In context: The crypto winter has been a cold one for Bitcoin holders—the digital asset has languished under $30,000 since June—but there are signs that a turnaround is coming. BTC has been on the up since the start of the year and is now closing in on $25,000, its highest point since last summer, pushing the value of the entire cryptocurrency market up by more than $84.8 billion in 24 hours. And this is despite a recent clampdown on the industry by US regulators.

TerraUSD's collapse last May and subsequent implosion of exchange FTX saw the crypto industry crash so badly that lawsuits, bankruptcies, and thousands of job losses became commonplace—$1.4 billion was wiped off crypto's total value in the aftermath. But it seems a thaw might be coming.

Bitcoin started 2023 at $16,605. Since then, however, its price has been climbing slowly. It passed $20,000 in mid-January and is currently at $24,632 after surging 11% in the last 24 hours, the highest BTC price since August. That means Bitcoin has rallied 50% since the start of the year.

What's most remarkable about the recent price jump is that the New York State Department of Financial Services on Monday told blockchain and tokenization infrastructure platform Paxos to stop minting new Binance USD (BUSD), the third-largest stablecoin. The SEC also notified Paxos that the agency is considering recommending an action that alleges BUSD is a security rather than a commodity, which are regulated differently.

Helping push up crypto's value is the uplift in global stock prices, boosted by hopes that rising interest rates from the Federal Reserve will fight inflation without causing a US recession.

"In general, the markets like the fact that inflation is coming down, interest rate hikes are slated to ease from here, but also that we may end up with either no big recession or something very mild," Vijay Ayyar, vice president of corporate development and international at crypto exchange Luno, told CNBC.

Market analysts had varying predictions for Bitcoin in 2023. The most pessimistic opinions were that it would continue to fall, dropping to $5,000, while a venture capitalist predicted it would rally 1,400% to end the year worth $250,000. But the one prediction that now looks most likely came from Carol Alexander, a professor of finance at Sussex University. She said BTC would reach $30,000 in the first quarter, climbing to $50,000 in quarters three or four.

Masthead: Tom Stepanov