Bitcoin Hits Record $69,000 High Following SEC Rule Change

After a tumultuous two-year slump, Bitcoin rebounded this week when it briefly reached a new all-time high exceeding $69,000, marking a more than 300 percent rise since November 2022 when the price was below $20,000. The prior record of just below $68,790 dates back to November 2021. The 2024 rally comes on the heels of regulatory action approving rules that make it simpler for individuals to invest in Bitcoin by allowing some large investment firms including BlackRock, Fidelity, Grayscale and Valkyrie to add it to their funds, making it easier for the average investor to choose it as a portfolio option.

“In January, U.S. regulators authorized a group of crypto companies and traditional finance firms to offer exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, which track Bitcoin’s price,” writes The New York Times, noting that “the funds provide a simple way for people to invest in the crypto markets without directly owning the virtual currency.”

Although the move was limited to the original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, it was hailed as a “game changer” by digital coin purveyors. “The price of Ether, the second-most-valuable digital currency after Bitcoin, has also risen more than 50 percent this year, reaching about $3,800,” in an increase “driven partly by enthusiasm over the prospect that regulators may also approve an ETF tied to Ether,” explains NYT.

Bloomberg observed that Bitcoin’s high was short-lived, jumping “as much as 2.5 percent to $69,191.95 shortly after 10 a.m. in New York” on Tuesday, “then almost immediately reversed course in a plunge that at one point sent it 14 percent below the record to $59,317.16” as investors “banked gains.”

While Bloomberg called the 2024 Bitcoin rebound “breathtaking” after the 18-month slump known as the “crypto winter,” the news service characterized Tuesday’s “volatile price swings” as “the latest example of the boom-or-bust nature of Bitcoin.”

“Bitcoin has already surged 55 percent so far this year,” according to Reuters, which says “billions of dollars have flowed into ETFs in the past few weeks.”

As of last week, “investors had poured more than $7 billion” into ETFs, reflecting “investor enthusiasm for a new financial product,” according to NYT.

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