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Bitcoin Reaches $35,000 Thanks to ETF Anticipation

Investor optimism about the future of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) has apparently been good for bitcoin.

As Bloomberg News reported Tuesday (Oct. 24), the world’s largest cryptocurrency reached $35,000 for the first time since last year, driven by the possible approval of the first U.S. spot Bitcoin ETFs in the next few weeks.

With companies like BlackRock and Fidelity vying to become the first to offer these products, crypto proponents say ETFs would lead to greater adoption of digital assets, Bloomberg said.

According to the report, a federal appeals court on Monday provided a win for Grayscale Investments in its efforts to create a spot Bitcoin ETF despite objections from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As PYMNTS wrote last year, SEC Chairman Gary Gensler has expressed strong opposition to a spot ETF, saying the “markets for actual Bitcoin itself today are largely unregulated,” in a letter to pro-crypto Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn.

“This lack of regulatory oversight and surveillance leads to concerns about the potential for fraud and manipulation,” Gensler said at the time. 

The Bloomberg report said that this court ruling, along with the entrance of “investment heavyweights” into the ETF space could erode the SEC’s opposition.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst Eric Balchunas told the news outlet that he’d seen on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the BlackRock-owned iShares Bitcoin Trust “has been listed on the DTCC,” a reference to the Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., which handles clearing and settlement in U.S. markets.

“This doesn’t mean it’s technically approved,” Balchunas said. “It’s not home free. But this is pretty much checking every box that you need to check before you launch an ETF. When we see a ticker added, those things are usually right before launch.”

Last week, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink gave an interview on Fox Business that his global asset management firm had seen increasing demand for cryptocurrencies among its clientele.

“We are hearing from clients around the world about the need for crypto,” Fink said, saying a recent rally in the crypto market was due to pent-up interest in the digital currencies.

As PYMNTS wrote, Fink suggested that the rally could be fueled by a flight to quality amid ongoing global geopolitical tension. He cited Israel’s conflict with Hamas and the threat of global terrorism as factors leading to the interest in cryptocurrencies as a safe haven.