Bitcoin Shorts Lose $16M as BlackRock ETF Filing Sparks Bullish Outlook

Total crypto market capitalization rose, with dogecoin (DOGE) leading gains among major tokens.

AccessTimeIconJun 16, 2023 at 6:39 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 1:58 a.m. UTC

Hopes surrounding a potential U.S. Bitcoin ETF filing by investment giant BlackRock fueled a bullish sentiment among some traders early Friday.

Bitcoin regained the $25,500 level to erase declines of the past two days, when it fell to as low as $24,860. The move provided some respite to major tokens such as Polygon Network’s MATIC and Cardano’s ADA, which eased some losses from a two-day slide. Dogecoin (DOGE) led gains among major tokens with a 4% move in the past 24 hours; litecoin added (LTC) added 3.3%.

On Thursday, CoinDesk reported that BlackRock planned to offer a Bitcoin ETF with crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) serving as custodian. This was confirmed later after a filing showed the company’s iShares fund management unit filed paperwork for the formation of a spot bitcoin (BTC) ETF.

“An estimated 20% of Americans have now owned bitcoin at some point. BlackRock’s proposed ETF potentially offers the other 80% an option that is altogether more familiar and accessible,” said Sui Chung, CEO of CF Benchmarks, in an email to CoinDesk. “BlackRock’s increasing engagement shows Bitcoin continues to be an asset of interest for some of the world’s largest financial institutions.”

As such, the market strength of bitcoin impacted shorts – or bets against the currency – the asset with BTC-tracked futures seeing over $16 million in short liquidations in the past 24 hours. This figure was smaller than usual due to large declines in the past week, causing some traders to risk less capital than they normally would.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has previously rejected other attempts by fund managers at listing a spot bitcoin ETF, including those from Grayscale, VanEck, and WisdomTree.

However, the stature of BlackRock could make it difficult for the SEC to reject this application – which some say could fuel an outsized bitcoin rally if approved.

Edited by Sam Reynolds.


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Shaurya Malwa

Shaurya is the Deputy Managing Editor for the Data & Tokens team, focusing on decentralized finance, markets, on-chain data, and governance across all major and minor blockchains.