The Bitcoin ETF pumped BTC to all-time highs. Is the next stop six figures?

It’s worth thinking about everything that’s happened since Bitcoin blasted its way through US$20k in December last year. The 2020 surge was driven by pandemic-fuelled inflation fears, the rise of meme trading and the growing institutional interest in Bitcoin, marked most obviously by Coinbase’s announcement that it was going to go public.

Since then, Bitcoin has tripled in price, been purchased by both Tesla and El Salvador (and obviously Microstrategy), been actually banned in China, experienced one of the greatest industrial migrations in history, lost half its value, added tens of millions of new market participants and tens of billions in institutional investment, and, to top it all off, seen the approval of the first US Bitcoin ETFs. (And that’s not even getting into Ethereum, NFTs, Solana, DeFi or any of the other absolute madness we’ve crammed into the last 10 months).

And now here we are. A new all-time high for Bitcoin, a new all-time high for crypto and the slowly simmering feeling that things could be about to go absolutely haywire.

Remember, remember, the month of December

For those of you who’ve been around since 2017, this bull run has provided plenty of deja vu moments. But with the charts pointing upwards once more and the end of the year in sight, it’s worth asking: what exactly is Bitcoin’s obsession with December?

In December 2013, the second Bitcoin bubble peaked. In December 2016, it reached US$1000 and began its unstoppable advance to US$20k – a price it hit 12 months later, in December 2017. December 2018 marked the low point of the bear market, while December 2020 saw Bitcoin break it’s old all-time high and begin its unstoppable advance to… well, that’s yet to be seen.

There are those who argue that Bitcoin’s price movements are essentially programmed, a function of decreasing issuance and increasing energy costs. In this light, December peaks are a natural product of the four-yearly halving events. Then there are others who point to what’s happened before as a likely path to what will happen next. For all their unpredictability, the markets only have a certain number of patterns; Bitcoin could be stuck in a bubble loop.

A sure thing?

But markets are exceedingly complicated places and you should take those who predict its future with a hefty grain of salt. What does set Bitcoin apart, however, is the sheer velocity with which it can transform changing sentiment into price. Bitcoin is the original meme stock and when it grabs hold of a narrative it can turn it into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So, is that where the ETF has taken us? Are we teetering on the precipice of wholesale mania and the expansion (and detonation) of the bubble? Or will this be the year that breaks the pattern and shows that Bitcoin is human after all?
Things look good, but complacency has been the death of many fortunes. Be excited, be careful, be prepared. Pick your positions with conviction and don’t overtrade. Know what your goal is and check your greed. And if you ever find yourself, in the middle of December, saying “You know what? Maybe this will just go up forever”, then it’s probably time to sell.