitcoin “dominance,” a measure of BTC cap versus the rest of crypto, remains about 50%, making claims that bitcoin would reduce in relevance as crypto expanded seem ridiculous now. In November 2022, BTC’s share dropped below 35%.

Of course, the flows of Wall Street money into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are the driving factor here. The prospect of ETFs was a tantalizing catalyst throughout 2023, as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler inadvertently fluffed the market by delaying approval. Bitcoin has benefitted from being one of the few digital assets classified clearly as a non-security for regulatory purposes. Nearly every other asset suffers from some regulatory uncertainty.

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