(London) Bitcoin soared on Tuesday, surpassing the $45,000 mark, driven by hopes of an upcoming approval in the United States of a new consumer financial product, but also by the “halving” phenomenon which should take place early this year.

Around 4:45 a.m. EST (10:45 a.m. Paris), it was still trading sharply higher, gaining nearly 5% to $45,691, shortly after surpassing $45,911, its highest price since April 2022.

“Rising hopes that US regulators will approve a bitcoin ETF are giving the cryptocurrency a boost,” says Victoria Scholar, an analyst at Interactive Investor.

A “Bitcoin ETF spot,” an investment product that would directly track the price of cryptocurrency, would allow a larger portion of the general public to invest in cryptocurrency without having to purchase it directly.

This prospect of a bitcoin ETF had already caused its price to rise in 2023, with the cryptocurrency having soared by more than 150% over the year.

“The upcoming bitcoin halving is also generating a lot of enthusiasm among cryptocurrency investors,” continues Mr. Scholar.

The “halving” constitutes the halving of the reward for bitcoin miners, those who allow the validation of transactions and the creation of the cryptocurrency. It occurs approximately every four years.

The next one should take place in April. The first halving took place on November 28, 2012, the second on July 9, 2016 and the third on May 11, 2020.

This phenomenon mechanically reduces the quantity of new bitcoins in circulation by halving the number of bitcoins created with each mined block.

The operation is made necessary by the fact that the creator of bitcoin, a certain Satoshi Nakamoto, has limited the maximum number of bitcoins in the world to 21 million.

Originally, the reward was 50 bitcoins. It is now just 6.25 and will increase to 3.125 bitcoin reward per block mined for the next four years.

“Historically, bitcoin prices have increased following a halving,” points out Victoria Scholar.