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Bitcoin rises above $45,000, its highest level in almost a month

The price of bitcoin rose above $45,000 for the first time since January 11, when US spot bitcoin ETF trading began.

Bitcoin last rose nearly 3% to $45,391.18, according to Coin Metrics, lifting cryptocurrency-related stocks, although ether floated on the flat line.

The flagship cryptocurrency’s move came as shares of New York Community Bank Losses extended on Thursday. Concerns about U.S. regional banks have worked in bitcoin’s favor since last year’s regional banking crisis, when investors who lost confidence in banks turned to the cryptocurrency as a hedge against uncertainty.

Traders also note that accumulation of bitcoin by large investors, known as “whales,” has increased in the past two weeks, as the cryptocurrency’s price has remained below December and January highs.

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Bitcoin rises to its highest level in almost a month

“What is happening now appears to be that large investors (whales, institutions, others) are accumulating assets ahead of what many believe will be a strong bullish cycle until the end of the year,” said Bartosz Lipiński, CEO of the trading platform Cube.Exchange cryptocurrency exchange. “Just look at the number of bitcoin wallets containing more than 1,000 BTC, which has increased significantly over the past two weeks and now includes 73 additional participants who previously did not hold such a significant amount of the cryptocurrency.”

Over the past two weeks, average daily bitcoin trading volumes fell 29.6% week over week, JPMorgan noted in a note on Thursday, while ether trading volumes declined 40%.

Crypto Exchange Stocks Coinbase jumped about 9%, while bitcoin proxy Microstrategy added 11%. In the mining pool, clean spark and Riot platforms they advanced around 9% each, while Digital Marathon increased by 13% and iris energy increased by 19%.

—CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed reporting.

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