Ether tops $2,000 for the first time since April, bitcoin climbs to an 18-month high

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The price of ether jumped Thursday, topping the key $2,000 level for the first time since April, after BlackRock took initial steps toward filing for a spot ether ETF.

Ether was last higher by nearly 8% at $2,047.10, according to Coin Metrics. Meanwhile, bitcoin climbed as high as $37,970, its highest level since May 2022. It was last higher by about 2% at $36,464.58.

The website for Delaware’s Division of Corporations showed that an iShares Ethereum Trust was registered on Thursday. A similar notice for the iShares Bitcoin Trust came on June 8, one week before BlackRock’s filing for a bitcoin ETF. BlackRock did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

ETF optimism had been building earlier in the morning, with bitcoin climbing and giving a lift to crypto assets across the market. The rise in bitcoin price triggered a wave of short liquidation overnight, which propelled crypto prices higher, said Clara Medalie, head of research at crypto data provider Kaiko.

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Bitcoin reaches and 18-month high as ether tops $2,000

“Over the past year, crypto markets have been desperately searching for a cataylst amid a sea of bad news, and the ETF news have been a welcome respite,” she said. “Should [an ETF approval] come, we may see another big surge, or we could be witnessing the extent of it right now. Ultimately, it is too early to tell if the rally has legs, but things look promising.”

Other crypto assets as well as crypto equities rode the bitcoin price wave Thursday. Solana, one of the biggest outperformers in crypto this year, gained 11%. The tokens tied to Cardano and Polygon rose 4% and 3%, respectively.

“And, as we’ve seen, when bitcoin surges, ether and other altcoins tend to follow not long after,” said Darius Tabatabai, co-founder at decentralized exchange Vertex Protocol. “Already, with bitcoin up over 120% year-to-date, we are seeing many other coins turning bullish, and trading volumes are picking back up.”

Separately, FTT, the token tied to the now defunct FTX, spiked by 45% after SEC chair Gary Gensler told CNBC a revival of the exchange could work if new leadership does so with a clear understanding of the law.

In equities, shares of crypto services provider Coinbase rose 11%, while bitcoin proxy Microstrategy gained 9%. Meanwhile, shares of bitcoin miners rode the bitcoin wave too. Marathon Digital and Riot, the largest of the mining stocks, rose 18% and 10%, respectively. CleanSpark advanced 10% and Iris Energy advanced 4%.

—CNBC’s Jesse Pound contributed reporting.

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Correction: The price of bitcoin topped $37,000 for the first time since May 2022. An earlier version of this story misstated the time interval.

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