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Bitcoin tops its all-time high

October 20, 2021, 1:47 PM UTC

After dropping more than half its value between mid-April and mid-July, Bitcoin has once again reached an all-time high.

The cryptocurrency hit $65,607 at 9:46 a.m. ET on Wednesday, beating its previous best of $64,888.99, set in mid-April. Within an hour, it surged as high as $66,974.77. Year to date, Bitcoin is up more than 125%.

Watchers have been waiting for Bitcoin to push through its ceiling for most of the month. On Sept. 29 Bitcoin was trading for just $41,538, but as it became more likely that a Bitcoin futures ETF would begin trading on Wall Street, investor interest in the crypto coin began to surge.

That ETF, from ProShares, began trading on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday morning. It was the first to market, trading under the symbol BITO. Other companies expected to launch their own in the coming days, weeks, and months (pending SEC approval or lack of intervention) include Valkyrie, Invesco, and VanEck.

Asset managers have been trying to get a Bitcoin ETF approved since 2017, but have regularly been stopped by the SEC. Former chair Jay Clayton was against the prospective investment vehicles, saying none could show resistance to market manipulation. Gary Gensler, current head of the SEC, has been more open to cryptocurrency futures investing, which is where the current batch of applicants, including ProShares, have focused.

Bitcoin bulls are proselytizing that this recent high isn’t an end point. A widely followed Dutch analyst who goes by the pseudonym PlanB (and who has predicted Bitcoin would be in the $43,000 range in September and $63,000 in October) is forecasting Bitcoin will hit $98,000 by November and $135,000 by December.

Bitcoin, of course, is a notoriously volatile investment. However, as it gains a toehold in traditional financial markets, that’s increasing its total potential investing pool, which has only driven prices higher.

(This story has been updated to reflect the new all-time high figure.)

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