Cryptocurrency 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. bitcoin futures ETF to begin trading next
week, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
"It is widely expected that Q4 will see significant progress
around a bitcoin ETF in the U.S.," Ben Caselin, head of research
and strategy at Asia-based cryptocurrency exchange AAX, said.
Friday's moves were spurred, he said, by a tweet
1448710749921087488?s=20 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.
(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru, Alun
John in Hong Kong and Tom Wilson in London; Editing by Vidya
Ranganathan, Sam Holmes and Alexander Smith)
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