Bitcoin hovers near $63,000 ahead of the launch of the first futures ETF later in the day

Bitcoin bullish
Bitcoin bullish

Bitcoin nudged towards $63,000 for the first time since April on Tuesday, ahead of the market debut of a hotly-anticipated futures exchange-traded fund later in the day.

ETF provider ProShares said on Monday its bitcoin futures fund - the first of its kind in the United States - would launch on Tuesday.

After largely treading water over the summer, bitcoin has been steadily rallying in recent weeks, partly because of the anticipation around regulatory approval of an ETF backed by the token. It's set for a gain of around 41% so far in October, the largest monthly increase since December. It was last changing hands around $62,032, little changed over the past 24 hours, having blipped up to as much as $62,987 earlier in the day.

"The cryptocurrency has rallied in recent weeks as news picked up that the first US bitcoin ETF would be approved," Deutsche Bank said in a note to clients Tuesday.

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF will be listed on the Nasdaq and investors will be able to trade it like a stock, without having to own any bitcoin.

"BITO will open up exposure to bitcoin to a large segment of investors who have a brokerage account and are comfortable buying stocks and ETFs, but do not desire to go through the hassle and learning curve of establishing another account with a cryptocurrency provider and creating a bitcoin wallet, or are concerned that these providers may be unregulated and subject to security risk," Michael Sapir, CEO of ProShares, said in a statement.

The SEC is set to approve at least two more bitcoin futures this month: the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF, and the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF. ETF provider and asset manager Invesco was originally on that list, but this week dropped its plans.

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