Bitcoin (BTC) chipped away at its latest gains on Dec. 31 as the final trading session of 2021 opened on Wall St.
Bitcoin posts 60% year-to-date gains
The uptick had coincided with the December expiry on Bitcoin options, by far the biggest date on the options calendar at nearly $6 billion. Conspicuous buying was recorded on U.S. professional exchange Coinbase Pro in the run-up to the event.
With stocks heading higher in Asia, all eyes were on the potential for a final flourish against a background of concern over inflation in 2022.
The S&P 500 broke its 70th all-time high of the year on Dec. 30 at 4,806 points, but next year could look very different for equities thanks to the Federal Reserve. For Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, the future was bright — at least for H1.
"A lot of people think we might give some of this back as we enter the new year,” he told Bloomberg.
“That could happen, but I think we’re going to maybe go above 5,000 during the first half of the year on excitement that finally we may be moving COVID from a pandemic to an epidemic and on the realization that inflation is moderating.”
BTC/USD looked set to end the year around $19,000 higher than its starting position. Zooming out, Scott Melker, the popular trader and podcast host known as the Wolf of all Streets, argued that the long-term BTC/USD spoke for itself.
"You want to zoom out and feel bullish? Take a gander at the BTC yearly chart. Up Only," he said as part of Twitter comments on Dec. 31.
At least $100,000 by December 2022
Also in a celebratory mood, meanwhile, was PlanB, the quant analyst well known for his enduring but increasingly controversial stock-to-flow Bitcoin price models.
Reflecting, he noted that Bitcoin was up 60% in USD terms in 2021, with stocks at 27% and gold trailing with -4%.
Despite being nowhere near where he hoped it would be, BTC/USD remains true to stock-to-flow's permitted deviation, and is thus in line to hit its predicted average price of $100,000 by 2024.
An accompanying survey from earlier in the week, which garnered almost 180,000 responses, revealed that the majority of respondents believe that, one year from now, Bitcoin will trade somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000.