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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rise as investors watch the US regulator’s decision on ETFs


The value of the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies surged this week as markets expect US regulators to approve the launch of new investment vehicles.

Bitcoin was at $71,195.82 on Tuesday afternoon after rising 6.4 percent in the previous 24 hours, marking the first time it has topped $70,000 since mid-April.

The world’s largest virtual currency by market capitalization has more than halved since January, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved the launch of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds.

For use: Ether is a cryptocurrency used on Ethereum, a decentralized blockchain platform widely used for building new cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin prices also benefited as investors expected interest rate cuts from the US Federal Reserve and a recent surge in investment in spot bitcoin ETFs.

Around $1.2 billion has flowed into these funds since May 13, according to London-based Farside Investors.

Victoria Scholar, head of investments at Interactive Investor, said that if bitcoin rises back above the record $73,800 it hit in April, it could prompt «further buying and push the cryptocurrency to new record highs.»

Meanwhile, Ether has soared 23.6 percent to $3,810.83 in the past 24 hours, meaning it has more than doubled in value over the past year.

The SEC will decide on Thursday and Friday whether to accept or reject spot-ether ETF applications from US investment firms VanEck and Ark Invest.

Two Bloomberg ETF analysts, Eric Balchunas and James Seyffart, raised their odds that the regulator would allow the funds from just 25 percent to 75 percent.

Hong Kong’s securities regulator approved the first spot bitcoin and ethereum ETF in April.

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Ether is a cryptocurrency used on Ethereum, a decentralized blockchain platform widely used for building new cryptocurrencies.

Spot Ether ETFs would allow investors to place their money behind the currency without directly owing Ether.

But regulators have been reluctant to approve such ETFs because ether is «at stake.» This involves someone pledging the currency as collateral to support transactions on the Ethereum network and receive rewards as a result.

The SEC began cracking down on the practice last year, fining crypto exchanges like Kraken $30 million for offering unregistered securities betting as a service.

It scored a major victory in March when a judge said a jury trial could hear the SEC’s claim that Coinbase engaged in unregistered securities sales.



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