Bitcoin has continued its march higher after shooting up at the beginning of the month and now appears to be pulling away from the likes ethereum, Ripple's XRP, bitcoin cash, EOS, and other major cryptocurrencies.
The bitcoin price has hit another year-to-date high in the past 24 hours, climbing to $5,622, according to prices from the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.
Now, a bullish technical indicator is giving investors heart that the recent rally will be held after bitcoin's moving averages showed a pattern known as a golden cross.
The bitcoin price has been outperforming smaller cryptocurrencies after so-called altcoins made strong gains previously.
The golden crossoccurs when the average bitcoin price in the short term rises above its long term average price. Bitcoin's 50-day moving average rose above its 200-day moving average for the first time since 2015yesterday.
Alternatively, when an assets short-term moving average crosses below the long-term moving average, it indicates the potential for a major selloff and is known as a death cross.
The bitcoin price has risen almost 2% over the last 24 hour trading period, according to data from CoinMarketCap, which tracks most major cryptocurrencies.
Elsewhere, ethereum and Ripple's XRP lost 2%, while bitcoin cash, an offshoot of bitcoin itself, was down more than 5%. EOS was off by 3% over the last 24 hour trading period.
Binance coin, which increasingly seems to be deciding the direction of the bitcoin and cryptocurrency market, lost the most of the top ten cryptocurrencies over the last 24 hours, dropping almost 6%.
The bitcoin price has recorded another year-to-date high this week.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency industry insiders have said bitcoin, the original cryptocurrency, is still very important to the wider market.
"If I had to pick one [cryptocurrency], I would pick bitcoin. We need bitcoin to succeed in order for the market to do well and for innovations to keep happening," Hany Rashwan, the founder and chief executive of cryptocurrency trading tools company Amun, this week told the Crypto for Earthlings podcast.
"Bitcoin is the largest and most well support asset today and we shouldn't dismiss it. There are a number of technical innovations on their way to make bitcoin more transactional. We should focus on that and keep investing in bitcoin more than anything else."
Meanwhile, analysts and traders were keen to find any sign of what was pushing bitcoin higher while other coins, like ethereum, Ripple's XRP, bitcoin cash, and EOS, fell.
The cryptocurrency market has been divided by bitcoin's recent gains.
"Another strong surge during the Asian session[yesterday]brought us to a new high of $5,622 a coin, the highest level since November's capitulation," eToro senior market analyst Mati Greenspan wrote in a note to clients.
"There are a load of bullish signs right now but if you're asking what caused this morning's movement, you might be slightly disappointed as there doesn't seem to be any specific catalyst for this. It seems simply to be a shift in outlook.
"During the bear market, there were a lot of people who sold their crypto in fear of lower prices. Those people didn't really go away though, they're simply standing on the sidelines waiting for the return of a bull market."
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