Bitcoin broke the $60,000 price barrier over the weekend for the first time since April. That price move was due to the expectation that the SEC would approve a Bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund. On Monday, that expecation became a reality.
ProShares, an exchange trading firm, will begin listing an ETF that tracks Bitcoin futures on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The firm stated the listing will be called "BITO."
"BITO will open up bitcoin to a large segment of investors who have enrolled in 'a brokerage account' and are comfortable buying stocks and ETFs, but do not want to go through the hassle and learning curve of opening another account with scrypt providers," said ProShares CEO Michael Sapir in an announcement.
Bitcoin is now worth $61,910 at the time of writing, well above its all-time high of $64,800 on April 14.
It's been a rough year for the cryptocurrency industry. Bitcoin's price began to rise in September, climbing from just under $12,000 at the beginning of the month to more than $60,000 by April. In May, a wave of bad news, including Elon Musk reneging on his blanket support for Bitcoin and China's crackdown on cryptocurrency services, caused the price to drop dramatically. Bitcoin slid briefly below $30,000 in July, but it remained above $20,000 in August.
Futures are contracts that require investors to buy or sell a commodity at 'a certain price' on o t date. You could, for example, commit to buying a 1 Bitcoin for $100,000 in 5 years. If the price of a Bitcoin on that day is $200,000, you'd have made money. If the price of a Bitcoin on that date is $50,000, you'd have lost money.
A futures ETF is significantly different from a standard exchange-traded fund, which Bitcoin enthusiasts have been urging for. A typical ETF would give investors exposure to the underlying asset, in this case Bitcoin, whereas a Futures Efond allows investors to speculate on the asset's value. Policymakers have stated in the past that cryptocurrencies are too susceptible to fraud and manipulation to be approved for ETFs that are supported by real Bitcoins.
Regardless, the fact that cryptocurrency is now integrated into the SEC's framework is clearly enough to boost Bitcoin and many other currencies. Bitcoin's current value is up 8% from this time last week. Ethereum, the most widely used cryptocurrency, is up 6.5% from a week ago.