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Bitcoin keeps record highs in sight as ETF inflows persist



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Close– Bitcoin traded just below record highs in Asian trade on Tuesday, seeing continued support from steady inflows into the spot exchange-traded funds that were approved earlier this year. 

The world’s largest cryptocurrency traded up 5.6% at $72,156.6 by 22:51 ET (02:51 GMT), remaining close to a record high of $72,771 hit on Monday. 

Bitcoin’s latest record highs come as an extension of a rally triggered by the approval of the spot ETFs in January, which invited a heavy amount of institutional capital into the token.

The token was also boosted by MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR), the biggest corporate holder of Bitcoin, buying 12,000 tokens on Monday using debt. 

Bitcoin ETFs see $2.7 bln weekly inflows 

A report from digital asset manager CoinShares showed on Monday that investment products tracking Bitcoin saw capital inflows of about $2.7 billion in the week to March 10.

BlackRock Inc’s (NYSE:BLK) iShares Bitcoin ETF (NASDAQ:IBIT) commanded the lion’s share of these inflows, seeing nearly $2.1 billion, while Fidelity (NYSE:FBTC) saw an inflow of $1.34 billion. 

Bitcoin remained the sole driver of capital inflows into crypto markets, with other major tokens, such as Ethereum and Solana, either seeing minimal inflows or outflows. 

Digital assets manager Grayscale (NYSE:GBTC) also saw sustained outflows from its Bitcoin ETF, of $1.7 billion in the past week, as it continued to struggle with increased competition in the crypto ETFs sector. 

The Bitcoin ETF approvals earlier in 2024 triggered a mad rush of institutional capital into the world’s largest cryptocurrency, given that they allow for exposure to the token without having to directly invest in crypto.

But even as Bitcoin’s price surpassed 2021 highs, trading volumes in the token, especially in the retail sphere, remained at a fraction of those seen during the 2021 bull run, according to data.

The trend raised questions about just how sustainable Bitcoin’s recent rally remained, while also drawing accusations of market manipulation by exchanges and stablecoin operators. 

Retail interest had largely dwindled in crypto over the past two years, following a sharp price decline marked by rising interest rates and a string of high-profile frauds and bankruptcies. 

Crypto stocks had a mixed performance on Monday. While Microstrategy, which is largely seen as a Bitcoin proxy, rose 4%, exchange operator Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN) and miner Marathon Digital Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) fell 1% and 12%, respectively.

Coinbase in particular is still squaring off against the Securities and Exchange Commission over the nature of cryptocurrencies.


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