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Bitcoin hits three-month high, buoying crypto stocks

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, hit a three-month high on Monday (Oct 23), rising 4.73 per cent to UA$31,420 amid investor enthusiasm about the possibility of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

The rise in bitcoin sent shares of cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies such as Coinbase Global and Marathon Digital Holdings up 6.5 per cent and 11.9 per cent respectively. Bitcoin is up more than 18 per cent from the year’s low of US$26,533 on Oct 11.

The move also comes as concern ripples through the broader markets about the risk of Israel’s war with the Islamist group Hamas becoming a wider regional conflict.

“We have seen recent geopolitical tensions drive demand for scarce assets, including both physical gold and bitcoin, which many investors view as digital gold,” said Zach Pandl, managing director of research at Grayscale Investments, a crypto asset manager.

On Monday, the yield on 10-year US Treasuries reached as high as 5.021 per cent, the latest stage of a relentless sell-off in government bond markets.

Bitcoin briefly soared on Oct 16 following an erroneous news report about asset manager BlackRock’s high-profile application for a spot bitcoin ETF, which would track the underlying price of the token. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is still reviewing the proposal and is expected to deliver a decision by next year at the latest.

“Over the past month, the growing investor confidence in the imminent approval of BTC spot ETFs has driven considerable momentum toward BTC,” Matteo Greco, a research analyst at crypto- and fintech-focused investor Fineqia, said in a note.

Ether, the coin linked to the Ethereum blockchain network, rose 2.79 per cent to US$1,710.6 on Monday.

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