Crypto Rallies Into Weekend, Bitcoin Posts Its Best Week Since Early 2021

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Cryptocurrencies resumed their rally on Friday, climbing above the $26,000 for the second time this week.

Bitcoin ended higher by 7.46% at $26,868.39, according to Coin Metrics. It posted a weekly gain of 34.13%, and its best week since January 2021, which was right before the first bull run that year.

Ether rose 3.87% to $1,745.57. For the week, it ended up 22.88%, its best weekly gain since August 2021.

Prices climbed even as stocks fell Friday, as traders digested the future of Credit Suisse. The bank's fate continued to weigh on investors even after the embattled lender said it will borrow up to 50 billion Swiss francs ($54 billion) from the Swiss National Bank.

"Bitcoin is highly sensitive to liquidity and the liquidity outlook has improved," said Dessislava Aubert, an analyst at crypto data provider Kaiko. "Data showed yesterday that the Fed's assets have risen by roughly $300 billion... While the new BTFP facility is not a direct QE, the Fed is essentially injecting liquidity into the banking system, lending more than the collateral pledged is worth in market terms."

"China is also adding liquidity by lowering its reserve ratio for banks," she added. "So essentially it's a sentiment driven move."

Yuya Hasegawa, an analyst at Japanese crypto firm Bitbank, said a close above $26,000 for bitcoin could signal the beginning of a bull market. Fairlead Strategies' Katie Stockton said two consecutive closes above $25,200 — this coming Sunday and the next — could be signal a bullish long-term development forming.

Investors have welcomed resilient crypto prices amid the banking crisis this week. The week kicked off with the closures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank late Sunday but attention was on First Republic Bank throughout the week. Late Thursday several large U.S. banks stepped in to aid it with $30 billion in deposits.

Many have suggested bitcoin is undergoing a narrative shift among the banking crisis. The cryptocurrency's price moves, however, are still heavily influenced by inflation and Federal Reserve rate hikes.

"I still don't see enough evidence to think the Fed will back off its higher-for-longer stance, even if it stops hiking rates," said Callie Cox, U.S. investment analyst at eToro. "High rates are tough for speculative crypto to survive in. I also think it's extra important to understand how your investments make money, and what the risks are. High rates can cull the herd, and the big could get bigger. We're essentially seeing that happen in the traditional banking system right now."

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