Bitcoin and major digital currencies were trading higher Friday, putting most coins on track for back-to-back winning weeks.
After trending lower for most of the week, bitcoin the world’s largest digital currency has jumped out of its recent short-term trading range, making a two-week high at $6,736.46. In early Friday trading, a single bitcoin BTCUSD, +5.48% was last going for $6,727.75, up 5.6% since Thursday at 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Kraken Exchange.
Analysts at FX Pro said a number of material projects had generated optimism among crypto aficionado’s. “A number of factors helped form this price [move higher],” wrote the analyst team. “Ripple’s CEO hints about the launch of a new product based on xRapid’s XRP coin as early as next month; access to the biggest Asian cash remittance market including India, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, and fintech start-up also begins working in Africa.”
The broad-based rally added $20 billion to value of all cryptocurrencies Friday, which now stands at $221.3 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.
Read: Is the piecemeal approach to crypto oversight creating regulatory arbitrage?
SEC begins proceedings on ETF proposal
The Securities and Exchange Commission said late Thursday it had begun proceedings in its decision whether to approve a bitcoin-backed exchange-traded fund (ETF) tabled by VanEck and SolidX.
In an “Order Instituting Proceedings to Determine Whether to Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change,” SEC Secretary Brent Fields said: “Institution of proceedings does not indicate that the Commission has reached any conclusions with respect to any of the issues involved. Rather, as described below, the Commission seeks and encourages interested persons to provide comments on the proposed rule change.”
On Aug. 7, the SEC said it planned on making a decision on the joint bid on Sept. 30.
The SEC added it had received more than 1,400 comments on the application.
Altcoins surge, XRP trades above 50 cents
Altcoins, the collective group of coins other than bitcoin, have burst out of the blocks Friday, led by XRP XRPUSD, +54.66% that has made a three-month high at 55 cents, up 35.4% Friday.
Elsewhere, Ether ETHUSD, +9.87% was up 9.7% at $228.75, Bitcoin Cash BCHUSD, +13.82% had added 13.8% at $486.90 and Litecoin LTCUSD, +8.67% was higher by 8.5% at $58.60.
In futures trading, the Cboe Global Markets Group Inc.’s October contract XBTV8, +4.84% had gained 4.8% to $6,715 and the CME Group Inc. September contract BTCU8, +5.16% was up 5% to $6,720.
Read: ‘Wild West’ cryptocurrency market needs to be regulated, says U.K. Treasury committee
Providing critical information for the U.S. trading day. Subscribe to MarketWatch’s free Need to Know newsletter. Sign up here.