Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Spike comes amid speculation of an imminent bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

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Bitcoin rose 6% on Tuesday to $35,100 (€33,100), its highest in nearly a year-and-a-half, on mounting speculation that an exchange-traded bitcoin fund is imminent.

The 10% surge on Monday gave bitcoin its best day in almost a year. The bullishness spread across the wider crypto market and into related stocks.

Analysts believe a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (EFT) would allow investors previously wary of crypto access to the asset via the stock market, ushering in a new wave of capital to the sector.

Any approval by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of an ETF that owns bitcoin on behalf of fund investors is expected to fuel demand.

Investment giant BlackRock is among several major US financial firms with pending applications for these ETFs.

Speculation on a likely approval was fuelled by BlackRock’s listing of its iShares ETF on the website of the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC). 

It’s not known when or why the iShares ETF was added to the clearing house’s list.

Last week BlackRock denied an erroneous media report that its ETF had been approved.

Expectations also grew after reports this month, including from Reuters, that the SEC won’t appeal a court ruling that found it had been wrong to reject a bitcoin ETF application from crypto firm Grayscale Investments.

“The SEC being pressured by the courts increases the probability” of an ETF approval, said Geoffrey Kendrick, Standard Chartered’s head of digital assets research.

Bitcoin is a volatile asset whose price has doubled so far this year. The second-largest cryptocurrency, ether, climbed to its highest since August.

The value of bitcoin in euros also reached its highest since May 2022, surpassing €32,000 on Tuesday.

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