“Bitcoin’s astounding resurgence to hit a staggering US$35,000 marks a momentous milestone, amplified by the growing anticipation surrounding ETFs, fueling a renewed wave of excitement and optimism within the crypto community.”
Bitcoin continues to rally, reaching its highest price since May 2022, as expectations of demand from exchange-traded funds (ETFs) grow. The world’s largest digital asset rose by as much as 11.5% to surpass $35,000, and is currently trading at $34,580. This year, Bitcoin has rebounded by 109% from the digital asset rout in 2022.
The potential approval of the first US spot Bitcoin ETFs in the coming weeks is driving speculative interest in the token. Asset managers such as BlackRock and Fidelity Investments are competing to offer these products, with digital asset bulls predicting that ETFs will lead to increased adoption of cryptocurrency.
A US federal appeals court has also confirmed a victory for Grayscale Investments in its attempt to create a spot Bitcoin ETF, despite objections from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has been hesitant to allow ETFs that invest directly in Bitcoin, citing concerns about fraud and manipulation in the underlying market. However, the applications from major investment firms have sparked speculation that the agency will change its stance.
Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Eric Balchunas highlighted that the iShares Bitcoin Trust, operated by BlackRock, has been listed on the website of clearing house DTCC with the ticker “$IBTC.” While this does not guarantee technical approval, Balchunas suggests that it indicates progress towards launching an ETF.
Bitcoin’s price also surged 10% last week due to ETF hype, but the rally cooled once it was revealed that an erroneous report about BlackRock’s approval had caused the move. In the slipstream of Bitcoin’s rise, Ether, the second-largest token, jumped towards $1,800. However, the performance of other coins, such as Solana and Dogecoin, was mixed, with initial gains being erased.
The SEC has already allowed ETFs that hold Bitcoin and Ether futures. However, the agency has intensified its crackdown on the crypto industry following the market crash in 2022 and incidents like the bankruptcy of the FTX exchange. Analysts from Bloomberg Intelligence believe that the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF is inevitable and that several funds are likely to receive the green light, although the timing remains uncertain.
Although Bitcoin has yet to reach its pre-pandemic peak of nearly $69,000, its liquidity has improved, according to Justin d’Anethan, head of business development for Asia-Pacific at crypto market maker Keyrock. However, it still falls short of the euphoria seen in 2020-2021.