Bitcoin last night was closing in on $36,000 per coin—the first time it’s been that high in nearly 18 months.

The biggest cryptocurrency by market cap has since dipped to $34,949 after briefly touching $35,878 at around 10 p.m. ET last night, according to CoinGecko. And it’s continuing to climb fast: the asset is up over 2% in the past 24 hours.

But Bitcoin isn’t the star of the show today—DeFi (decentralized finance) tokens are.

So You Want to Short Ethereum? There’s an ETF for That

DeFi refers to non-custodial tools on blockchain networks that allow for the buying, selling, borrowing, and lending of crypto assets without third-party intermediaries. Uniswap, a decentralized crypto trading platform, is a central part of the DeFi ecosystem on Ethereum.

Uniswap’s native token, UNI, is today leading the charge among surging digital assets. The governance token is up 12% in the past 24 hours, coming in priced at $4.54.

And Aave (AAVE), the token behind the decentralized lending protocol, is also surging: it has gained over 12% in the past day and is trading hands for $92.00.

Meanwhile, the broader DeFi ecosystem has seen substantial growth over the past couple days. According to DeFi Llama, the total value locked across all the chains the site tracks has grown by nearly $1 billion since Tuesday and is up 1.5% over the past day.

Sometimes big jumps in TVL, or the sum of all assets being staked, loaned, and deposited across a chain, are down to changes in Ethereum’s price. But at the time of writing, ETH is 0.4% and trading at $1,792.76, according to CoinGecko.

Gaming and metaverse tokens are also doing well. Decentraland (MANA) is up over 12% in the past 24 hours and is priced at $0.32. It’s one of the biggest gainers across all of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap as of Thursday morning.

Crypto markets have received a boost recently—with Bitcoin largely leading the charge. That’s because there’s been a huge amount of hype surrounding the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF.

Bitcoin ETF Could Be Approved in Time for Christmas, Says JP Morgan

Investors have been waiting the best part of a decade for a product that would give them exposure to Bitcoin in the same safe and secure they can gain exposure to precious metals like gold.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had been reluctant to approve a Bitcoin ETF. But now, according to analysts such from Bloomberg Intelligence and JP Morgan, one could be approved by early next year.

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