HONG KONG (Reuters) – Bitcoin hovered below record levels on Wednesday, the day after the first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) began trading, a development that market participants say is likely to drive investment into the digital asset.
The world’s leading cryptocurrency was last at $63,998, off 0.4%, but still within a short jump of its record of $64,895.22, hit April 14 this year.
Earlier on Tuesday, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF closed up 2.59% at $41.94 after its first day of trading, 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.