For the first time since April 2022, the world’s largest cryptocurrency leaped by around 5.2% to breach the critical $45,000 at around 3 PM (EST) on January 3rd.

Bitcoin’s value went over $45,000 even as investors awaited the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s approval of a spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) that could invest directly into the digital asset. The token’s value has soared by nearly 20% since December 2023, and it could go higher if the SEC gives its approval by Wednesday, January 10th.

As of press time, however, the SEC has yet to release a statement regarding the matter.

Could Bitcoin Hit $50K?

According to Vertex Protocol co-founder Darius Tabatabai, the digital asset market continues to rally, mostly buoyed by optimism regarding SEC approval of the ETF. Indeed, many traders are riding high on optimism, and a number expect Bitcoin’s value to shoot up to $50,000.

For her part, Venn Link Partners founder Cici Lu McCalman doubts any major corrections occurring in light of both bullish market sentiment and the possibility that Bitcoin will undergo halving come April of this year.

Historically, halving – a process wherein the amount of Bitcoins received per block reward by miners is reduced by half – happens every four years. Every time this occurred, the token’s value hit record highs.

Bouncing Back

This is a felicitous start for 2024 for Bitcoin which had a rather interesting run in the previous year.

In 2023, Bitcoin bounced back by almost 160% from its disastrous fall in 2022. However, this rebound was just enough to partially repair some of the adverse effects, and the token’s value remains lower than its pre-pandemic high of $69,000.

Nevertheless, Bitcoin outperformed several globally traded stocks as well as gold for much of 2023.