Will a US Bitcoin ETF send the Bitcoin price to new record highs?

The US, has yet to give the green light to a Bitcoin ETF. If that changes, will the Bitcoin price reach new record highs?

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Bitcoin cryptocurrency on smartphone

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The Bitcoin (CRYPTO: BTC) price is up 5.7% over the past 24 hours. One Bitcoin is currently worth US$58,778 (AU$75,356).

That’s according to Bitcoin price data from CoinDesk, which also tells me Bitcoin is still trading below its all-time highs of US$61,557, which it reached this past Sunday 14 March. Though not by much!

At the current price Bitcoin has a market cap of US$1.1 trillion. That’s enough to buy half the shares of Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL).

Astounding.

What’s holding some investors back from buying Bitcoin?

As “easy” as Bitcoin is to buy and sell, according to its enthusiasts, needing to work through crypto exchanges and using a digital wallet has kept many investors, at an apparently significant cost, from dipping their toes into the crypto market.

Not to mention the legitimate fear of hacking.

These issues have driven a rising investor demand for Bitcoin exchange-traded products (ETPs) and exchange traded funds (ETFs)

Would a US Bitcoin ETF send Bitcoin to new record highs?

As Bloomberg notes, a Bitcoin ETF already exists in Europe on the Stockholm Stock Exchange – the $2.7 billion Bitcoin Tracker EUR. And the Purpose Bitcoin CAD ETF (TSE: BTCC.B) launched last month on the Canadian Stock Exchange.

But the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been reluctant to give the green light to a US-listed Bitcoin ETF. SEC is concerned, among other things, with the extreme price swings and Bitcoin’s alleged use in illegal transactions.

However, the tide may be changing and a US-listed Bitcoin ETF may yet launch in 2021.

According to Bloomberg:

U.S. regulators have repeatedly batted down attempts to introduce them, citing concerns about potential manipulation and thin liquidity. Yet with the world’s largest digital coin rallying to new heights and a change of leadership at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the prospect of a first U.S. Bitcoin ETF appears to be rising.

And there’s certainly no shortage of interest from institutional players to back a Bitcoin ETF, with the VanEck Bitcoin Trust, Valkyrie, NYDIG, and WisdomTree all having applied to the SEC inside the past few months.

It’s hard to say if easier access for global investors through a US ETF would send the Bitcoin price soaring, or perhaps only add to its volatility as investors seek to time the price swings for maximum gains.

But it will certainly be interesting to watch how this plays out.

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Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and recommends Apple and Bitcoin and recommends the following options: short March 2023 $130 calls on Apple and long March 2023 $120 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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