Cryptocurrency bitcoin reached over $1,200 in value on Friday following hype over the expected regulatory clearance of the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the United States. The jump resulted in the value of all bitcoin in circulation hitting almost $20 billion, which is roughly the same size as Iceland’s economy.
Although conventional financial players have not yet embraced bitcoin, labelling it as volatile and risky, the digital currency has seen steady growth in performance ever since its introduction in 2008.
According to analysts, regulatory approval of a bitcoin ETF will further enhance the cryptocurrency’s appeal among investors. Yet some like Paul Lambert, fund manager and head of currency investment at Insight, Longon, remain skeptical. Mr Lambert still considers bitcoin not liquid enough for the billions of dollars his company manages on a daily basis.
So far, there have been three ETF applications submitted for approval with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.