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Bitcoin (BTC) has reached the $40,000 level for the first time since late April 2022, climbing around 2% in 24 hours.

Bitcoin surged from under $39,500 to strike above $40,000 on Dec. 3 to hit a 19-month high, according to CoinGecko data.

It also marks a new year-to-date high for Bitcoin, which is up over 140% since Jan. 1. However, its still down around 42% from its Nov. 10, 2021, all-time high of over $69,000.

The price of Bitcoin over the last 12 months, which has gone from under $17,000. Source: CoinGecko

In a Nov. 30 note, Matrixport research head Markus Thielen predicted that Bitcoin would hit over $60,000 by April next year and $125,000 by the end of 2024.

Thielen said the last three crypto bear markets saw a following three year bull cycle and an analysis suggested “another three years of this bull market, with 2023 being the first year.”

“Historically, the years when Bitcoin mining rewards were halved were generally bullish,” Thielen explained. Bitcoin is expected to again halve — when mining rewards are cut by 50% — in mid-April 2024.

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“Miners tended to hoard Bitcoin before each halving, prices increased by +200%, which would project Bitcoin reaching $125,000,” Thielen said.

Bitcoin’s price milestone comes amid speculation that a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is set for approval in the United States soon.

In a Nov. 28 note, Standard Chartered predicted Bitcoin could fetch six figures before the end of next year due to the “earlier-than-expected introduction” of spot ETFs in the U.S.

There are 13 bidders for a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. — the latest from Swiss asset manager Pando Asset, which filed on Nov. 29. All are pending approval with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and including BlackRock and Grayscale, have met with the agency to hash out details of their ETFs.

Bloomberg ETF analysts have 90% odds that all pending ETF bids will be be approved simultaneously by Jan. 10.

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