Bitcoin hits $45K for first time since April 2022


Bitcoin soared above $45,000 on New Year’s Day for the first time since April 2022, continuing a scorching recent run by the world’s largest cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin hit an intraday high of $45,519.52 at around 10.30 p.m. EST on Monday, according to CoinDesk data, marking a 21-month peak, having gained 156% in 2023.

The cryptocurrency soared near the $46,000 mark early Tuesday before losing some gains and is currently trading at around $45,555.

That remains far off the record high of $69,000 it hit in November 2021.

Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, was 2.6% higher at $2,414 on Tuesday, having surged 91% in 2023. Crypto stocks, which closely track bitcoin prices, surged in U.S. premarket trading with Riot Platforms, Marathon Digital and CleanSpark gaining between 11.3% and 14.8% after sharp falls in the final trading days of 2022.

U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase rose 6.3%, and software firm and bitcoin investor MicroStrategy added 9.4%, according to Reuters.

Investors remain buoyed by optimism around the possible approval of exchange-traded spot bitcoin funds, which would throw open the market to millions more investors and draw billions in investments.

Sources close to these firms say recent guidance from SEC officials is that a green light will likely come by Jan. 10. This is the final deadline for the SEC to approve or deny an application from the first firm to ask for the SEC’s blessing for a spot bitcoin ETF.

All told, about a dozen companies, including Wall Street asset-management titans like BlackRock and Fidelity, have applied for a spot bitcoin ETF, or one that is valued off the real-time price of the digital asset.

A spot bitcoin ETF would give retail investors greater exposure to the world’s largest cryptocurrency at less cost than the already approved bitcoin ETF priced off the futures market. Moreover, investors can get exposure to bitcoin and avoid going to an unregulated exchange by purchasing an ETF through highly regulated money management firms while trading occurs on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq stock market.

If approval does come, as many expect, it will mark a major step toward the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency in the U.S.

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