Bitcoin breaks $60,000 for the first time since April as crypto ETFs look set for watershed SEC approval

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Bitcoin breaks $60,000 for the first time since April as crypto ETFs look set for watershed SEC approval
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  • Bitcoin broke the $60,000 level on Friday for the first time since April as investors were encouraged by signs a futures ETF will soon be approved.
  • The SEC is set to allow trading of the first US bitcoin futures ETF next week, Bloomberg reported.
  • The digital coin rose as much as 5% to $60,343.07. It's now just 7.5% from a record high.

Bitcoin topped $60,000 for the first time since April on Friday as investors celebrated the prospect of the SEC approving the first US bitcoin futures ETF within days.

The digital asset rose as much as 5% to $60,343.07, according to Bloomberg data, bringing it within 7.5% of its record price of $64,869.78. That takes bitcoin's year-to-date gains to roughly 107%.

Market sentiment is on the upturn as the SEC is ready to allow the first US bitcoin futures ETF to start trading next week, according to Bloomberg.

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Anticipation has been further fuelled by the regulator approving Volt Equity's ETF last week, according to Will Hamilton, head of trading and research at digital asset management firm TCM Capital.

Volt's ETF specifically tracks companies that have significant exposure to bitcoin, or generate most of their profit from bitcoin-related activities like mining, lending, or manufacturing mining equipment.

"It's a small step, but a very promising one," Hamilton said. "In essence, the SEC has given the nod, from an investor protection point of view, that investing in these heavily crypto-exposed companies is 'ok'."

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Separately, a direct update from the SEC seems to have contributed to Friday's moves. The regulator's investor education Twitter account posted a link to a June notice on Thursday, warning about the risks associated with investing in bitcoin.

"Before investing in a fund that holds Bitcoin futures contracts, make sure you carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits," the tweet said. Investors interpreted it as signalling the regulator will approve those types of funds at some point next week.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he recognizes cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. And Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman admitted crypto is more than just a fad.

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Further, Coinbase proposed creating a special regulator as a potential solution to the lack of regulatory clarity and enforcement in crypto markets, as it believes digital assets need to be treated differently to stocks.

Crypto traders seem to have brushed off comments from JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon that bitcoin is "worthless," and Bank of England's deputy governor Jon Cunliffe warning that the coin could trigger a 2008-level meltdown.

"Instead of scaremongering about bitcoin, certain officials should look closer to home," said Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at trading platform Bitfinex. "The unsustainable inflationary monetary policies of central banks will inevitably unravel."

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Read More: 2 ETF veterans-turned crypto investors break down why they think the SEC should approve a bitcoin ETF that invests in the digital currency itself instead of futures contracts - and share the 3 main pitfalls of a futures-based ETF

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