Bitcoin Rebounds Above $44K as Spot BTC ETF Approval Looks Increasingly Likely

Reports swirled Thursday that the SEC was giving final comments to issuers and may approve multiple spot-based bitcoin ETF applications very soon.

AccessTimeIconJan 4, 2024 at 10:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:23 p.m. UTC
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  • BTC recovered almost all losses from Wednesday's flash crash amid reports that a spot ETF approval could be imminent.
  • A survey showed only 39% of financial advisors expected an bitcoin ETF approval this year but 88% would be interested in buying BTC after approval.
  • Investors could switch focus to ether once the bitcoin ETF approved, Matrixport's Marcus Thielen said.

Bitcoin (BTC) Thursday rebounded to $44,500 as investors shrugged off yesterday's flash crash and remained optimistic a U.S. spot BTC exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval is around the corner.

While a Wednesday Matrixport report warning about a potential rejection may have helped trigger a quick 10% tumble in bitcoin, the majority of observers continue to expect the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve applications, possibly as soon as Friday.

Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas said during U.S. afternoon hours that the agency was providing final comments on the applications, with prospective issuers then to update their filings accordingly.

Shortly after, TechCrunch reporter Jacquelyn Melinek said that the SEC will soon approve multiple applications, citing sources "extremely close to the matter."

BTC was up 4% over the past 24 hours and trading at $44,500 at press time, erasing nearly all of yesterday's decline to below the $41,000 level.

The anticipation of spot-based bitcoin ETFs that directly hold the underlying asset have been a boon to the crypto market since Wall Street giant BlackRock filed paperwork in June to list one in the U.S. – a move soon followed by a plethora of other applicants. These vehicles are considered superior to already listed futures-based offerings and bulls are betting they will attract significant inflows to the largest cryptocurrency.

However, a survey released Thursday by Bitwise and VettaFi curiously found that only 39% of financial advisors expected a spot BTC approval this year.

Perhaps more interestingly though, the same survey showed 88% of those advisors see the spot ETF as a major catalyst and would be interested in buying bitcoin after approval. Bitwise is among those asset managers with spot bitcoin ETF applications awaiting word from the SEC.

Ether may come next

Matrixport research head Markus Thielen, author of yesterday's report calling for a potential rejection or delayed approval, clarified Thursday in a CoinDesk podcast interview that he ultimately expects the U.S. agency to allow spot-based ETFs, but bitcoin may fall to lower prices in the coming weeks as technical indicators signal the uptrend is faltering.

Thielen also said that once spot BTC ETFs get the green light, investors will quickly switch their focus to Ethereum's ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency, with a decision for spot-based ether ETF applications likely due around May.

"We would expect then we're going to see some large outperformance of ETH over BTC," Thielen predicted.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Krisztian  Sandor

Krisztian Sandor is a reporter on the U.S. markets team focusing on stablecoins and institutional investment. He holds BTC and ETH.

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