Bitcoin edged closer to an all-time high on Monday 18 October as the industry prepares for the launch of the first futures-based ETF tracking the cryptocurrency.

The digital asset finished above the $60,000 mark for just the second time in its history in the week ending 15 October, before peaking at $62,600 on Monday, just shy of its all-time high of $64,80 it recorded in April.

It comes as investors anticipate bitcoin to break through its record high after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the ETFs to start trading this week.

Several fund managers have filed to launch bitcoin ETFs, including Invesco, ProShares, VanEck Bitcoin Trust and Valkyrie Digital Assets.

ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is likely to become the first to hit the market and is set to list on the New York Stock Exchange today. 

A bitcoin futures ETF, which is markedly different from a standard ETF, would not give investors access to the underlying asset and instead, will allow investors to speculate on the future price of the asset.

Despite this, the news it was edging closer to approval led to an uptick in bitcoin and other digital assets. Ethereum also posted a strong week, peaking at $3,900 on Saturday, close to its all-time high of $4,160 on 11 May.

Will Morris, sales trader at UK digital asset broker GlobalBlock, said bitcoin would need to remain at the $60,000 level for it to enter an “extremely bullish phase” as there would be “minimal upside pressure”.

“All-time highs of nearly $65,000 will be the next resistance level before a potential price discovery phase,” he said.

“While bitcoin has fiercely rallied over the past few weeks, bitcoin balance on exchanges remains at the lowest levels in nine months, indicating investors are holding bitcoin in wallets rather than readying themselves to sell.”

Investors appeared bullish on the likelihood of approval last week too, pouring $225m into bitcoin exchange-traded products (ETPs).

Crypto issuer ETC Group accounted for most of the inflows, raking in $165m through its $1.3bn BTCetc Bitcoin Exchange Traded Cryptocurrency ETC (BTCE).

It means that BTCE is now the world's largest physically-backed single cryptocurrency ETP as Europe overtakes Canada as the largest market for comparable crypto ETPs at $4bn. 

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