(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin’s rally to near a record high is reawakening animal spirits — not just in the cryptocurrency market itself, but in the broader financial world that had left the digital asset sector for dead last year.

The change of heart can be seen in the improved outlook for deal flow, highlighted by Robinhood Markets Inc.’s purchase of crypto exchange Bitstamp Ltd. on Thursday, to a resurgence of venture-capital investments to what some analysts are expecting to be record amount of initial public offerings of companies connected to the industry.

In the crypto market itself, there’s been a notable return of the hallmarks of previous bull markets: Celebrities are once again promoting crypto, and new tokens are being created at a rate of thousands per day, with some 330,000 coins debuting in the Ethereum ecosystem in April and May alone, according to crypto data tracker Dune.

Taken all together, it demonstrates that there’s nothing like rising prices to make investors forget about past financial carnage — including bankruptcies of crypto exchange FTX and lender Celsius — in a market that’s most famous for its scandals and boom-and-bust cycles.

“Investors often have short memories,” said Campbell Harvey, a finance professor at Duke University. “When market sentiment is high, they put extra weight on good news and tend to downplay the bad news that might have happened in the past.” 

Bitcoin climbed this week to within 2.5% of the all-time high of $73,798 reached in mid-March amid surging demand for recently authorized exchange-traded funds. While the bellwether digital currency is up almost 70% already this year, the gains pale in comparison to the returns of extremely speculative memecoins such as Dogwifhat and Bonk.  

This year’s boom was kicked into high gear when the Securities and Exchange Commission approved ETFs investing directly into Bitcoin in January. Then in May, the agency made a step toward approving similar spot Ether ETFs, a move many in the industry have seen as caving to increased political pressure to legitimize crypto and create new laws that would make it easier for digital-asset companies to operate.

US Bitcoin ETFs attracted inflows for an unprecedented 18th straight day through Thursday. Net subscriptions for the group of almost a dozen products stood at $15.6 billion, taking total assets to $62.3 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Large financial companies are wading deeper into crypto. Earlier this week, Mastercard resumed letting users of the world’s biggest crypto exchange, Binance, make purchases on its network. Binance settled with the Justice Department over anti-money laundering and other violations last year, and is still fighting charges from the SEC. 

“Over the past several months, we have reviewed the enhanced controls and processes that Binance has put into place,” a Mastercard spokesperson said in a statement. “It is based on those efforts that we have decided to allow Binance-related purchases on our network. This status is contingent on ongoing reviews.”

Crypto MNA is heating up as well. This week, Bitcoin miner Core Scientific Inc. rejected an unsolicited $1 billion takeover offer from artificial intelligence startup CoreWeave Inc., just days after announcing a partnership. On Thursday, Robinhood said it will acquire Bitstamp for $200 million to expand its crypto business in Europe. 

“A US regulatory framework creates a velocity of innovation environment that accelerates an institution’s buy-over-build decision-making and drives a robust M&A environment,” Elliot Chun, partner at MNA consultant Architect Partners, said in a recent note. “I will be bold and say that in May 2024, our industry officially transitioned from #TheGreatPurge and entered into #TheGreatSurge.” 

Crypto funds are flourishing, with more such funds launching in the first quarter than in any time since the second quarter of 2021, according to Crypto Fund Research. 

Talk of new crypto IPOs is reviving, with Kraken said to be in talks for a pre-IPO funding round, while eyeing an IPO as soon as in 2025, Bloomberg reported Thursday. If crypto prices keep increasing, the next 18 months could see the biggest wave of crypto-related IPOs on record, according to Renaissance Capital, a pre-IPO researcher.

“I do think that if these companies can point to explosive revenue growth or strong earnings, that will get investors’ interest,” said Matthew Kennedy, senior market researcher with Renaissance. “I suspect that the financials are there, and that investors will take them with a grain of salt — they know it’s a cyclical business, plenty of companies are like that.”

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