In brief: Since the beginning of October, Bitcoin has come tantalizingly close to pre-crypto winter prices. Although the cryptocurrency is nowhere near its highs from 2021 and 2022, the recovery that began in late January appears to be gaining momentum amid positive speculation regarding regulation in the US.

Bitcoin scraped against the $35,000 mark this week, possibly due to gossip that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could approve an exchange-traded fund (ETF) tied to the cryptocurrency. The current price is the highest Bitcoin has seen since last spring's historic collapse, which began the so-called crypto winter, having risen almost 10 percent in one day.

An ETF would grant investors exposure to BTC through the stock market without the need to directly own it, potentially stoking renewed interest. The speculation has risen since a US court ruled against the SEC's decision to reject a Bitcoin ETF application from Grayscale Investments in August. The regulator reportedly doesn't plan to appeal the ruling and may approve the ETF soon – the first related to BTC outside the futures market. Numerous major US investment firms, including BlackRock, are expected to apply for Bitcoin ETFs.

The recent movements bring the cryptocurrency's 2023 recovery to new highs, lifting hopes that the crypto winter could soon end. Bitcoin peaked at almost $67,000 in November 2021, but its most sustained fall began last May after the collapse of TerraUSD and Luna dragged down the entire crypto market, wiping out almost $1 trillion.

More damage came when the FTX exchange collapsed that November amid a federal investigation, which led to an ongoing court case surrounding its founder. Bitcoin's price recovered from the FTX slump in late January and has since steadily risen.

A worrying dip endangered hopes of recovery in August as exchange behemoth Coinbase's transaction volume slumped, but the October market seems to have erased it. Predictions for the cryptocurrency's future range from a cataclysmic fall to $5,000 to a triumphant $200,000 explosion.

Despite ongoing optimism in the market, PC users probably shouldn't worry about crypto's effects on GPU prices. The days of graphics cards disappearing into mining rigs for cryptocurrencies like Ethereum appear to be unquestionably over, as the daily revenue from GPUs like the RTX 4090 remains below $1. At current rates, the cards would take thousands of days to break even, making them pointless for mining.