Bitcoin prices rallied today, coming within a single percentage point of reaching the all-time high they set early this year.
The digital currency rose to as much as $64,309.33 this afternoon, CoinDesk data showed.
At this point, the cryptocurrency was trading less than 1% below the all-time high of $64,888.99 it reached in April, additional CoinDesk figures show.
The digital asset enjoyed these gains the same day that The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, the first such fund available in the U.S., started trading on The New York Stock Exchange.
Some analysts have criticized the aforementioned exchange-traded fund, noting that it is not a spot-based ETF and is instead linked to futures contracts.
One article, written by a MarketWatch editor named Mark DeCambre, went so far as to describe this fund as “an inferior futures product,” citing the input of registered investment advisers.
However, other market observers have taken a more optimistic slant, interpreting the listing of this ETF as a bullish development.
[Ed note: Investing in cryptocoins or tokens is highly speculative and the market is largely unregulated. Anyone considering it should be prepared to lose their entire investment.]
Several experts stated that the availability of this new ETF could help entice investors, drawing them to cryptocurrencies.
“The launch of ProShares’ bitcoin ETF on the NYSE provides the validation that some investors need to consider adding BTC to their portfolio,” stated Hong Fang, CEO of Okcoin.
Further, it “may be a sign that more institutional support for crypto is coming.”
“For investors who have long been deterred by regulatory uncertainty and risk, this move signals the legitimacy of cryptocurrency as an asset class and offers an opportunity to gain indirect exposure to digital assets through a less-risky vehicle,” she stated.
“This will ultimately bring larger, more traditional institutions into the crypto market and with them, a significant amount of capital.”
Ben Armstrong, founder of BitBoy Crypto, also weighed in.
“It’s true that exchanges like Coinbase and KuCoin have made buying crypto easy,” he noted.
“But there is still a lot of FUD around crypto to the regular investor or portfolio manager that has only been seeing bogus headlines about ransomware, Russian hackers, and Elizabeth Warren spouting nonsense.”
“They prefer to see their money managed by a third party, and if that fits their investing strategy, so be it,” said Armstrong.
Amber Ghaddar, cofounder of decentralized capital marketplace AllianceBlock, also provided some input on the matter.
“ETFs trade like equities in terms of settlement. They fall under Equity in terms of Asset Allocation,” she noted.
“So technically, now, any retail investor with a standard brokerage account and any tier 3 institutional player can invest in Bitcoin without having to set up digital custodianship, update its infrastructure and/or amend its asset allocation requirements.”
“A US ETF, whether futures or spot, is a welcome development in the US and should pave the way for increased adoption.”
Disclosure: I own some bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, ether, EOS and sol.