On Tuesday, Bitcoin experienced an almost 10% increase, reaching $34,872, which marks its highest point in nearly 18 months. This surge was driven by growing anticipation of an exchange-traded bitcoin fund being introduced.
This substantial uptick followed a 10% surge on Monday, making it Bitcoin’s most remarkable day in almost a year. This positive sentiment extended to the broader cryptocurrency market and influenced related stocks as well.
The potential approval by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF), serving as an investment option for fund investors, is expected to stimulate greater demand.
The idea behind a spot bitcoin ETF is that it would provide hesitant investors with a means to enter the cryptocurrency market through stock exchanges, potentially bringing a fresh influx of capital to the sector.
Bitcoin, a highly fluctuating asset that has already doubled in value this year, was recently showing a 7.87% increase, reaching $34,020, marking its highest point since May 2022. During Asian trading hours, it even surpassed $35,000. Meanwhile, the second-largest cryptocurrency, ether, saw a 4.50% rise, reaching $1,786.30, its highest level since August.
Shares associated with cryptocurrencies, like the prominent U.S. exchange Coinbase Global (COIN.O) and the company holding Bitcoin, MicroStrategy (MSTR.O), recorded gains of over 7% and 12%, respectively.
Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of the digital asset firm Nexo, expressed in an email statement, “There’s a palpable sense of excitement in the cryptocurrency market, and now it’s a matter of waiting to see if and when the SEC brings forth any tangible developments.”
Several major U.S. financial institutions, including investment giant BlackRock (BLK.N), have applications pending for bitcoin ETFs.
Rumors about their possible endorsement gained momentum due to the inclusion of BlackRock’s iShares ETF on the clearing house DTCC’s website. The timing and reasons for the addition of iShares ETF to the DTCC list remained unclear, and both DTCC and BlackRock did not respond promptly to requests for comments.
Anticipation grew further following reports this month, including one from Reuters, suggesting that the SEC might not challenge a court’s decision that deemed the agency wrong in rejecting an ETF application from crypto company Grayscale Investments. On Monday, the court officially affirmed its ruling, sending the application back to the SEC for a reevaluation.
Geoffrey Kendrick, the head of digital assets research at Standard Chartered, remarked, “The SEC’s pressure from the courts increases the likelihood of an ETF approval.”
According to data from the crypto derivatives analysis platform Coinglass, there was substantial short-covering activity in the Bitcoin market over the last 24 hours.
This information was reported by Tom Wilson and Elizabeth Howcroft in London, Tom Westbrook and Rae Wee in Singapore, Brigid Riley in Tokyo, and Chibuike Oguh in New York, with editing by Shri Navaratnam, Simon Cameron-Moore, Michelle Price, and Cynthia Osterman.