Bitcoin (BTC), crypto prices surge as SVB depositors protected

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Cryptocurrencies rallied on Monday as the U.S. government moved to protect depositors of the collapsed Silicon Valley Bank and HSBC bought the lender’s U.K. arm.

Bitcoin was up nearly 10% at 3 a.m ET at $22,560.20, its highest level in 10 days, according to CoinDesk data. Ether was also around 10% higher at $1,614.89.

The overall cryptocurrency market gained more than $70 billion in the 24 hours to 2 a.m. ET, jumping back above $1 trillion on Monday.

It has been a rollercoaster ride for crypto markets after the collapse last week of Silvergate Capital, a major lender to the crytpo industry. Silvergate said Wednesday it is winding down operations and liquidating its bank.

Then came the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday in what was the biggest banking failure since the 2008 financial crisis.

Both Silvergate and SVB put their money into U.S. Treasurys which have lost value as the U.S. Federal Reserve has raised interested rates. These banks have been forced to sell these bonds at a loss to shore up their capital position.

That was followed on Sunday by the closure of Signature Bank, a major lender in the crypto industry, by U.S. regulators to stem any contagion to the broader banking sector.

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These moves by regulators to create a backstop for SVB and protect depositors in these institutions has boosted investor confidence.

The U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said Sunday that depositors of SVB will have access to all of their money starting Monday.

“No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer,” the regulators said.

Depositors at Signature Bank will be “made whole,” they added.

“Given the Fed announcement over the weekend of a backstop for banks and specifically Silicon Valley Bank, markets have turned euphoric knowing that depositors’ money is safe and a major potential bank run has been averted,” Vijay Ayyar, vice president of corporate development and international at crypto exchange Luno, told CNBC via email.

Adding to that, HSBC said it had agreed to acquire the U.K. arm of SVB for £1 ($1.21). The U.K. Treasury said Monday that “no taxpayer money is involved, and customer deposits have been protected.”