Bitcoin Tops $71K, Ordinals Bets Rise Ahead of Halving


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Bitcoin topped $71,000 in Asian trading hours Monday ahead of the reward halving expected on April 20, giving some Ordinal and BRC-20 ecosystem bets a boost even as the broader crypto market remained little changed.

BTC rose 2% in the past 24 hours taking it to the highest since April 1, data from CoinGecko shows. The broad-based CoinDesk 20, an index of the most liquid tokens excluding stablecoins, was up 0.43%.

When halving occurs, the reward for mining transactions is cut by 50%, reducing the rate at which new coins are created and thus lowering the available new supply. This has historically preceded a bull market for the token.

The current block reward is 6.25 BTC, and will drop to 3.125 BTC after the halving. Open interest on BTC-tracked futures has maintained record-high levels at above $25 billion for a few weeks, indicative of leveraged bets on more expected price volatility.

Some Bitcoin ecosystem tokens and projects rose as traders expect a BTC rally following the halving event. Such bets are a way to gain proxy exposure to bitcoin’s rise without using futures products or leverage.

Data shows Ordinals volumes were higher than those of usual leaders Ethereum and Solana in the past week, led by NodeMonkes and Pups. Non-fungible token (NFT) buying and selling activity declined 95% across all networks in the same period, suggestive of an isolated rise in Ordinals.

Bitcoin Ordinals have risen as a proxy bet on BTC. (CryptoSlam)

The BRC-20 category of tokens gained nearly 6% in the past 24 hours. Infrastructure token Multibit (MULTI) rose 22%, while meme coins pepe (PEPE), alex (ALEX) and pizza (PIZA) rose as much as 60%.

PUPS, the token of the Pups Ordinal, lost 22% as traders took profits after a 500% jump over the weekend.

Ordinals are a way to embed data into the Bitcoin blockchain by inscribing references to digital art into small bitcoin-based transactions. The BRC-20 standard (BRC stands for Bitcoin Request for Comment) was introduced last year to allow users to issue transferable tokens directly through the network for the first time.

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