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Bitcoin breaches $30,000 for first time in 10 months

Major cryptocurrency
bitcoin has breached the key $30,000 level for the first time in 10
months, adding to its steady gains as investors
raised bets that the US Federal Reserve will soon end its
aggressive monetary tightening campaign.

Bitcoin peaked at $30,438 in Asian trade on Tuesday and was
last 2 percent higher at $30,262. It has gained about 6 percent since the
start of the month, after rising 23 percent in March.

The token’s surge follows Friday’s closely-watched US
nonfarm payrolls report that showed employers maintained a
strong pace of hiring in March, pointing to a still-resilient

However, banking sector turmoil sparked by last month’s
collapse of Silicon Valley Bank has raised market expectations
that the Fed is unlikely to lift interest rates much higher for
longer as it looks to ease the stress on the sector.

READ MORE: Explained: How is the EU strengthening the international role of the Euro?

Broad-based rally

“The reason behind the broad-based rally in crypto is
traders’ optimism toward central banks’ monetary policy,” said
Tina Teng, markets analyst at CMC Markets.

“Bets for a sooner Fed pivot on rate hikes have been
dramatically strengthened following the bank turmoil in early

Ether, the second largest cryptocurrency, stood
near last week’s roughly eight-month peak of $1,942.50. It was
last 0.75 percent higher at $1,925.80.

Crypto investors are eagerly anticipating a major revamp to
the Ethereum blockchain this week that is set to allow them to
gain access to more than $33 billion of ether currency.

Dubbed Shapella, the software upgrade will let market players redeem their “staked ether” – coins they have deposited and locked up on the network over the past three years in return for interest.

READ MORE: How did bitcoin get its cryptocurrency mojo back?

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