'Deniers Are Crypto's Flat Earthers' as Markets Flash 83% Odds of Bitcoin ETF Approval

The popular Polymarket market bet “Bitcoin ETF approved by Jan 15?” has attracted almost $1 million in volume from hundreds of users.

AccessTimeIconJan 4, 2024 at 8:52 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:21 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) fell 7% on Wednesday, with reports of an analyst’s opinion on the expected U.S. spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval later this month contributing to a flush of highly-levered futures tracking the largest cryptocurrency.

While professional analysts remain mixed on the market impact of the approval, expected by Jan. 15, they largely forecast a positive decision from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as does the crypto community, which is betting on it using prediction market Polymarket.

“ETF deniers are crypto’s flat earthers,” wrote one user on the platform who had seemingly purchased 2,800 “yes” bets on a positive decision.

Polymarket allows users to bet on topics including sports, politics, and pop culture. Prices represent the current probability of an event taking place and range from $0 to 99 cents – resolving to $1 when any bet is ended.

One popular market is the “Bitcoin ETF approved by Jan 15?” bet, which has attracted almost $1 million in volume from hundreds of users.

"This market will resolve to 'Yes' if any spot Bitcoin ETF receives approval from the SEC by January 15, 2024, 11:59:59 PM ET. Otherwise, this market will resolve to 'No,'" conditions of the bet say. "The primary resolution source for this market will be information from the SEC, however, a consensus of credible reporting may also be used."

Side bets on a bitcoin ETF approval are gaining traction on Polymarket. (Polymarket)
Side bets on a bitcoin ETF approval are gaining traction on Polymarket. (Polymarket)

Over 83% of bets are in favor, similar to a “90% probability” of the approval given by ETF analysts.

Polymarket user comments suggest that even those betting against the decision expect an ETF to be approved at some point, but not by the wager's deadline.

Billions in directional bitcoin trades are resting on the ETF decision, making it one of the most influential in recent years. Data shows funding rates for bullish bets on bitcoin reached a record high earlier this week, indicating a heightened appetite for gaining exposure to the asset regardless of associated costs.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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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.