- Bitcoin touched $60,000 on Friday as investors awaited approval of a futures ETF tracking its price.
- The SEC is set to allow trading of the first US bitcoin futures ETF next week, Bloomberg reported.
- The digital coin hit a 24-hour high of $60,018, taking its year-to-date gains to around 104%.
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Bitcoin briefly topped $60,000 for the first time since April on Friday, as investors celebrated the prospect of the SEC approving the first US bitcoin futures ETF within days.
The digital asset hit a 24-hour high of $60,018, according to data from CoinGecko, nearing its record price of $64,895. That takes bitcoin's year-to-date gains to about 104%.
Anticipation has been further fuelled by the regulator approving Volt Equity's ETF last week, according to Will Hamilton, head of trading and research at digital asset management firm TCM Capital.
Volt's ETF specifically tracks companies that have significant exposure to bitcoin, or generate most of their profit from bitcoin-related activities like mining, lending, or manufacturing mining equipment.
"It's a small step, but a very promising one," Hamilton said. "In essence, the SEC has given the nod, from an investor protection point of view, that investing in these heavily crypto-exposed companies is 'ok'."
Separately, a direct update from the SEC seems to have contributed to Friday's moves. The regulator's investor education Twitter account posted a link to a June notice on Thursday, warning about the risks associated with investing in bitcoin.
"Before investing in a fund that holds Bitcoin futures contracts, make sure you carefully weigh the potential risks and benefits," the tweet said. Investors interpreted it as signalling the regulator will approve those types of funds at some point next week.
Further, Coinbase proposed creating a special regulator as a potential solution to the lack of regulatory clarity and enforcement in crypto markets, as it believes digital assets need to be treated differently to stocks.
Crypto traders seem to have brushed off comments from JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon that bitcoin is "worthless," and Bank of England's deputy governor Jon Cunliffe warning that the coin could trigger a 2008-level meltdown.
"Instead of scaremongering about bitcoin, certain officials should look closer to home," said Paolo Ardoino, chief technology officer at trading platform Bitfinex. "The unsustainable inflationary monetary policies of central banks will inevitably unravel."
Read More: 2 ETF veterans-turned crypto investors break down why they think the SEC should approve a bitcoin ETF that invests in the digital currency itself instead of futures contracts - and share the 3 main pitfalls of a futures-based ETF