Regardless of what the future holds for bitcoin ETFs, the digital currency itself isn’t fazed. Since March 10 — the day the SEC originally rejected the Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF — the price of bitcoin is up an incredible 91 percent, last hitting an all-time high of more than $2,200 on Monday. Year-to-date, bitcoin is up 130 percent.
If anything, the price only accelerated on the upside after the SEC’s disapproval, though most analysts attribute the surge to other factors.
“The big driver of the rally seems to be what’s going on in Japan and Korea,” noted Bogart. “In Japan, recently there’s been a change to acknowledge bitcoin as a legal payment method. That in and of itself wasn’t significant as, generally, people don’t like to spend bitcoin; they like to hold it.”
“But Japan’s move provides some regulatory clarity, and now there are major tech companies that want to open up bitcoin exchanges in Japan,” Bogart said. “So what you saw was volume in existing bitcoin exchanges in Japan went through the roof and pushed the prices up. Koreans look closely at Japan and tend to imitate a lot of activity there, so there’s been a lot of demand from that area of the world also.”
“That’s been the story of bitcoin,” added Bogart. “A lot of times it’s just sitting there doing nothing, and then either something falls apart in a particular corner of the world or in some corner of the world, some regulatory agency decides to be favorable to bitcoin, and then you see these random rallies. Then as you begin to rally, speculators pile in and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.”
— Sumit Roy, ETF.com