Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, has hit a new all-time high above $66,000, marking a full recovery from a months-long slump and extending the year’s gains to nearly 130%.
The cryptocurrency pushed past the previous price record of $64,889 set in April and is currently changing hands at $66,685 as of 15:44 UTC (11:44 a.m. ET).
The surge was attributed to the launch of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETFTuesday, the first exchange-traded fund approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to invest in BTC futures.
A BTC futures ETF is an exchange-traded fund that allows people to gain investment exposure to the digital currency prices without having to go out and buy the cryptocurrency directly. Exchange-traded funds are regulated financial products that can represent a wide range of different assets.
Investors can purchase and sell shares of the ETF just like they would stocks. But unlike mutual funds, ETF shares can be bought and sold at any time during market trading hours. With the futures ETF, investors are offered an alternative method of profiting off the future price movements of the cryptocurrency. Instead of tracking a range of assets, each share of a bitcoin futures ETF is underpinned by BTC futures contracts.
The new ETF, traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BITO, hauled in $570 million of assets on its first day and racked up $1 billion of trading volume, ranking it among the most successful launches of all time.
In the coming weeks, several more bitcoin futures-based ETFs may debut in the U.S., opening the potential for savvy U.S. crypto investors to partake in what is known as a “cash and carry” arbitrage strategy.
“The key here is whether we are able to establish support above $65,000. If we can, the classic Q4 crypto rallies we’ve seen in most years could take bitcoin towards some of the loftier price predictions we’ve seen over the past several months. If sell pressure takes over, though, our next leg up could take a while to materialize.” said Jesse Proudman, CEO of crypto robo-advisor Makara.
Other Cryptocurrencies Follow Bitcoin
Ethereum also rose 7.4% to cross back over the $4,000 level. The world’s second-largest cryptocurrency traded at $4,104.61 approaching its all-time intraday high of 4,380 in May.
The ProShares BTC Strategy ETF, which tracks bitcoin futures contracts pegged to the future price of the cryptocurrency, rose nearly 5% on its first day of trading Tuesday.