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Bitcoin Skyrockets to Near 18-Month High Amid ETF Speculation

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

[Edited] Bitcoin, the world's most popular cryptocurrency, experienced a remarkable surge on Tuesday, rising by nearly 10% to reach $34,872.

Credits: REUTERS

This marks its highest value in almost a year and a half. The surge comes amidst mounting speculation that the approval of an exchange-traded bitcoin fund (ETF) is imminent.

The bullishness surrounding bitcoin continued from Monday, when the cryptocurrency saw a 10% surge, its best day in nearly a year. This positive sentiment spread throughout the wider crypto market and even impacted related stocks.

The potential approval of a bitcoin ETF by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is expected to drive significant demand. The argument is that a spot bitcoin ETF would provide cautious investors with access to crypto through the stock market, leading to a fresh influx of capital into the sector.

Bitcoin, known for its volatility, has already doubled in price this year. It is currently up 7.87% at $34,020, reaching its highest level since May 2022. During Asian trading hours, it even surpassed the $35,000 mark.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, also experienced gains, climbing 4.50% to $1,786.30, its highest value since August.

The positive momentum extended to crypto-linked shares, with major U.S. exchange Coinbase Global and bitcoin owner MicroStrategy seeing gains of over 7% and 12%, respectively.

Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of digital asset firm Nexo, expressed excitement about the current state of the crypto market. He stated, "A sense of excitement has erupted in the crypto market and now it’s just a case of waiting to see if and when something concrete emerges from the SEC,"

Several major U.S. financial firms, including investment giant BlackRock, have pending applications for bitcoin ETFs. Speculation about their potential approval grew after BlackRock's iShares ETF was listed on the website of clearing house DTCC. However, both DTCC and BlackRock have yet to respond to requests for comment.

Anticipation for ETF approval increased further following reports that the SEC would not appeal a court ruling that found the agency had wrongly rejected an ETF application from crypto firm Grayscale Investments. The court recently formalized its ruling, sending the application back to the SEC for review.

Geoffrey Kendrick, Standard Chartered's head of digital assets research, believes that the SEC's pressure from the courts increases the likelihood of ETF approval.

Data from crypto derivatives analysis site Coinglass revealed significant short-covering activity in bitcoin over the past 24 hours, indicating a potential squeeze on BTC shorts.

As the speculation surrounding a bitcoin ETF continues to grow, the crypto market remains on edge, eagerly awaiting any concrete developments from the SEC. The potential approval of an ETF could have a profound impact on the future of bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency industry.

  • Bitcoin surges by nearly 10% to reach $34,872, its highest value in almost 18 months.

  • Speculation mounts about the imminent approval of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) by the SEC.

  • Positive sentiment spreads across the wider crypto market, with ether and crypto-linked stocks also experiencing gains.

  • Major U.S. financial firms, including BlackRock, have pending applications for bitcoin ETFs.

  • Short-covering activity in bitcoin suggests a potential squeeze on BTC shorts.


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