The price of bitcoin has shot up by hundreds of dollars in recent days, following the surprise announcement from JP Morgan that it is launching its own JPM Coin cryptocurrency.
Other leading cryptocurrencies, including ethereum and EOS, experienced significant gains, building on a major market surge earlier this month.
The investment bank’s decision to launch its own cryptocurrency comes less than three years after JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon declared bitcoin a “fraud” and threatened to fire any trader found to be dealing with cryptocurrency.
“The apparent U-Turn is interesting as it now means that wide audiences that have to date been distant from blockchain and cryptocurrency, are now sitting up and taking notice, with many feeling that this announcement will trigger many more like it,” David Thomas, director of Mayfair-based cryptocurrency exchange, told The Independent.
“When all is said and done, and irrespective of what it actually does or doesn’t do, the simple act of announcing something like this is great for demonstrating that views are changing and big players are active in the space. It will also do wonders for expanding the thirst for education in the space, which for us is one of the key barriers right now to making the crypto and blockchain market grow, along with regulation that we all now is imminently upon us.”
Bitcoin was trading at its highest level since the beginning of January, rising by more than 4 per cent over the last 24 hours to a price of $3,780 at the time of writing.
Ethereum saw the largest gains of all the major cryptocurrencies, shooting up by more than 13 per cent with the space of just a few hours.
Despite the positive market movement, the latest levels still represent a major downturn since cryptocurrency markets spiked in late 2017, when one bitcoin was worth close to $20,000. Since then, prices have slid on a consistent basis, only recently showing moderate signs of recovery.
“These optimistic price movements, combined with a strong volume of approximately $27 billion in the market, may well suggest that the long-awaited bull market is not far away,” Mati Greenspan, a senior market analyst at the online trading platform eToro, told The Independent.
“Still, until bitcoin sees a strong breakout above the psychological level of $5,000, the longest bear market in cryptocurrency’s short history continues.”