Bitcoin Surges Above $8,000 for First Time Since May

24 July 2018, 17: 07
© Reuters.  Bitcoin was higher on Tuesday.

Bitcoin surged to a two-month high on Tuesday, as investors wait for news of regulatory approval of a digital coin exchange traded fund (ETF).

Bitcoin was trading at $8,248.40, surging 6.75% on the Bitfinex exchange, as of 8:21 AM ET (12:21 GMT), not far from its session high of $8,293.10.

The price of the digital coin was boosted by reports of impending approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision of a bitcoin ETF.

If approved, the ETF would allow retail investors to buy and sell bitcoin without going through an exchange. The SEC is expected to make a decision between Aug. 10 and Aug. 16.

The regulator has already turned down several proposals for alternative asset ETFs and whether or not the proposal by New York-based VanEck and blockchain platform SolidX will be approved is uncertain.

Meanwhile, talk last week that financial giant BlackRock is looking into cryptocurrency investment also helped drive up the price of bitcoin. Still, bitcoin has struggled to gain ground in recent months, falling nearly 70% since its peak of almost $20,000 in December.

Cryptocurrencies overall were also higher. The coin market cap of total market capitalization was at $300 billion at the time of writing compared to $288 billion on Monday.

Ethereum, the second-biggest alternative currency by market cap, rose 2.10% to $473.17 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third-largest virtual currency, increased 0.93% to $0.45683, while Litecoin was at $87.623, up 3.82%.