Bitcoin continued its surge on Wednesday, shooting above $60,000 for the first time since November 2021.

The price of the leading cryptocurrency was last 6% higher at $60,688.00, according to Coin Metrics. It had earlier risen to $60,734.42. It now sits just below its all-time high of $68,982.20.

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Bitcoin, 5 years

With the report clearly visible, the market is even more motivated to see this level retested. Bitcoin has jumped more than 18% this week alone, after a week-long hiatus from this year’s rally. It is now up more than 40% for 2024.

Antony Trenchev, co-founder of crypto exchange Nexo, said he expects some resistance as bitcoin nears $69,000, but this break above $60,000 should whet the appetite of investors who rode this year’s rally — especially retail investors . According to JPMorgan, their interest in crypto has recovered this month after a hiatus in January.

Investors expect it to set a new record this year after the launch of ETFs made the asset class more accessible to institutional investors and with the upcoming net halving event historically setting the stage for a big rally in the coming months.

“We’ve always known we needed Bitcoin to get to a place where it’s adopted and accepted on a mainstream level, and now the doors are open for that to happen,” said Joel Krueger, market strategist at LMAX Group. “Bitcoin’s economics dictate that it should continue to go up.”

Specifically, the halving, an event specified in the Bitcoin code, cuts the reward for mining Bitcoin in half to limit the supply. The next halving is expected to happen in April, although Ryan Rasmussen, an analyst at Bitwise Asset Management, pointed out that thanks to the ETF, demand for bitcoins is already far ahead of supply.

“We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg,” Rasmussen said, referring to the ETF’s impact. “Institutional capital is still gaining momentum with Bitcoin ETFs – platform approvals, advisor training, client education – I expect a lot more demand is still under the surface and remains to be seen.”

The move boosted bitcoin-related stocks. Crypto exchange Coinbase saw shares rise more than 5% while bitcoin proxy Micro strategy jumped 8%. Popular Miners CleanSpark and Digital marathon added more than 4% each.