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Bitcoin crosses $45,000 for the first time since April 2022

written by Bella Palmer

Bitcoin hit a 21-month high of $45,488, having advanced 154% last year in the strongest performance since 2020

Bitcoin rose above $45,000 on Tuesday for the first time since April 2022 as the world's largest and best-known crypto currency started 2024 with a surge buoyed by hopes around potential approval of spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Bitcoin hit a 21-month high of $45,488, having advanced 154% last year in the strongest performance since 2020. It was last 2.6% higher at $45,344 but remains far off the record peak of $69,000 it hit in November 2021.

Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, was up 1% to $2,376 on Tuesday.

Investor focus has been on whether the U.S. securities regulator will soon approve a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund, which would throw open the bitcoin market to millions more investors.

The U.S. SEC has denied several applications to launch spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds in recent years, arguing that the crypto currency market is vulnerable to manipulation.

In recent months, nevertheless, there have been growing signs that regulators are prepared to sign off on at least some of the 13 proposed spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds, with expectations that the decision will likely come in early January.

Rising bets that major central banks will reduce interest rates this year has also been a boon for crypto currencies, helping shake off the gloom that had settled over crypto markets after the failures of FTX and other crypto-businesses in 2022.

The crypto market is set to experience notable growth in 2024, with key influencing factors being the influx of investment funds from spot exchange-traded funds, Bitcoin halving, and a more accommodative monetary policy both in the US and worldwide, said Jupiter Zheng, partner of liquid funds at HashKey Capital.


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