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Bitcoin price rallies to hit a one-month high but volatility ahead

Bitcoin staged a rally over the weekend to hit a one-month high despite experts warning of a potentially volatile upcoming event for the cryptocurrency.

The digital currency hit a high of $4,867 Monday, its highest since Sept. 2 and before the China crackdown, according to data from industry website CoinDesk. Bitcoin last traded nearly 5 percent higher on the day at $4,821.

With Monday’s gains, the digital currency had a market capitalization of $80 billion. Meanwhile, the prices of most other major digital currencies declined. Ethereum fell 4 percent, to $296, according to CoinDesk. The bitcoin offshoot, bitcoin cash, was one of the greatest decliners, falling nearly 13 percent, to $304, according to CoinMarketCap.

“There has been a rotation of money out of the lower-quality names and into bitcoin,” Ronnie Moas, founder of Standpoint Research, told CNBC. He also said people are speculating that “bitcoin will rally following the upcoming fork as it did following the August 1 fork” into bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

A similar split is scheduled for mid-November.

Bitcoin three-month performance

Source: CoinDesk

As a result of Monday’s gains, bitcoin held 51.5 percent of the total market capitalization of all digital currencies, up from around 46 percent on Sept. 2, according to CoinMarketCap.

The market share gains are “a positive key price indicator for bitcoin and has got traders bullish,” Nolan Bauerle, director of research at CoinDesk, said in an email to CNBC.

Bauerle also attributed bitcoin’s gains to indications that more developers are adopting an upgrade called SegWit, while the Chinese crackdown on bitcoin has opened opportunities for digital currency enthusiasts in other parts of the world.

Bitcoin has had a rocky few weeks. It hit an all-time high on September 2 of $5,013.91, before declining sharply to below $3,000 in the next two weeks.

Investors were concerned about the sharp price rise of bitcoin but also some of the regulatory clampdowns by China. The world’s second-largest economy banned initial coin offerings (ICOs), which is a new way for cryptocurrency start-ups to raise funds by issuing digital tokens. The largest bitcoin exchanges in China have also shut down their operations there.

And at the same time, major business leaders have poured cold water over bitcoin. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said bitcoin “is a fraud” last month.

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