Polymarket Traders See 89% Chance of SEC Approving Spot BTC ETF by Jan. 15

Some investors have bought the "No side shares" of the prediction contract to hedge against potential delays in the SEC's approval of spot ETFs.

AccessTimeIconJan 2, 2024 at 12:27 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 2, 2024 at 4:50 p.m. UTC
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Traders from the decentralized prediction platform Polymarket seem confident one or more exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invest in bitcoin (BTC) will go live in the U.S. within two weeks.

At press time, shares of the Yes side of the contract "Bitcoin ETF approved by Jan 15" changed hands at 89 cents, representing an 89% probability of the highly-anticipated event coming to fruition by the second half of the month. The probability has increased significantly from roughly 50% a month ago.

Speculation about the imminent launch of the U.S.-based spot ETF gripped the market in early October. Since then, bitcoin has risen by over 55% to trade above $45,000, mainly on optimism that the impending ETFs would bring billions of dollars in investor money to the bitcoin market.

Polymarket, which debuted in 2020, has emerged as one of the top prediction markets in recent years, allowing investors to take bets on various events.

Traders currently seen an 89% chance of the SEC approving one or more spot ETFs by Jan. 15 (Polymarket)
Traders currently seen an 89% chance of the SEC approving one or more spot ETFs by Jan. 15 (Polymarket) (Polymarket)

So far, traders have bet $437,394 on an ETF-dedicated prediction contract, which will settle to "Yes" if the SEC approves any ETF by Jan. 15.

Per Reuters, the SEC could notify the current 14 spot ETF applicants as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday that they have the green light to launch ETFs in the following weeks.

Some traders have bought shares of the No side of the contract to hedge against bullish exposure in the spot/futures market. Bitcoin's price may drop if the SEC delays the delays the expected ETF launch.

"I'm buying No as an insurance against my Long positions. If the ETF will not be approved, the market will dump hard, but I will still make profits," one trader said in the comments section of the prediction contract.

Comments section of Polymarket's Bitcoin ETF approved by Jan 15? contract. (Polymarket)
Comments section of Polymarket's Bitcoin ETF approved by Jan 15? contract. (Polymarket) (Polymarket)

Edited by Oliver Knight.


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Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

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