© Reuters.

Investing.com– hit a two-month high this week as a string of applications for an  exchange-traded fund tracking the world’s largest cryptocurrency brewed some optimism over increased institutional interest in the token.

The cryptocurrency surged as much as 14.4% over the past three days, briefly hitting an over two-month high before steadying at $30,300 by 23:32 ET (03:32 GMT) on Thursday. No. 2 crypto rose nearly 6% on Thursday, hitting a near two-month high.

The rally comes amid renewed interest in the token after BlackRock Inc (NYSE:), the world’s largest asset manager, applied for an ETF that will directly track Bitcoin. A slew of other institutional investors also subsequently applied for Bitcoin ETFs, including WisdomTree Valkyrie, and Citadel.

Coinbase (NASDAQ:) is set to act as custodian for the Blackrock ETF. Increased institutional buying was one of the biggest catalysts of a 2021 crypto rally, which had pushed Bitcoin to record highs. But a series of high-profile bankruptcies, rising interest rates and regulatory pressure saw a bulk of institutional money pull out through 2022.

The ETF filings pushed up some hopes of resurgent institutional interest in the crypto industry, as it grapples with a U.S. regulatory crackdown against its biggest players. The Securities and Exchange Commission launched lawsuits against major exchanges Binance and Coinbase, while also levelling allegations of fraud and wash trading against Binance and its founder Changpeng Zhao. 

The lawsuits had triggered steep losses in the crypto market, pulling Bitcoin to three-month lows earlier in June. They also triggered a slew of withdrawals from centralized crypto exchanges in the U.S., after Binance warned that it was set to lose support from traditional banking partners. 

Despite recent gains, Bitcoin remained well below the near $70,000 record highs seen in late-2021. Crypto trading volumes have also slumped in recent weeks, as sentiment was rattled by the SEC lawsuits.


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