While Bitcoin (BTC) remains on track to end its six-year streak of September losses, a modest pullback ahead of what could be an imminent federal government shutdown could put this month’s advance in jeopardy.
The largest crypto by market capitalization changed hands at $26,800 during Friday afternoon hours, posting a 3.2% return this month so far. However, BTC has declined 1.6% from the $27,400 it touched for a short time on Thursday.
Extending this weak price action into the weekend could put BTC’s provisional positive monthly return in jeopardy as the crypto began September at just about $26,000.
Ether (ETH) traded mostly flat at around $1,660, as market participants anticipate futures-based exchange-traded funds (ETF) to go live early next week.
What does the government shutdown mean for crypto
“The oppressive macro uncertainty is still a major headwind,” Noelle Acheson, macro analyst and author of Crypto Is Macro Now newsletter, noted Friday. “Bond markets around the world are flashing signs of distress, as yields have reached multi-year records in the US, UK, Germany and Japan to name just a few markets.”
She added that the looming U.S. government shutdown adds to the uncertainty and noted that the U.S. consumer spending growth in Q2 was revised lower, an indication that consumers might not be that resilient to tightening financial conditions.
“As scary as this may sound, during the 21 government shutdowns [in the past] the S&P 500 rose 55% of the time, generating an average return of 0.3%,” advisory firm Asgard Markets wrote in a Friday market report.
Digital asset investment firm NYDIG said that the government shutdown could delay regulatory decisions, as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) staff will be radically reduced.
“A spot bitcoin ETF will have to wait until after SEC employees come back from a potential furlough,” Greg Cipolaro, NYDIG’s head of research, wrote in the report.
What’s next for bitcoin's (BTC) price?
Still, crypto markets held up well recently compared to the sell-off in stocks. Despite the difficult macro picture, Asgard has a more constructive outlook for risk assets in Q4.
“BTC and ETH are now trying to break upwards outside of their range established in the last month and a half,” Asgard said. “We are looking for a short-term move somewhere between $28,500 and a swipe of $30,000, for as long as BTC does not retrace below 26,000.”
Historically, October has usually been a bullish month for bitcoin, Markus Thielen, Matrixport’s Head of Research said in a recent appearance on CoinDesk TV.
He pointed out that "over the last 10 years, eight of those times in October, the market was actually up with an average of 22%," adding that as soon as interest rates become dovish bitcoin is “going to break out quite aggressively.”
Thielen also argued that bitcoin miners, particularly Marathon Digital, are entering this next quarter with far more efficient operations.
At the same time, the halving is still on everyone’s minds: Marathon Digital, according to Thielen, estimated their mining costs would increase from $24,000 to $29,000 per bitcoin.
“Nevertheless, we need to really rally above 30,000,” he concluded.
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