Bitcoin hit $60,000 for the first time in six months on Friday, nearing its alltime high, as hopes grew that US regulators would allow a futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF), a move likely to open the path to wider investment in digital assets.
Cryptocurrency investors have been waiting for approval of the first US ETF for bitcoin, with bets on such a move fuelling its recent rally. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency rose 4.5% to its highest level since April 17, and was last at $59,290. It has risen by more than half since September 20 and closing in on its record high of $64,895 hit in April.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to allow the first US bitcoin futures ETF to be traded next week, Bloomberg reported on Thursday. Such a move would open a new path for investors to gain exposure to the emerging asset, traders and analysts said.
“ETFs open up a raft of avenues for people to gain exposure, and there will be a swift move to these structures,” said Charles Hayter, CEO of data firm CryptoCompare, which tracks ETF products.
“It reduces the frictions for investors to gain exposure and gives traditional funds room to use the asset for diversification purposes.” Bitcoin’s moves on Friday were spurred by a tweet from the SEC’s investor education office urging investors to weigh risks and benefits of investing in funds that holds bitcoin futures contracts, said Ben Caselin of Asiabased crypto exchange AAX.
Several fund managers, including the VanEck Bitcoin Trust, ProShares, Invesco, Valkyrie and Galaxy Digital Funds have applied to launch bitcoin ETFs in the US. Crypto ETFs have launched this year in Canada and Europe, growing in popularity amid surging interest in digital assets. The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.