Crypto prices have recovered from a big dip earlier in the week, with bitcoin hitting a new high for 2023 on Friday.
Bitcoin touched a high of $38,015.16 on Friday morning, according to CoinMetrics, its highest level in more than a year. It was last up by about 1% at $37,709.50, and it’s on pace to end the week higher by 3.5%.
Meanwhile, ether has moved back above the key psychological level of $2,000, last trading nearly 2% higher at $2,101.78. The second largest token by market cap is outperforming the crypto market this week, on pace to end up more than 8%.
Solana, the big outperformer on the year – up more than 470% compared to bitcoin’s 130% – trailed the major tokens this week. It’s roughly flat on the week.
Investors are digesting the end of Changpeng “CZ” Zhao’s reign at the largest exchange in the world, Binance, after he agreed earlier this week to plead guilty to federal criminal charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. The news came less than a month after FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty in a federal fraud and conspiracy trial.
While Binance serves as the most significant liquidity pool for crypto trading, many see the exchange’s settlement as a necessary development to allow the crypto industry – still recovering from FTX’s 2022 collapse – to move forward. With the Binance investigation resolved, some say it may even clear the path for a bitcoin ETF approval, which many investors expect to be the major catalyst that sends bitcoin to major new highs.
Traders are also weighing the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, which were also released the day of the Binance settlement and showed officials expressed little appetite for cutting interest rates anytime soon.