Cryptocurrency prices and related stocks surged on Thursday as Bitcoin soared close to $38,000, hitting May 2022 highs, amid continued expectations that U.S. regulators will approve a Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). Meanwhile, Ethereum rallied after BlackRock appeared to register an ETH ETF.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is engaged in talks with Grayscale Investments (GBTC) to discuss details about its application to convert its bitcoin trust product into a spot Bitcoin ETF, CoinDesk reported citing a person familiar with the matter. A U.S. appeals court in October had ordered the SEC to review Grayscale’s ETF application, ruling that the regulator’s rejection of the application was arbitrary.
Bloomberg Intelligence ETF analyst James Seyffart reported that the SEC has a brief window to potentially approve all 12 current spot Bitcoin ETF applications, which opened beginning on Thursday and will last until November 17. The SEC has issued delay orders for BlackRock (BLK), Bitwise (BITW), VanEck, WisdomTree (WT), Invesco (IVZ), Fidelity and Valkyrie at the same time. The deadline to submit rebuttal comments was November 8, and the regulator could theoretically make a decision on nine of the ETF applications at any point until January 10. Bloomberg forecasts a 90% chance of approval by January 10.
Additionally, about $86.8 million in Bitcoin short positions were liquidated over the past 24 hours as of Thursday morning, CoinGlass data shows. CoinGlass noted a short squeeze occurred late Wednesday night as Bitcoin price climbed above $36,000, according to a post on Twitter.
Ethereum prices rallied on Thursday after BlackRock (BLK) appeared to register an iShares Ethereum Trust in the state of Delaware, according to Thursday filings. The world’s largest asset manager had filed for a Bitcoin ETF with the SEC in June. Reuters reported BlackRock registered its Bitcoin trust in a similar manner before filing an application with the SEC a week later.
Diogo Monica, co-founder and president of Anchorage Digital, said that approval of a spot Ethereum ETF would drive institutional demand for staking services, and further participation in Ethereum staking would improve the scalability and security of the network.
The price of Bitcoin traded above $36,600 late Thursday after peaking at $37,960 intraday, its highest level since May 2022. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has soared more than 121% so far this year. Ethereum rallied back above $2,000 Thursday afternoon for the first time since mid-July. The No. 2 crypto is up nearly 72% in 2023.
Coinbase (COIN) stock jumped 5.1% Thursday. Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital (MARA) spiked nearly 8%. GBTC shares swung 5.3% higher Thursday.