By Hannah Lang and Kanjyik Ghosh
(Reuters) -Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, hit a three-month high on Monday, rising 4.73% to $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% and 11.9% respectively. Bitcoin is up more than 18% from the year’s low of $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 U.S. Treasuries reached as high as 5.021%, 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 U.S. 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 % to $1,710.6 on Monday.
(Reporting by Hannah Lang in Washington and Kanjyik Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Jonathan Oatis)