Bitcoin Tops $36K as 'ETFs Not Yet Priced in'

Bitwise's CIO sees future upside to bitcoin's price as the world's largest digital asset has 30% this month.

AccessTimeIconNov 9, 2023 at 3:12 a.m. UTC
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The price of bitcoin (BTC) briefly touched $36,000 before settling slightly lower during the Asian trading hours on Thursday, according to CoinDesk Indices data.

Bitcoin is up around 30% in the last month, and 93% over the past year. Other large-cap digital assets are also in the green, with ether (ETH) up 20% in the last month.

While bitcoin’s gains this year have been impressive, and some have attributed this to the widely expected approval of a bitcoin exchange-traded fund, in a recent interview with CoinDesk, Matt Hougan, Bitwise Asset Management’s Chief Investment Officer, said that an ETF is not yet priced in.

"It’s not at all priced in because the people who are going to buy this ETF are not aware that it’s coming or most likely coming; the majority of advisors who are the natural audience for this ETF don’t expect it to come until 2025 or later,” Hougan said. “If the people who are going to buy this ETF don’t think it's going to be approved in the next two months, then I don’t see how it’s priced in.”

ETFs, Hougan argued, will play a significant role in opening up cryptocurrency investments to a broader range of investors, particularly financial advisors who manage a substantial portion of the U.S.' wealth.

Currently, crypto has been bought by 20% of self-directed retail investors, he said, but a full 80% of the wealth in America is controlled by financial advisors and institutions, who need an ETF to access crypto.

"There’s a whole entire new audience for bitcoin,” he said, comparing it to the launch of gold ETFs in the early 2000s.

“The approval of a spot gold ETF in 2004 led to eight or nine consecutive years of gold price increases, the longest in its modern history since the dollar’s creation," he continued.

Hougan said that BlackRock’s filing for a spot bitcoin ETF in June had a significant psychological impact on the market, effectively dispelling the lingering negative sentiment from the FTX collapse, which he refers to as the “ghosts of Sam Bankman-Fried.”

“When BlackRock filed for a bitcoin ETF, and CEO Larry Fink spoke on Fox Business News about bitcoin transcending other currencies, concerns vanished,” he said.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.

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