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Bitcoin rises to another record, ether breaks through $4,000

Bitcoin extended recent gains and climbed to another record to start the week.
The price of the flagship cryptocurrency was last higher by 3% at $72,022.16, according to Coin Metrics. Earlier, it reached an all-time high of $72,750.16.
Last week, bitcoin hit new records in volatile trading for the first time since 2021, before more subdued trading over the weekend.
Inflows into U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs continue to drive the cryptocurrency’s price action. Last week, crypto investment products saw record inflows totaling $2.7 billion, according to CoinShares. That put the year-to-date total at $10.3 billion, just off the record of $10.6 billion for all of 2021.
At the same time, heightened leverage in the crypto market has led to the biggest price swings in nearly a year, with funding rates at their highest levels since January 2021 and bitcoin open interest at all-time highs.
Meanwhile, ether broke $4,000 for the first time since December 2021, lifted in part by bitcoin. It was last higher by 3% at $4,034.00.
Investors were also looking ahead to the Ethereum network’s next big tech upgrade, dubbed “Dencun,” this week. In the past, the crypto asset has rallied into the day of the upgrade and then seen traders sell on the event.
Citi analyst Alex Saunders pointed out in a note Monday that price action could look different for Dencun given the strength of other key crypto catalysts in play at the moment – specifically, the inflows into bitcoin ETFs, the upcoming Bitcoin halving and the potential that the Securities and Exchange Commission could approve trading of spot ether ETFs in the U.S. in May.
Companies whose performance is tied to the price of bitcoin was mixed on Monday. Crypto exchange Coinbase advanced gave back earlier gains but closed just under flat as the broader rally in tech cooled. Bitcoin proxy Microstrategy rose 4% after the company purchased another roughly 12,000 bitcoins for more than $821 million in cash, according to a filing.
Miners fell. Marathon Digital lost 12%, CleanSpark fell 16%, Iris Energy lost 5% and Riot Platforms slipped 4%. These were some of the biggest stock market gainers in February but have turned lower for March as investors digest the upcoming Bitcoin halving event, when mining companies’ revenue will be slashed.
New U.K. crypto trading products
Elsewhere, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority said Monday that it would allow exchanges to list cryptocurrency-linked exchange-traded products for the first time – two months after spot bitcoin ETFs began trading in the U.S.
Specifically, the FCA said it would not object to requests from recognized investment exchanges to create a U.K.-listed market segment for crypto-backed exchange-traded notes, or ETNs. The London Stock Exchange said it will accept applications for the admission of bitcoin and ether ETNs from the second quarter of this year.
Unlike an ETF, which is a fund that holds assets, an ETN is an unsecured debt security issued by a bank. It is typically linked to a market index or other benchmark. An ETN promises to pay out at maturity the full value of the index, minus management fees.
Bitcoin bulls note this will lead to increased institutional investment into bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They say this will, in turn, impact the price positively as more serious money floods into the market.
Mar 12, 2024 11:38
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