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Despite the SEC's rejection of a high-profile bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application last week, the price of bitcoin is already trading at levels observed before the decision.

After dropping nearly $300 within minutes of the news on Friday, bitcoin has edged up steadily over the weekend, rising to a high of $1,242 today.

That figure is notably already $40 higher than the price observed at the start of trading on Friday, when bitcoin traded at $1,202 per bitcoin, according to the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index.

Given the high expectations for the ETF, even avid bitcoin traders are expressing surprise at the digital currency's quick recovery.

Joseph Lee, founder of bitcoin derivatives platform Magnr, for example, argued that the development shows "strong underlying demand" for bitcoin.

"Even a regulatory announcement from a large geopolitical region now has little influence on a price set by a global market," he told CoinDesk.

The development goes so far as to buck the assertions of a range of bitcoin trading experts and entrepreneurs, many of whom had anticipated a return to volatility should the ETF have failed in its approval bid.

However, it may be too early to predict exactly where the bitcoin price will move from here.

As noted by traders, major China-based exchanges continue to operate without the ability for users to withdraw funds, which may be depressing overall activity and elevating prices.

Others suggested that, once resumed, bitcoin's price could trend higher, as traders seek to place positions ahead of what could be a prolonged rally.

Honeybadger image via Shutterstock

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