Bitcoin is back above $44,000 per coin after hitting that mark earlier in December for the first time since April 2022. The largest digital coin by market cap is now trading for just under $44,095.

The asset is up by 4% in 24 hours. In the past week, it has risen by more than 6%, according to CoinGecko.

Bitcoin has shot up in value this year as a number of reputable Wall Street firms have applied to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to release a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). An ETF is a popular investment vehicle that tracks the price of an underlying asset.

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It's likely the SEC will now approve a Bitcoin ETF after saying no for a decade, analysts say. Traditional investors would be able to get exposure to cryptocurrency in a safe and regulated way if such a product does hit a stock exchange.

Yesterday, news dropped that the world's biggest fund manager, BlackRock, met with the SEC's Division of Trading and Markets to discuss its proposed spot Bitcoin ETF.

At the start of 2023, Bitcoin was trading for less than $17,000 per coin. It is still well below the November 2021 all-time high of $69,044 it touched during the bull run.

Other cryptocurrencies also shot up on Bitcoin's rise today. Ethereum, the second-biggest digital asset, is up nearly 3% in the past day and is trading hands for $2,252.

Of the top 20 coins and tokens, Solana is the biggest gainer: it's up over 9% in the past day and is priced at $80.61. Solana hit a 2023 high Wednesday after starting the year at just under $10 per coin.

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And Avalanche has also bolted up by the same amount in 24 hours. Both altcoins have attracted interest from big investors in November and December.

The entire crypto market is now sitting at $1.73 trillion—a nearly 4% 24-hour jump in value.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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