Bitcoin ETF Approval Expected Soon, Bears Lose $100M

Futures tracking crypto markets saw some $155 million in shorts liquidated in the past 24 hours after a sudden uptick in prices in U.S. hours.

AccessTimeIconJan 9, 2024 at 6:40 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:31 p.m. UTC

Traders betting against higher bitcoin (BTC) prices lost over $100 million in the past 24 hours as expectations of a spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval in the U.S. neared the finish line.

BTC surged as high as 9% Monday, before giving back some gains, as prices jumped over $47,000 for the first time since March 2022. Traders on the crypto exchange OKX took on the most losses at $84 million, followed by Binance at $71 million.

For full coverage of bitcoin ETFs, click here.

Open interest, or the number of unsettled futures contracts, jumped over 8% in the past 24 hours, suggesting traders opened more bets after the liquidation event as they likely expect volatility to continue.

Liquidation refers to when an exchange forcefully closes a trader’s leveraged position due to a partial or total loss of the trader's initial margin. It happens when a trader is unable to meet the margin requirements for a leveraged position (fails to have sufficient funds to keep the trade open).

Large liquidations can signal the local top or bottom of a steep price move, which may allow traders to position themselves accordingly.

Such data is beneficial for traders as it serves as a signal of leverage being effectively washed out from popular futures products – acting as a short-term indication of a decline in price volatility.

Monday’s market moves came as potential issuers ranging from BlackRock (BLK) to Grayscale filed their offering fees to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday, marking one of the final steps before the first-ever bitcoin ETF can be floated in the U.S.

Thirteen proposed ETFs are awaiting SEC approval, and the battle for customers is seemingly heating up already – some issuers are charging no fees for the first six months or $5 billion in assets under management (AUM).

A final decision on the approvals, or denials, is expected on Wednesday. Meanwhile, SEC officials are said to have sent comments to a set of prospective issuers addressing minor details in the amended S-1 forms whose filings are to be expected on Tuesday, a source familiar with the matter told CoinDesk.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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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.