For these (and myriad other) reasons, attempts to legitimize bitcoin have largely floundered. Trading in bitcoin futures has fallen off a cliff, while the SEC has continued to resist the creation of a bitcoin-focused ETF. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of all was the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, which allowed anyone with a brokerage account or IRA to gain exposure to bitcoin (but for a massive premium). During the crash, it delivered huge losses.
Yet, since the beginning of the year, desperate bulls have found some justification to keep hanging on. Over the past few months, the digital currency has slowly crept higher. A drumbeat of negative headlines, including one warning that the majority of bitcoin exchanges had likely turned a blind eye to suspicious activity, have had little impact.