Bitcoin tops $44,000 for the first time since April 2022 as ETF optimism grows

Bitcoin surges to $44,000 for the first time since April 2022: CNBC Crypto World

Bitcoin is building on its upward momentum, with the flagship cryptocurrency topping $44,000 for the first time since April 2022 on Tuesday.

The price of bitcoin was last higher by more than 4% to $43,794.99, according to Coin Metrics, extending gains from the previous day, as the drumbeat for a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund in the U.S. grew louder. At one point, the coin traded as high as $44,903.45, its highest level since Apr. 7, 2022.

Tuesday’s gains bring bitcoin up more than 160% for the year. Ether was higher by 1.6% on the day at $2,263.76. It’s up 88% for 2023.

Bitcoin has been reaching new highs more frequently over the past several weeks. It broke through $40,000 over the weekend for the first time since April 2022, after beginning November around the $34,000 level and climbing incrementally to new year-to-date highs in between.

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Bitcoin since April 2022

Optimism around the likelihood of a spot bitcoin ETF approval in the U.S. has been the main force behind bitcoin’s climb, which began over the summer. While momentum was lower at first, reports of potential bitcoin ETF issuers meeting with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and receiving and implementing feedback on their ETF applications has further fueled investor optimism.

Broad consensus is that there will be a greenlit bitcoin ETF early in 2024, based on the SEC’s various deadlines to respond, which are determined by issuers’ application filing dates.

On top of that, the recent settlement between Binance and the U.S. Department of Justice at the end of November was widely seen as a major hurdle to clear in the post-FTX cleanup of the crypto industry. Investors are also looking forward to the Bitcoin halving, which is expected to take place in spring 2024.

—CNBC’s Nick Wells and Gina Francolla contributed reporting.

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