Bitcoin rockets past US$50,000 as analysts eye October price catalyst

Most cryptos have been gaining over the past month, but there are no guarantees how long that will last.

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The Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) price is up 2% over the past 24 hours. One Bitcoin is currently trading for US$50,268 (AU$69,816).

The last time the world’s largest token by market cap traded above the psychologically significant US$50,000 mark was on 15 May.

Back then, it was on the way down, having traded at all-time highs of US$64,829 on 16 April.

It would continue to lose ground (though not in any kind of straight line) until hitting lows of US$29,608 on 21 July. Which, our helpful calculator tells us, means Bitcoin has now gained a whopping 70% in just over 1 month.

Not bad for those who bought in at the 21 July low and were able to stomach the wild volatility that’s followed.

Commenting on the break above US$50,000, Mati Greenspan, CEO of Quantum Economics said (as quoted by CoinDesk), “It’s not the first time we’ve crossed this legendary milestone, but given the advancements in the industry lately, $50,000 certainly seems justified at this time.”

But with US$50,000 once more surpassed, what’s next?

Potential Bitcoin price catalyst ahead

Online investment platform eToro’s crypto analyst Josh Gilbert told the Motley Fool that he believes the world’s number 1 crypto “will be trading at a higher price” in 6-12 months than it is today.

Part of his bullish outlook stems from blockchain upgrades which are intended to make Bitcoin a competitor with Ethereum (CRYPTO: ETH) in the digital contract space.

According to Gilbert:

Bitcoin’s Taproot upgrade, which is expected to take full effect in October 2021, could provide a catalyst for new record highs. The upgrade will provide greater efficiency and, crucially, unlock the potential for smart contracts, meaning it can offer more than just payments.

Currently, smart contracts are the primary driver for Ethereum. Adding smart contracts capabilities to Bitcoin’s blockchain could be a game-changer.

Don’t ignore the headwinds

That’s a strong potential tailwind for further price gains.

When we asked what could stall any new bull run for the token, Gilbert told us:

Bitcoin’s headwinds are continuing scrutiny by regulatory bodies, as well as facing uncertainty from large mining regions such as China. Other assets like Ethereum continue to challenge Bitcoin, particularly with Ethereum’s more advanced technology.

Gilbert said Ethereum’s “transition towards decentralisation with Ethereum 2.0, which will accommodate the most complex ecosystem of applications” isn’t something Bitcoin is currently able to offer.

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The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended Bitcoin. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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