The price of the flagship cryptocurrency Bitcoin ($BTC) has surged past the $71,000 mark in a cryptocurrency market rally that saw Ethereum’s Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, skyrocket nearly 20% while the total market cap of the space grew by over $200 billion.

The sudden move came as Bitcoin broke through the $65,000 mark earlier this week after being range-bound after its highly-anticipated halving event, which cut the coinbase reward miners receive per block found in half.

The rally extended to several other major cryptocurrencies, with Binance’s BNB moving up 7.7% in the last 24 hours, XRP moving up 5.5%, and DOGE moving up nearly 8% over the same period, among others.

Total Crypto Market Cap Chart via TradingView

The catalyst for the broader market surge appears to be news related to the potential approval of spot Ether exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the U.S as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has abruptly requested that the exchanges that want to list and trade these funds update key filings related to these products, fueling speculation that the regulator is considering approving these products.

Before any trading can begin, issuers of spot Ether ETFs must receive the go-ahead on their S-1 registration statements, with the SEC having no set deadline to review these filings.

The SEC’s ongoing investigation into Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum blockchain, has intensified over the last few months, especially after the network’s transition to a Proof-of-Stake protocol.

Should Ether be classified as a security, it could provide the SEC with a basis to deny the applications for spot Ether ETFs.

Featured image via Unsplash.