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Price of bitcoin shot above the $54,000 level on Monday after waking up from a week of tepid trading.

The leading cryptocurrency was last up 5% to $54,460.00, according to Coin Metrics. At its session high, Bitcoin hit $54,965.26 and hit its highest level since December 2021.

“Today is settlement day for bitcoin futures, which is contributing to the price spike we’re seeing,” said Ryan Rasmussen, an analyst at Bitwise Asset Management. “We are approaching the window where we typically see traders position themselves ahead of the Bitcoin halving that will happen in the second half of April.” I suspect this is the day people start moving into bullish positions ahead of the halving.”

Most of the crypto market has improved from Bitcoin. Ether gained more than 2% to trade at $3,173.87. Solana added more than 5%, and Cardano’s ADA token advanced by about 4%. Polygons MATIC the token rose by 8%.

Crypto-related stocks soared. Coinbase and Micro strategy jumped 16%. Riot Platforms and Digital marathonthe biggest bitcoin miners, jumped 15% and 20% respectively.

Bitcoin traded flat in the week leading up to Monday, when the breakout began, putting it on track for a 27% monthly gain.

“Bitcoin has hovered around $52,000 for the past two weeks and is looking for a breakout opportunity,” said Owen Lau, an analyst at Oppenheimer, who cited positive idiosyncratic developments in crypto regulation and growing retail participation.

In a recent note, Nikolaos Panigirtsoglu of JPMorgan pointed out that after a lull in January, retail appetite for cryptocurrency rebounded in February and was a significant driver of the upward price action. He pointed to three key catalysts that help explain the renewed retail interest: Bitcoin’s halving and Ethereum’s next technology upgrade — both of which JPMorgan sees as pricey — and the potential approval of a spot ether ETF.

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