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Bitcoin’s unit price broke out to a 52-week high above $35,000 on Monday evening, spurring a record amount of open interest in BTC futures on the CME. Bitcoin’s relative outperformance against other digital assets has pushed its dominance over the cryptocurrency market beyond the 53% threshold. Despite rates and diminished performance of equities throughout 2023, the price of Bitcoin has doubled in the year-to-date period.

The catalyst for the big move in Bitcoin appears to have been developments related to a spot Bitcoin ETF. BlackRock’s proposed fund, the iShares Bitcoin Trust, just received a ticker on the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation’s (DTCC) ETF directory, as well as a CUSIP number. These are vital milestones in the process of a security listing and suggest that the SEC may be working more closely with asset managers to prepare for an upcoming launch of BTC-backed funds for the first time. Seeding of BlackRock’s ETF may begin as soon as this month. 

Related ETF & Assets: ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), Bitcoin (BTC-USD)

The unit price of the world’s largest cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC), broke out to a 16-month high last night, ripping through the $35,000 threshold for a short time. That capped the largest daily gain in BTC since March 2022, surging by as much as 14.1%. That action defied a small downturn in equity indices and a bounce in the 10-year Treasury yield above 5.0% for the first time since 2007. Those would typically be negative signals for BTC, but the asset’s correlation with the S&P 500 has been cut from 0.57 this time last year to less than 0.30 in recent days, and rising long-term rates have done little to dent Bitcoin in 2023 – now up by more than 107.0% in the year-to-date period.

The consensus on what is behind this sudden crypto rally appears to be an impending spike in institutional adoption, particularly in regard to potential spot ETF launches. This topic has dominated our coverage of digital asset markets for many months now, but it seems that a serious pricing-in of Bitcoin-backed products is taking place among speculators in spot and futures markets. Glassnode data shows that the balance of BTC held on exchanges has been whittled down to its lowest level since 2018 over the past week. Open interest on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) BTC futures…

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