Bitcoin briefing rose about $60,000 after Bloomberg reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission was close to approving bitcoin futures ETFs. Bitcoin evangelists have been trying for years to get bitcoin ETFs approved but have met a wall of resistance from regulators who worry that the product could expose more small time investors to the volatile asset.
Regulators are concerned about potential manipulation in the market and a lack of regulation. There are also fears that many investors piling into cryptocurrencies do not fully understand the risks they are taking.
Bitcoin was up $1306, or 2.3%, at $59,302 by lunchtime in London, putting it at levels not seen since May of this year. The world’s biggest cryptocurrency is now within touching distance of the all-time high of $64,863 reached in April.
Bitcoin was trading at a little over $11,000 this time last year. The price has surged due to growing institutional interest, with mainstream banks and hedge funds starting to enter the market in a significant way and consumer firms like PayPal and Square offering customers access to the asset. Bitcoin is up 97% so far this year.
ETF approval would likely provide another spur to prices. An ETF would likely give a wider audience access to bitcoin as ETFs can be purchased through mainstream platforms and exchanges, rather than the more esoteric platforms traditionally relied on by cryptocurrency.
“Traders previously suggested that for Bitcoin to enter an extremely bullish phase and go parabolic it would need to break the $59-60k level,” said Will Morris, a sales trader at GlobalBlock. “All-time highs of nearly $65k will be the next resistance level before a potential price discovery phase.”