Yesterday morning, cryptocurrency thought leader Anthony Pompliano, author of the influential Off The Chain newsletter, tweeted out a warning: “Today is April Fool’s Day. Trust no one. Verify everything.”
Less than 24 hours later, he tweeted, “BITCOIN IS BACK, BABY” followed by the emoji of a fire and a zooming stock chart.
Bitcoin (BTC) briefly cracked $5,000, running up as much as 20% in a flurry of buying overnight that started at about 1:20 a.m. ET, according to Coinbase, before settling above $4,700 by 11:30 a.m., up 15%.
Its market cap rose $17 billion in that first hour of the spike, Bloomberg reported, and many other cryptocurrencies have ridden its coattails, with ether (ETH) climbing up more than 10% by 10 am ET. Ripple’s XRP was up more than 8%, bitcoin cash (BCC) was up 21%, and litecoin (LTC) rounded out the top five cryptocurrencies by gaining almost 17%.
Pompliano’s initial warning may have prescient, according to Bloomberg, which reported that the rally may have started with an April Fool’s Joke. “One theory is that a widely circulated spoof article stating the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had approved two Bitcoin exchange-traded funds drove prices higher, while others said it was caused by unwinding of short positions,” the news site noted. “Few pointed to any fundamental changes.”
Wealth Chain Capital’s CEO Phillip Nunn also tweeted out the April Fool’s Day/SEC ETF approval theory, as did controversial Onchain Capital CEO Ran Neuner, who wrote in the early morning hours of April 2, as the spike was happening, “Imagine this was the reason BTC spiked! An April Fool’s joke… .” That was an hour after tweeting “Over 1m people on #Crypro Twitter and not a single one can explain the spike!”
Crypto influencer Armin Van Bitcoin didn’t buy the April Fool’s theory, noting, “April fools aside, $BTC daily on-chain transaction count highest since 2017 bull market. If we included off-chain transactions, we’d be at new ATHs [all time highs] already.”
Others also looked for more fundamental reasons. eToro Senior Market Analyst Mati Greenspan told Bloomberg that “this move has been building up for a few months now since the mid-December lows. We’ve been gaining some gradual momentum, initially in some of the smaller cryptos, the alt coins. We saw a bit of value investing where some of those cryptos were surging, some had doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled in value, whereas Bitcoin has been more stable. It seems to be a technical move that was caused by that jump above that $4,200 level [for Bitcoin] … this is a key level eyed by traders for weeks now, so no doubt we had a lot of stop losses building up and some entry orders there.”
Others were simply upbeat. Twitter crypto influencer Crypto Rand commented, “It’s starting. Be ready.”
He also tweeted “When you short $BTC” along with a link to a tweet by Edward Morra noting that there have been about $500 million in liquidations of short positions just on the Bitmex exchange.
BitMEX exchange CEO Arthur Hayes tweeted, “Volatility is back … PARTY TIME!” along with an image of people dancing in a Zebra costume (which is definitely worth seeing). Some are pointing fingers at BitMEX, alleging that it was part of what caused the rally after a $500 million short squeeze was said to have occurred on the exchange Tuesday morning.