Bitcoin has now gained 35% from recent lows as prices rally back above $US8,000

(Photo by Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)

Bitcoin climbed back above the $US8,000 mark in Asian trade this afternoon for the first time since late May.

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency has now rallied by around 35% since dipping below $US5,900 at the end of June.

A short time ago, prices were still rising above $8,000 after clearing the mark yesterday at around 5pm AEST:

It follows a sharp rally last week, which some analysts said may have been driven by a short-squeeze on traders who held bearish positions against bitcoin.

Others have speculated the recent bounce may be stemming from continued interest in the space by big institutional investors.

Goldman Sachs is setting up a crypto trading desk, offering clients exposure to bitcoin-related derivatives.

And Business Insider’s Frank Chaparro reported that US exchange Coinbase is building out a prime brokerage platform to attract institutional capital, with the help of a $US20 billion hedge fund.

Analysis of Google Trends data also shows searches for “bitcoin etf” (exchange traded fund) in the US have spiked again in July, after interest tailed off following the height of the crypto bull market in late-2017.

Source: Google Trends

From a technical perspective, IG Markets senior strategist Ilya Spivak told Business Insider that the latest price action looks like a consolidation of 2018 trends.

“Prices have been consolidating in what looks like a Triangle chart pattern since late February. Typically, this setup is indicative of trend continuation, which carries bearish implications in this case in the context of the preceding selloff,” Spivak said.

Spivak said bitcoin’s current price opens the door for a re-test of the $US9,000 level, followed by the May high of $US9,950.

“Fundamentally speaking, I’m focused on the onset of quantitative tightening as the Fed sheds more assets from its balance sheet than the ECB is buying. That kind of global liquidity drain — which will only accelerate as the year progresses — seems likely to bode ill for high-risk assets like bitcoin,” Spivak said.

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