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Bitcoin up 8% as Biden announces executive order on cryptocurrencies

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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies spiked after the U.S. Treasury apparently released details of an executive order from President Joe Biden that appeared to take a supportive stance toward digital assets.

Bitcoin was trading at $41,584.21, nearly 9% higher as of 2:17 a.m. ET, according to data from CoinDesk. Other cryptocurrencies including ether were also sharply higher.

The rally began just after 6 p.m. ET Tuesday after the Treasury published details and a statement online in response to an upcoming executive order from the U.S. president on cryptocurrencies. The statement from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was unpublished shortly after.

Reuters and other news outlets reported earlier this week that a Biden order on cryptocurrencies is imminent.

The now-removed Treasury statement said the executive order calls for a comprehensive approach to digital asset policy and that government agencies would coordinate their work.

Traders are still awaiting the final executive order, but the fleeting Treasury statement, which appeared supportive of cryptocurrencies, was enough to boost optimism.

“The leaked Treasury statement has been welcomed by the crypto market as it seems to focus on development of the industry, rather than on imposing unrealistic regulations,” Yuya Hasegawa, market analyst at Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitbank, told CNBC.

Cameron Winklevoss, co-founder of cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, called the executive order a “constructive approach to thoughtful crypto regulation.”

While countries like China have looked to wipe out cryptocurrency trading, others such as El Salvador have embraced it. But the U.S. currently does not have a high-level framework for developing and regulating cryptocurrencies, sparking fears that it could be left behind.

Last year, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said the U.S. should create a new regulator to oversee the digital asset market.

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