Bitcoin hits $40,000 level for the first time this year By Reuters

© Reuters. Bitcoin coins are seen at a stand during the Bitcoin Conference 2023, in Miami Beach, Florida, U.S., May 19, 2023. REUTERS/Marco Bello/File photo

(Reuters) – hit $40,085 on Sunday, its highest in almost a year and a half, fuelled by bets that U.S. regulators will soon approve stock-market traded bitcoin funds.

Bitcoin was up 1.55% at 2234 GMT, adding $611 to its previous close.

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, is up 51.1% from the year’s low of $26,533 on Oct. 11.

Bitcoin has more than doubled in price so far this year, recovering to its levels prior to the May 2022 meltdown of the so-called stablecoin terraUSD and its sister token. Their downfall caused havoc in crypto markets and sparked the bankruptcy of some high-profile companies in the crypto sector.

Bitcoin is still down from its record high of $69,000, scaled in November 2021. It has so far failed to make a breakthrough to mainstream commerce, long predicted by backers, and most large investors and companies remain wary of it as an investment.

Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, rose 2.07% to $2,210.70 on Sunday, adding $44.90 to its previous close.

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