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Bitcoin hits new all time high above $66,000 US

Bitcoin rose to a new all time high above $66,000 US on the first futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched this week.

Catalyst is launch of first ETF that holds Bitcoins on U.S. stock exchanges

Bitcoin is back above the level it was trading at before Elon Musk sparked a sell-off in the world's largest cryptocurrency in April. (CBC News)

Bitcoin rose to a new all time high above $66,000 US on the first futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched this week.

The world's leading cryptocurrency was changing hands at more than $66,000 US on Wednesday, just above the all-time high of $64,895.22 it hit on April 14 this year.

Tuesday was the first day of trading for the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF — a development that market participants say is likely to drive investment into the digital asset.

The ETF closed up 2.59 per cent at $41.94 on Tuesday, with around $1 billion worth of shares trading hands on Intercontinental Exchange Inc's ICE.N Arca exchange.

Trading appeared to be dominated by smaller investors and high-frequency trading firms, analysts said, noting the absence of large block trades indicated that institutions were likely staying on the sidelines.

James Quinn, managing partner at Q9 Capital, a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency private wealth manager, said the launch of the new product was "meaningful" for bitcoin.

Theoretically, any licensed brokerage firm in the United States which wants to take on this ETF can do so as easily as any other ETF, which "should make it available to a lot of folks," said Quinn.

While the ETF is based on bitcoin futures, Quinn said the trades and hedges underpinning the ETF means activity will flow into the spot market and the bitcoin price.

Crypto ETFs have launched this year in Canada and Europe amid surging interest in digital assets. VanEck and Valkyrie are among fund managers pursuing U.S.-listed ETF products, although Invesco on Monday dropped its plans for a futures-based ETF.

With files from CBC News

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