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Bitcoin surges above $72,000 after UK’s crypto ETP approval

Bitcoin prices soar to new heights, surpassing $72,000, following the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) decision to greenlight cryptocurrency-linked exchange-traded products (ETPs). In an announcement on Monday, the FCA disclosed its willingness to entertain requests from recognized investment exchanges seeking to introduce a segment for crypto-backed exchange-traded notes (ETNs).

Bitcoin surges above $72,000 after UK's crypto ETP approval

To ensure regulatory compliance, exchanges must implement robust controls to maintain orderly trading and safeguard professional investors’ interests. They are required to adhere to the UK’s listings regime, including issuing prospectuses and ongoing disclosures. At approximately 6:50 a.m. ET, Bitcoin’s price experienced a surge of over 3%, peaking at $72,211.51, a new all-time high.

However, it later dipped slightly, hovering around $71,530.13 as of 7:15 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, Ether also saw a significant increase, climbing over 2% to $4,041.23. Acknowledging the FCA’s decision, the London Stock Exchange confirmed its readiness to accept applications for the admission of Bitcoin and Ether ETNs starting from the second quarter of this year.

Despite the regulatory approval, only professional investors will be permitted to trade ETNs. Retail investors are excluded from purchasing crypto-linked ETNs or derivatives due to their perceived high risk. The FCA maintains its stance on the risks associated with cryptoassets, emphasizing their unregulated nature and advising investors to be prepared for potential losses.

The FCA’s decision follows similar moves by US regulators, who recently approved the first-ever spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) from major financial firms such as BlackRock, Fidelity, and Grayscale. Unlike ETFs, which are asset-holding funds, ETNs are unsecured debt securities issued by banks and are usually linked to market indices.

Despite lacking underlying assets, ETNs promise to pay out the full value of the index at maturity, minus management fees. Proponents of Bitcoin view the approval of ETPs and ETFs as a pivotal moment for institutional investment in cryptocurrencies. They anticipate a positive impact on prices as more institutional funds flow into the market.

The FCA’s decision marks a reversal from its previous stance in 2020 when it banned the sale of crypto-linked ETNs and derivatives to retail consumers, citing concerns about extreme price volatility and potential financial crime. As regulatory attitudes toward cryptocurrencies evolve globally, investors continue to navigate the dynamic landscape of digital assets, balancing potential gains with regulatory uncertainties.

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