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Published: Dec 05, 2023 9 min read

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Photo-illustration of a man pointing to an increasing graph with bitcoins in the background.
Olive / Money; Getty Images

Bitcoin is back. The crypto industry’s biggest asset responded to a dismal 2022 with a sustained climb upward this year. In the last few months of 2023, that slow crawl has turned into a cannon shot.

Bitcoin prices rose from $16,625 in January up to around $30,000 at the end of October — onward all the way to over $42,000 in early December. That’s a year-to-date increase of over 150%, including an increase of around 21% over the past month. Perhaps no one should be surprised by the surge: After all, we’re in the middle of a time when the most famous cryptocurrency historically performs the strongest.

Bitcoin's price has often seen significant spikes in the fourth quarter of the year, suggesting a seasonal trend. In 2016, for example, bitcoin gained 63% from the beginning of October to the end of December. In 2017, it gained 267% in that same time frame. In fact, between 2016 and 2021, the crypto has gained an average of 25% in October, 8% in November and 11% in December, according to data by investing research company Bespoke Investing Group.

This gives a lot of hope for investors that bitcoin can add onto its recent surge. But no one can accurately predict where volatile investments like crypto are headed at any given time, and some experts question whether there's any truth to the theory that bitcoin prices often get a bump toward the end of the year.

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Do bitcoin prices rise at the end of the year?