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Bitcoin tops $60,000, nears record high, on growing US ETF hopes

Bitcoin, the world's biggest cryptocurrency, rose 4.5% to its highest level since Apr. 17

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Bitcoin | ETF industry | cryptocurrency

Reuters  |  LONDON/HONG KONG 



Bitcoin

hit $60,000 for the first time in six months on Friday, nearing its record high, as traders grew confident that U.S. regulators would approve the launch of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on its futures contracts.

investors have been waiting for approval of the first U.S. ETF for bitcoin, whose recent rally has been fuelled in part by anticipation of such a move, which is seen as speeding up the mainstream adoption of digital assets.

Bitcoin, the world's biggest cryptocurrency, rose 4.5% to its highest level since Apr. 17 and was last at $59,030. It has risen by more than half in value since Sept. 20 and is now close to its all-time high of $64,895.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to allow the first U.S. futures ETF to begin trading next week, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.

"It is widely expected that Q4 will see significant progress around a ETF in the U.S.," Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at Asia-based exchange AAX, said.

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Friday's moves were spurred, he said, by a tweet from the SEC's investor education office that stated: "Before investing in a fund that holds Bitcoin futures contracts, make sure you carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits."

Several fund managers, including the VanEck Bitcoin Trust, ProShares, Invesco, Valkyrie and Galaxy Digital Funds have applied to launch bitcoin ETFs in the United States. Crypto ETFs have been launched this year in Canada and Europe.

"We have seen more institutional build up, especially in the past few weeks, than we have at any time since the (bitcoin price) crash back in April," said Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at Genesis Global Trading.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has previously said the crypto market involves many tokens which may be unregistered securities and leaves prices open to manipulation and millions of investors vulnerable to risks.

The Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the matter, said that proposals by ProShares and Invesco are based on futures contracts and were filed under mutual fund rules that Gensler has said provide "significant investor protections".

The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Bloomberg report.

Crypto miners were siphoning power at China’s state firms


China’s drive to root out cryptocurrencies has uncovered hundreds of miners who were using electricity at public institutions, a development that comes as the nation struggles with a power crunch. Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces recently started targeting such miners. Cryptominers typically link their equipment to cloud services called mining pools to verify transactions on blockchains, allowing their physical locations to be traced. That would lead investigators to accounts with electric firms. (Bloomberg)

 

Once crypto hub, Estonia now planning sweeping crackdown


After riding the initial wave of the digital-currency revolution half a decade ago, Estonia is cracking down on the ballooning industry in a cautionary tale for would-be crypto hubs. With a key review of its anti-money laundering enforcement policies by the Council of Europe slated for early next year, the government of the Baltic nation is weighing firmer oversight of what’s become a popular European center for digital coin trading and the accompanying infrastructure. “We will toughen our supervision, we will toughen our approach which concerns the market entry,” said Matis Maeker, the director of Estonia’s Financial Intelligence Unit. (Bloomberg)

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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First Published: Fri, October 15 2021. 14:35 IST

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