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Bitcoin and Ethereum rebound signals ‘crypto winter’ thaw

February 9, 2022, 1:25 AM UTC

The crypto freeze may be thawing. 

Cryptocurrencies that have been on the decline since December and took a huge hit in price over the past three weeks have rebounded somewhat over the past seven days. 

Bitcoin, which in late January fell about 52% from its November highs to a low of about $33,000, has gained about 15% in the past seven days. Meanwhile, Ethereum, which in late January fell about 55% from November highs, is up about 13% over the same time period.

The modest rebound is just further evidence for Bank of America global crypto and digital asset strategist Alkesh Shah to proclaim that January was no crypto winter at all. Despite the price tumble, Shah said his conversations with interest in crypto and digital assets actually picked up last month, and that his team expects crypto prices to rise in the second half of 2022 and into 2023.

Shah said crypto and digital assets are risky, like equities, commodities, or real estate. By their nature, their prices are highly volatile. Broader economic factors such as the Federal Reserve saying it may raise interest rates as soon as March can affect the price of “risk assets”, and crypto is no exception, said Shah.

“The market as a whole, and risk assets broadly, really weren’t expecting how many rate hikes are now being talked about,” Shah said.

Goldman Sachs has predicted at least four rate hikes in 2022, while the most aggressive estimate, from Shah’s own bank, foresees seven rate hikes in 2022 and an additional four next year.

Crypto will continue to experience temporary price declines for the next three to six months, he said, because the markets haven’t fully considered the potential interest rate hikes of the likes that Shah’s bank is predicting.

Once the crypto market, along with other risk assets, adjust to that expected reality, prices will again start to rise, said Shah.

“Then, this group especially (crypto assets), can start to move up more based on the fundamentals of growth and adoption and all of the new applications being built on this ecosystem,” he said.

Going into the end of the year, Shah said more investors will begin to take notice of blockchain networks such as Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, and Avalanche that let applications be built on top of them. Each of these networks have their own cryptocurrency, Ether, BNB, and AVAX that investors can buy.

“Investors just can’t ignore the sector anymore,” he said. “It’s gotten too big to ignore.

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