NEW YORK: Bitcoin breached the $60,000 mark for the first time since April on growing optimism that American regulators will greenlight the first US futures exchange-traded fund for the cryptocurrency.
The digital currency was up more than 40 percent from a month ago, reaching $62,253 at 2050 GMT, according to Bloomberg News data, which reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission could allow the ETF to trade next week.
The SEC has rejected attempts to create a Bitcoin ETF since 2013.
“An SEC Bitcoin ETF approval is a watershed moment for the crypto industry as this could be the key driver for getting the next wave of crypto investors,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.
An ETF is a financial instrument that can include different assets and be traded on an exchange like other securities. A futures ETF means the product will be bought or sold at set price at a later date.
The SEC fuelled speculation of the imminent approval after writing the following advice on one of its accounts on Twitter: “Before investing in a fund that holds Bitcoin futures contracts, make sure you carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits.”
The ETF would add to an eventful year for the world’s leading cryptocurrency, which hit a record high at $64,870 in April and became a legal tender in El Salvador, the first country to adopt it officially.
China, meanwhile, has cracked down on trading and mining cryptocurrencies, which are created through solving complex equations — an endeavour that consumes enormous amounts of energy.