Bitcoin hit $60,000 for the first time in six months on Friday, nearing its record high, as traders grew confident that U.S. regulators would approve the launch of an exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on its futures contracts, APA reports citing Reuters.
Cryptocurrency investors have been waiting for approval of the first U.S. ETF for bitcoin, whose recent rally has been fuelled in part by anticipation of such a move, which is seen as speeding up the mainstream adoption of digital assets.
Bitcoin , the world's biggest cryptocurrency, rose 4.5% to its highest level since Apr. 17 and was last at $59,030. It has risen by more than half in value since Sept. 20 and is now close to its all-time high of $64,895.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to allow the first U.S. bitcoin futures ETF to begin trading next week, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday.
"It is widely expected that Q4 will see significant progress around a bitcoin ETF in the U.S.," Ben Caselin, head of research and strategy at Asia-based cryptocurrency exchange AAX, said.
Friday's moves were spurred, he said, by a tweet from the SEC's investor education office that stated: "Before investing in a fund that holds Bitcoin futures contracts, make sure you carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits."