World's most valuable cryptocurrency Bitcoin jumped to a new all-time high (ATH) on Wednesday, topping $66,000, as it rides a wave of excitement about getting further mainstreamed by financial establishments.
The new ATH came a day after the first exchange-traded fund linked to Bitcoin debuted on the NYSE and attracted huge interest from investors looking to get into the surging field of cryptocurrencies. Shares of the ProShares BitCoin Strategy ETF changed hands 24.1 million times in a resounding debut.
Bitcoin was trading at $66,109 as of 10:04 am Eastern Time. It's rallied back to these numbers after sinking below $30,000 during the summer to top its prior record set in April. This prior ATH was nearly $64,889, according to Coindesk.
Its latest milestone - the Bitcoin ETF - can be bought by investors from ProShares through an old-school brokerage account, without having to learn what a hot or cold wallet is.
The ETF doesn't invest directly in Bitcoin. It instead invests in the futures market tied to Bitcoin, but the industry sees the ETF as offering a way for a new class of investors to get involved in Bitcoin.
It's all part of a movement across big businesses that see a chance to profit on the fervor around the world of crypto, as a new ecosystem further builds up around it, whether they believe in it or not.
The one thing you can say for certain is that the advent of the era of Bitcoin ETF opens up the opportunity for Wall Street to make money on Bitcoin in a way that it hadn't been able to previously, said Ben Johnson, director of global ETF research at Morningstar.
Bitcoin has come a long way since someone or a group of people under the name Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a paper in 2008 about how to harness computing power around the world to create a digital currency that can't be double-spent.
The price has more than doubled this year alone. It was at only $635 five years ago.
Supporters of cryptocurrencies say they offer an ultra-important benefit for any investor: something whose price moves independently of the economy, rather than tracking it like so many other investments do.