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Bitcoin tops $ 60,000 for the primary time in six months as merchants flip to ETF approval

Art at the Bitcoin 2021 Convention cryptocurrency conference at the Mana Convention Center in Miami on June 4, 2021.

Marco Bello | AFP | Getty Images

Bitcoin climbed above $ 60,000 on Friday, pushing the digital coin further towards its all-time high as traders speculated that U.S. regulators would release the first exchange-traded Bitcoin futures fund.

According to Coin Metrics, the world's largest cryptocurrency is up 6% to $ 61,488.41, its highest level since April 17th.

The Securities and Exchange Commission will open the first U.S. Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund next week, a landmark victory for a cryptocurrency industry that, according to someone familiar with the matter, has long been given permission from Wall Street's top regulator has caught up.

In particular, the person said the SEC is unlikely to block ProShares and Invesco's proposed ETFs based on futures contracts filed under mutual fund guidelines that SEC chairman Gary Gensler believes will Offer significant protection to investors.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is set to debut Tuesday on the New York Stock Exchange, and experts believe the SEC is unlikely to object to the product.

The October CME Bitcoin futures contract was last traded at $ 60,570, up about 4%.

Approving an ETF that allows mainstream investors to get exposure to Bitcoin would be a milestone for the crypto industry, which has long been pushing for greater adoption of digital assets on Wall Street.

“The ETF news is being priced in as the market expects approval on Monday. This drives the price up, ”Vijay Ayyar, head of Asia Pacific at the Luno cryptocurrency exchange, told CNBC.

However, Ayyar warned that rejecting ProShares' product could push Bitcoin down sharply.

Mikkel Morch, executive director of digital asset hedge fund ARK36, said Bitcoin could rise above its all-time high of nearly $ 65,000 from April, but warned that the cryptocurrency could experience a "short-term pullback" thereafter.

"Investors should be aware that hopes of a sustained rally above $ 60,000 and beyond the previous all-time high can turn into a 'buy the rumor, sell the news' scenario," said Morch.

Not all cryptocurrencies got a boost from Friday's ETF news. Ether, the second largest coin, rose 0.5% on the spot exchanges to $ 3,804. However, XRP and ada both fell about 2%.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been on a wild ride this year. The number one digital coin hit an all-time high of over $ 64,000 in April before falling sharply due to a crackdown on the crypto market in China. It has since made a comeback and has more than doubled in price so far this year.

Regulators have taken a tougher line on crypto this year as investor interest has increased. However, the industry struggled when Coinbase on Thursday called on the US to create a new regulator to oversee digital assets.

Earlier this week, Bank of England Deputy Governor Jon Cunliffe warned that cryptocurrencies could spark a global financial crisis on a scale similar to that of the 2008 crash.

"When something in the financial system grows very quickly and grows in a largely unregulated area, the financial stability authorities have to sit up and take notice," said Cunliffe in a speech on Wednesday.

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