Bitcoin started the week just short of its all-time high as investors salivated over the impending US debut of an exchange-traded fund tied to the cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin was trading at about $61,300 on Monday morning, up about 0.5 percent over the past 24 hours and 11.5 percent for the week. It was less than $4,000 short of its all-time price record of nearly $65,000, which was set in April.
This October has seen cryptocurrencies soar, leading some traders to dub the month “Uptober.”
Much of the optimism is related to the impending debut of an ETF tracking bitcoin futures, which analysts expect will broaden investor exposure to the digital assets and push their price further upward.
The first bitcoin futures ETF, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, is expected to start trading on Tuesday under the ticker BITO. Other asset managers including Invesco, VanEck and Cathie Wood’s ARK Invest are expected to score approvals for similar ETFs soon.
The impending debuts come after SEC Chairman Gary Gensler signaled that he prefers bitcoin futures funds to funds that hold bitcoin directly, arguing that rules around futures provide greater investor protections.
While bitcoin owners had reasons to be optimistic, other cryptocurrencies had a worse Monday morning.
Ethereum was trading at about $3,780, down 3.2 percent over the past 24 hours, while Cardano had declined 2.2 percent to $2.14.
Garrick Hileman, the research chief at blockchain.com, told The Post that bitcoin may be outperforming other cryptos because investors believe bitcoin is less likely to be subject to a government crackdown than lesser-known assets. That makes institutional investors more comfortable pouring money into bitcoin.
“Bitcoin is becoming more institutionalized and integrated,” said Hileman, who’s also a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics.
The cryptocurrency’s recent surge comes after a nasty summer where bitcoin fell below $30,000. It has since rebounded and has surged more than 30 percent so far in October.