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Bitcoin tops $37,000 for the first time since May 2022 as optimism about a forthcoming ETF builds

Bitcoin has had a strong start to the year with the cryptocurrency seeing a huge rally.

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Bitcoin rose to a new high for 2023 on Thursday as optimism around a potential bitcoin ETF approval continued to build.

The price of the flagship cryptocurrency rose more than 3.5% to top $37,000 for the first time since May 2022. It was last trading at $36,974. Ether was little changed but held recent gains and was trading just below its key $2,000 level.

The rise in the bitcoin price triggered a wave of short liquidation overnight, which propelled crypto prices higher, said Clara Medalie, head of research at crypto data provider Kaiko.

“Over the past year, crypto markets have been desperately searching for a cataylst amid a sea of bad news, and the ETF news have been a welcome respite,” she said. “Should [an ETF approval] come, we may see another big surge, or we could be witnessing the extent of it right now. Ultimately, it is too early to tell if the rally has legs, but things look promising.”

Other crypto assets as well as crypto equities rode the bitcoin price wave Thursday. Solana, one of the biggest outperformers in crypto this year, gained 11%. The tokens tied to Cardano and Polygon rose 4% and 3%, respectively.

“And, as we’ve seen, when bitcoin surges, ether and other altcoins tend to follow not long after,” said Darius Tabatabai, co-founder at decentralized exchange Vertex Protocol. “Already, with bitcoin up over 120%year-to-date, we are seeing many other coins turning bullish, and trading volumes are picking back up.”

Before the market’s open, shares of crypto services provider Coinbase rose 3.7%, while bitcoin proxy Microstrategy gained 4.7%. Block and Robinhood, which both offer crypto trading services, were higher by more than 1% each.

Meanwhile, shares of bitcoin miners enjoyed bigger boosts. Marathon Digital and Riot, the largest of the mining stocks, rose 10% and 6%, respectively. CleanSpark and Cipher Mining advanced 7% each in premarket trading.

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Correction: The price of bitcoin topped $37,000 for the first time since May 2022. An earlier version of this story misstated the time interval.

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