The price of bitcoin (BTCUSD) soared to its highest level this year, and is up almost 90%, as investors return to the largest cryptocurrency by market cap after a tumultuous 13 months for crypto markets that brought multiple bankruptcies and exchange failures.
- Bitcoin’s price hit a year-to-date high above $31,000 Friday.
- BlackRock’s ETF application has increased investor appetite for the cryptocurrency.
- The SEC also approved a two-times leveraged ETF that is slated to start trading Tuesday.
Though less than half of its Nov. 2021 all-time high of about $68,000, Bitcoin’s price broke $31,000 for the first time since April when it briefly hit $31,005. Before that, the cryptocurrency hadn’t traded above $30,000 since June 2022, before the tumult that eventually led to the collapse of FTX in November.
What’s Boosting Bitcoin Prices?
Bitcoin has seen renewed interest after asset management giant BlackRock (BLK) filed an application for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund last week. BlackRock’s filing said that its iShares Bitcoin Trust would issue no new shares without them being backed 1:1 with BTC.
Investors are now hopeful that Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval for these new ETFs could lead to a surge in trading volumes for digital assets. So far, the regulator has rejected spot bitcoin ETF applications.
However, in a surprise move, the SEC granted approval for a 2X leveraged bitcoin fund. A 2X leveraged ETF would technically be considered riskier than a spot ETF. Volatility Shares’ 2X Bitcoin Strategy ETF will trade under the BITX ticker beginning June 27.
The cryptocurrency sector has shaken off the collapse of the FTX exchange and a tough regulatory environment this year. Cameron Winklevoss, the founder of the troubled Gemini and Genesis crypto firms, said the “window” to buy bitcoin before the ETF “floodgates” open is “closing fast.”