Shares of crypto miners, bitcoin-tracking companies and Coinbase (COIN.O) rose on Friday as the world’s largest cryptocurrency, bitcoin, extended a recent rally to touch a near 19-month high. Bitcoin was up 1.6% at $38,337 and has been gaining since October on optimism that a potential approval of a spot exchange-traded fund is likely to unleash more capital investments in the digital asset sector.
J.P.Morgan raised its price targets on Cipher Mining (CIFR.O), CleanSpark (CLSK.O), Iris Energy (IREN.O), Marathon Digital and Riot Platforms to reflect the rally in bitcoin. The mining companies are also increasing production before bitcoin’s “halving” event next year when rewards for producing the tokens are cut in half.
Coinbase’s shares (COIN.O) rose about 2.5% following the 62% jump in November that outperformed bitcoin’s 11% climb, even as the U.S. crypto exchange reported a decline in trading volume earlier in the month.
The ETF approval bets have helped counter latest concerns after Changpeng Zhao, the founder of the world’s largest crypto exchange, stepped down and pleaded guilty to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws.
Among other gainers were U.S. software developer and bitcoin investor Microstrategy (MSTR.O), up nearly 3.5%, and ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO.P), which added 2.1%.
CFRA Research analyst Michael Elliott said higher crypto prices should lead to a boost in transaction volume and transaction revenues for Coinbase as they enter 2024. However, Elliott cautioned the crypto exchange faces both legal challenges and new regulations that are likely to take time to play out and will continue to result in volatility for the stock.
Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Krishna Chandra Eluri. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. Acquire Licensing Rights, opens new tab.