It’s been a super busy week with events like earnings and economic data. In case you missed it, there’s also been a stealth rally in cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin futures (@BTC) are up more than 12 percent since last Friday. They’re on pace for their biggest weekly gain since surging on heavily volume early last month.
No single factor seems to explain the move. Instead, there’s been incremental buying after Bitcoin stabilized in the first quarter and as market participants gain confidence in the future of the asset class.
Just yesterday, for instance, The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook (FB) wants to integrate blockchain into its giant social network. The system would help compensate individual users for viewing ads and facilitate payments through messaging apps.
Big industry meetings later in the month will also draw attention to the space. CoinDesk’s Consensus conference is scheduled for May 13 to May 15 in New York. This year’s event may have an even higher profile because it will occur within an entire week of blockchain promotion by the city government.
Ethereum’s (ETH) major upgrade could be another item to watch next month. The new “proof-of-stake” protocol would include new methods of creating blocks and verifying transactions. It may be finalized as early as June 30.
That could be important because ETH, the No. 2 cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has lagged BTC this year. Other altcoins have traded similarly. Will traders look for renewed interest after ETH’s upgrade?
In conclusion, we’re wrapping up a busy week for stocks, commodities and the economy. But beneath the surface cryptocurrencies have been getting more active as well.