With a gain of 39.4% this month, Bitcoin is closing out its best month since a 40% rally in October 2021 and its best January since 2013.
Currently changing hands at $22,910, bitcoin (BTC-USD) has been trading over the past week at its highest level since August of last year. The largest cryptocurrency hasn't given holders such an uplifting January in a decade.
“We started January off with some explosive price action the week of December's CPI print,” said Christopher Newhouse, options trader with crypto market maker GSR.
From Newhouse's perspective, buyer side demand from institutional takers — whether macro driven traders or hedge funds — returned in the first two weeks of the month, which sparked initial short seller liquidations.
In the 12 days following December's inflation report released on Jan. 12, $1.3 billion worth of short positions on bitcoin were liquidated, or $611 million as net of long positions, according to crypto derivatives aggregator CoinGlass. Over the past week, the trend has reversed with $331 million in long positions liquidated, or $108 million net of short positions.
Between January 10 and 20, which is when bitcoin saw its largest moves higher, speculation-driven momentum traders returned to the market, spearheading bitcoin breaking out from a range of between $15,700 and $18,000.
"Bitcoin’s pushes above $20,000 and $22,000 both happened on Fridays as dealers had large amounts of negative gamma exposure and forced to hedge towards the end of U.S. hours trading," Newhouse observed.
Analysts say the next leg for bitcoin will likely be determined in the days following the Federal Reserve's monthly rate hike decision.
“This market is going to start to trade very technical,” Edward Moya, a senior analyst at Oanda told Yahoo Finance, "Volatility is coming back."
The return of bitcoin buying looks similar to what occurred from July through early August according to Michael Safai, co-founder and partner with crypto trading firm, Dexterity Capital.
"It takes about two months or so for the crypto market to stabilize after a major shock, and we’re at that point post-FTX," Safai said over email.
"The worst of the damage has been inflicted, investors are relatively confident that there are no more shoes to drop, as reflected in the muted reception to the Genesis bankruptcy, and risk appetite is starting to slowly return."
Year to date, the total market capitalization for cryptocurrencies is up 24% to $1.05 trillion, according to Coinmarketcap. Across spot exchanges worldwide, global crypto volume has risen to $5.5 trillion, which is up 61% since the beginning of the year, according to crypto indexing platform Nomics.
Data collected by blockchain analytics platform Glassnode finds since bitcoin regained a price above $21,000, the current market rally has pushed buyers of the largest cryptocurrency from 2019 and earlier back above breakeven.
"These psychological levels matter," Moya added.