Bitcoin on Friday shot up to its highest level in about a year.
The cryptocurrency rose above $31,400 a coin on Friday, its highest level since 2022, before paring back its gains. Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, earlier this week traded above $30,000 for the first time since April, when the collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank sent investors in search of safer places to hold their cash.
Bitcoin is up by about 87% this year. Its most recent gains come after a wave of interest in crypto from financial giants. BlackRock last week applied to register a bitcoin spot exchange-traded fund, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Crypto exchange EDX Markets, backed by firms such as Charles Schwab, Fidelity Digital Assets and Citadel, also launched its digital asset trading platform this week.
Still, the renewed fervor for crypto comes against a backdrop of regulatory crackdowns. The SEC earlier this month sued Coinbase, the US’s largest crypto exchange, alleging that it is acting as an unregistered broker. That came just a day after federal regulators sued Binance, accusing the company of operating an illegal exchange in the United States and commingling customers’ assets.
Despite its surge this year, bitcoin remains well below its all-time highs of more than $60,000 in 2021. The cryptocurrency was hammered last year by the Federal Reserve’s aggressive pace of interest rates and the collapse of crypto exchange FTX, which helped spur a sweeping sell-off in the crypto market.