Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, rose back above $41,500 amid a sharp rally in digital tokens on Wednesday as the industry awaits further detail on a U.S. executive order.
The coin advanced as much as 8.8% to $41,874 and was near that level as of 2:40 p.m. in Singapore. Ether gained as much as 6.7%, while Terra — another top 10 token — is up almost 20% over the past 24 hours, according to CoinGecko data.
Investors are awaiting an update on a possible executive order from President Joe Biden this week, which is expected to outline the U.S. government’s strategy for cryptocurrencies.
In a since-removed statement dated March 9 posted to the U.S. Department of the Treasury website, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the approach outlined in the order “will support responsible innovation that could result in substantial benefits for the nation, consumers, and businesses.”
“For years, the crypto market has been hindered by a lack of regulatory clarity in the U.S.,” said Hayden Hughes, chief executive officer of trading social-media platform Alpha Impact, in a message Wednesday. “If clear guidelines are passed, this could be a watershed moment for the industry.”
Bitcoin has swung within a range of $33,000 to $48,000 for much of the year. The latest move higher came despite the somber tone in wider markets due to the war in Ukraine and turmoil in commodities.
Privacy coins Monero and Zcash gained around 27% and 20% respectively in the past 24 hours, CoinGecko data showed, amid speculation that they may get payment traffic displaced by the sanctions on Russia.
“The recent surge in privacy coins is mostly driven by traders speculating on the possibility that we will see capital flight” into them, said Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at crypto exchange AAX, in a message Wednesday.
While privacy coins allow for a higher degree of anonymity, the networks they live on are less decentralized and less secure than Bitcoin, and limited in market cap, he said. “Rather than a new trend, current uptake is likely to be limited, with more volatility ahead.”