Bitcoin crossed the $20,000 mark and was eyeing its best day in six weeks on Friday as the US dollar fell broadly and markets found reasons to cheer at the end of a rough week.
Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, rose more than 7% to $20,796, its highest level in two weeks. Shares of Ether, the second largest, rose 5 percent, also reaching a two-week high of $1,717. Bitcoin was as low as $18,540 on Wednesday.
Market participants said there was no particular driver for the gains other than a broad upbeat mood in evidence across asset classes on Friday, led by a drop in the safe-haven dollar and a rebound in Chinese stocks.
If the cryptocurrency can hold its gains until Sunday’s close, Bitcoin could post a second straight weekly high, and its best week in about a month.
Ether’s weekend volatility may be heightened by a looming software upgrade known as “merging,” scheduled sometime between September 10-20, with the exact timing uncertain.
This shift will fundamentally change how transactions are processed and is supposed to reduce energy consumption. Some exchanges plan to pause deposits and withdrawals while the upgrade is in progress.