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LONDON: Bitcoin surged Wednesday to a record above $66,000 after taking another step towards mainstream status as the world’s most popular cryptocurrency forayed onto Wall Street.

A bitcoin futures exchange-traded fund (ETF), a type of financial instrument, launched on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The news electrified demand for the cryptocurrency, which scaled an all-time pinnacle of $66,976 in London on Wednesday.

The virtual unit, created 13 years ago and long regarded as the preserve of internet geeks and hobbyists, has been embraced by many major banks.

Bitcoin hits new record above $65,000 after Wall Street foray

The new fund is a more accessible vehicle that puts bitcoin within the grasp of even more investors.

“Interest in bitcoin in the wake of yesterday’s new ETF launch has helped to push the cryptocurrency to a new record high,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.

“Bitcoin is more or less mainstream already with various banks offering clients exposure to it.

“This merely takes it to the next level,” he told AFP.

The Bitcoin Strategy ETF rose nearly five percent in its first day of trading on Tuesday.

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