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Bitcoin climbs to record high after futures-based ETF debut

Pandemic-era liquidity, speculative bets & hopes of wider adoption fuel surge

Topics
Bitcoin | ETF industry | Wall Street

Vildana Hajric & Joanna Ossinger | Bloomberg 

Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

rallied to a record high after a strong debut by the first U. S. exchange-traded fund investing in futures stoked optimism about the digital asset’s outlook. The largest cryptocurrency jumped as much as 3.1% to $66,084, surpassing its previous peak from April and taking its 2021 surge to more than 120%. Second-ranked Ether pushed higher as did the wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index. has climbed to its latest high atop a tide of pandemic-era liquidity, speculative bets and expectations of wider adoption by institutional investors. The ride was volatile: the token plunged below $30,000 in June amid criticism of its energy consumption and China’s cryptocurrency crackdown. It then began to recover in part as the crypto sector adjusted to China’s broadsides. “It’s a validating moment,” said Jesse Proudman, co-founder and chief executive at Makara, a crypto advisory firm. “It’s no longer a question of does this asset class continue to exist -- I think that’s a really meaningful mark in the history of the broader digital-asset class.” The first Bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund listed in the U. S. debuted on Tuesday as the second-most heavily traded fund on record in a watershed moment for the crypto industry. More than 24 million shares in the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF -- trading under the ticker BITO -- changed hands Tuesday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. With turnover of almost $1 billion, BITO’s debut was behind only a BlackRock carbon fund for a first day of trading, the latter ranking higher due to pre-seed investments, according to Athanasios Psarofagis at Bloomberg Intelligence. Bitcoin’s biggest proponents back controversial arguments that the virtual currency is a store of wealth and a hedge against the most potent threat from inflation in many years. chart Wall Street enthusiasm has also increased: Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are among firms offering crypto-related services.

Dawn Fitzpatrick, chief investment officer of Soros Fund Management LLC, said her firm holds some coins and that crypto “has gone mainstream.” At the same time, there is a still a long way to go. For instance, SkyBridge Capital founder Anthony Scaramucci said that while there’s a “feeding frenzy” in crypto among about 10% of financial-services firms, the vast majority are hesitant about the asset class. Over the past few years, a whole new crypto-economy has formed. Non-fungible tokens or NFTs -- which allow holders of digital art and collectibles to track ownership -- have surged into the limelight. Decentralized Finance So has the decentralized finance -- DeFi -- ecosystem, which allows people to lend, borrow, trade and take out insurance directly from each other, without use of intermediaries such as banks. Bitcoin’s record comes in time for its birthday -- the digital coin was born on Halloween 2008 with the publication of a research paper by someone who went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. The paper was entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Its birth ignited a digital currency revolution that led to the emergence of more than 12,000 other coins, according to CoinMarketCap.com data. The total market value of cryptocurrencies exceeds $2.5 trillion.

Crypto shares ride BTC rally to outstrip stocks

Global cryptocurrency-linked shares are outperforming the traditional equity sectors atop this year’s stock market leaderboard, helped by Bitcoin’s rally to a record high. A collection of two dozen global crypto stocks linked to coin mining, trading and investing have soared 91 per cent this year. (Bloomberg)

ETF creates options for crypto leverage

After the second-busiest exchange-traded debut on record, options on the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF will begin trading on Wednesday. It means investors will be able to hedge or lever up underlying positions in the first US-listed fund tracking futures on the world’s biggest digital currency. (Bloomberg)

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First Published: Wed, October 20 2021. 19:46 IST
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