The world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, surged to a near 19-month high on Friday, extending its recent rally as investors’ risk appetite improved. Bitcoin’s price jumped 1.6% to reach $38,337, continuing its upward trend since October, fueled by expectations of a potential spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval.
Crypto-focused economist Noelle Acheson attributed the Bitcoin rally to a combination of factors, including growing anticipation of a spot ETF approval, the resolution of regulatory uncertainties surrounding Binance, and looming concerns about increased money printing in 2024.
Shares of Bitcoin miners, such as Riot Platforms, Marathon Digital, and TeraWulf, also benefitted from the cryptocurrency’s price surge, gaining between 1.7% and 4%. In anticipation of Bitcoin’s upcoming “halving” event next year, when rewards for mining new tokens are halved, these companies are ramping up production.
Despite Bitcoin’s positive performance, analysts cautioned investors about the potential headwinds facing Coinbase, a leading U.S. crypto exchange. While Coinbase’s shares rose 2.5% on Friday, CFRA Research analyst Michael Elliott warned about the company’s exposure to legal challenges and regulatory uncertainties.
However, the prospect of ETF approval seems to be outweighing these concerns, as investors remain optimistic about Bitcoin’s long-term potential. The ETF approval saga took a positive turn recently with Changpeng Zhao, the founder of Binance, stepping down from his position and pleading guilty to breaking U.S. anti-money laundering laws, addressing regulatory concerns.
In addition to Coinbase, other Bitcoin-related stocks also experienced gains on Friday. U.S. software developer and Bitcoin investor Microstrategy’s shares climbed nearly 3.5%, while the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF rose 2.1%.
Bitcoin’s rebound to near 19-month highs underscores the growing optimism surrounding the cryptocurrency market, with investors anticipating greater institutional adoption and regulatory clarity. If the spot ETF approval comes to fruition, it could further propel Bitcoin’s price and invigorate the broader crypto sector.