Bitcoin has continued its march higher, challenging 6-week highs and advancing to within striking distance of the psychologically important $300 mark. It is currently trading at $289 on BTC-e, earlier hitting a high of $294.
The latest advance has shown some irregular trading behavior. The high of $294 came amidst a wild swing that saw prices temporarily drop as low as $273, a loss of 5.9%, on a volume surge to above 3,500 BTC ($1 million) within an hour.
Also, prices on BTC-e are uncharacteristically higher than those of its peers, albeit only slightly. BTC-e’s prices are typically 1-2% lower than on other USD-based exchanges, and more recently, the gap has been frequently wider.
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Bitcoin’s rise over the past month and a half has been slow and steady relative to previous rallies. The stable profile makes it more likely that the gains will stick around for longer, as opposed to the sharp rise and drop in and around the launch of Coinbase’s Bitcoin exchange.
The stubbornly bullish behavior of late may also motivate traders and bots to raise the stakes and accelerate the pace of bitcoin’s gains, perhaps sustained for several weeks, after which a large correction is probable.
Bitcoin’s price is now over 20% above its 50-day moving average (MA), its largest such offset above the mark since November. The MA itself, now back at $240, has risen markedly for the first time since last July.