Institutional investors may keep bitcoin rising.

Experts think bitcoin's latest spectacular ascent to a new high may last longer than in 2021 as established institutions invest. The world's most volatile cryptocurrency reached $69,202 on Tuesday, fueled by enthusiasm over new U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs and predictions the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates this year.

Bitcoin's price trend is difficult to forecast after less than two decades as a financial asset. Bitcoin fell in November 2021, taking half the crypto sector with it, months after retail euphoria drove it to its last milestone.

More long-term institutional funding might help the coin maintain its high levels, analysts and executives suggested. "Traditional institutions were once sitting out; today, they are here in full force as the main drivers of the crypto bull market," said Anchorage Digital CEO Nathan McCauley.

MicroStrategy bought 3,000 bitcoins for $155 million in February, while Reddit bought tiny sums of bitcoin and ether. "The market is getting pushed around by some of the crypto industry whales," said Interactive Brokers chief strategist Steve Sosnick, who expects bitcoin's price to fall as investors took profits.

Ten new U.S. bitcoin ETFs offer regulated options for established institutions and other customers who may feel comfortable investing in the cryptocurrency, driving sticky money. Bitcoin has gained more than 50% this year, mostly due to fresh ETF inflows. Monday net flows into the goods were $7.9 billion, according to BitMex Research.

Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks, which provides the index for six ETFs, said he knew of certain registered investment advisors and other significant institutions buying the ETFs but declined to name them. "For institutions, bitcoin’s core appeal is the diversification potential it offers," he said.

Last month, crypto blog The Block claimed that wealth manager Gerber Kawasaki invested in BlackRock's AdvisorShares spot bitcoin ETF. Bitfinex analysts say such investors are relatively price-insensitive. A drop after the current cycle's peak may be less severe than before. After a large price surge after gold ETFs, prices stabilized "they added. Google analytics show that retail interest in cryptocurrencies has remained low compared to 2021 and 2022.

CME Micro Bitcoin futures, which wealthy retail investors can afford at 1/10th of a bitcoin, rose from 32,007 on Feb. 27 to nearly 87,000 on Feb. 28. "If there is a retail frenzy, it started on Feb. 27th," Chung.

Speculative asset Bitcoin was created in 2008 and is controlled by retail investors. The short track record makes it challenging to predict its trading throughout numerous economic cycles. Last month, European Central Bank researchers warned that it has no economic underpinnings, unlike gold, thus its price cannot be predicted.

One unknown is the price carryover from bitcoins in bankruptcies that may be liquidated in coming months. Last year, bankruptcy had $35 billion in crypto, but Reuters couldn't tell how much was bitcoin. However, the bitcoin "halving" would further cut supply to 21 million bitcoins. That process ended in 2020, hence bitcoin's supply is under more strain than in 2021.