Crypto prices rally on fresh hopes of Grayscale bitcoin ETF

Crypto prices illustration
Crypto prices have rallied. Photo Illustration: Omar Marques/SOPA /LightRocket/ Getty

Crypto prices continued to rally on Wednesday in London, following news that investment shop Grayscale had taken a step closer to clinching approval for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

The SEC had originally denied its application to convert the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust to an ETF.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) was trading 5.6% higher by late-morning in, at around the $27,450 mark following the news. Meanwhile ether (ETH-USD) was up 4.3% to trade at $1,715.

Crypto exchange Coinbase's (COIN) stock also surged last night, rising about 14.9% by the close, although futures markets suggest it will open around 1.4% lower today.

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The idea behind a spot bitcoin ETF is that it would be traded through a traditional stock exchange, although the bitcoin would be held by a brokerage. It is designed to allow investors to gain exposure to the world’s biggest cryptoasset without having to own the coin themselves.

The SEC has only so far allowed crypto ETFs based on futures, as it says they are safer.

The SEC can still fight the decision by taking it to a full slate of judges on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals or the US Supreme Court for review.

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Matteo Greco, a research analyst at Finequia points out that crypto is not out of the woods yet.

"Final decisions on when and if Grayscale will be able to list its product as an ETF are yet to be made," he said in an emailed note.

"At the current price level, about 2.5 million Bitcoin are held at a loss in the short term. Short term refers to those Bitcoin that were bought less than 155 days ago. The data shows the difficult moment for the market, with the price dropping back to the level not seen since June."

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