Bitcoin Tops $47K, Ether and Grayscale's GBTC Jump After SEC Approves Spot Bitcoin ETFs

Now, attention turns to how much demand these investment vehicles will attract.

AccessTimeIconJan 10, 2024 at 9:33 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 7:39 p.m. UTC
  • Bitcoin wobbled then rose past $47,000 following regulatory approval of spot bitcoin ETFs.
  • Ether jumped 11% to a 20-month high as ETF speculation turns to the second-largest asset.
  • The wider impact of the ETFs will take months to see, 21Shares co-founder Ophelia Snyder said in an interview.

Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies surged on Wednesday after U.S. regulators approved bitcoin ETFs, a landmark decision for the digital asset industry that could dramatically broaden the investor base for bitcoin.

For full coverage of bitcoin ETFs, click here.

Bitcoin recently traded around $47,500, up from just below $46,000 before the news broke Wednesday afternoon. Ethereum's ether (ETH), the second-largest crypto by market capitalization, jumped 11% and exceeded $2,500 for the first time in 20 months as attention turns to U.S. applications for ether ETFs.

Michael Silberberg, head of investor relations at crypto hedge fund Alt Tab Capital, said to expect "frothy price accumulation as capital will flow into the market from a new class of institutional buyers to crypto."

Shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), the largest closed-end bitcoin fund that now has permission to convert into an ETF, popped to $40, their highest price since December 2021, TradingView data shows.

The stock price of Coinbase (COIN), the digital asset exchange whose custody service plays a key role for most bitcoin ETF issuers, was flat around $151. Bitcoin miners Marathon Digital (MARA) and Riot Platforms (RIOT) also remained unchanged.

Anticipation of the first bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. that can hold bitcoin, instead of just derivatives, has been a boon to the crypto market since Wall Street giant BlackRock filed paperwork in June to create one – a move soon followed by other applicants.

These vehicles are considered superior to already listed futures-based offerings, with bulls betting they will attract significant inflows to the largest cryptocurrency.

What's next for crypto prices

Despite 10 years of failed attempts to list spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S., most market observers overwhelmingly expected regulatory approval this time, given BlackRock's track record of successful applications and asset manager Grayscale's court victory over the agency in August.

Now, attention turns to how much demand these investment vehicles will attract when they start trading.

While the ETFs may trade as soon as Thursday, the wider impact of the products will be seen in months, Ophelia Snyder, co-founder of crypto investment product issuer 21Shares, said in a CoinDesk interview.

Bartosz Lipiński, CEO at crypto trading platform Cube.Exchange, pointed out that ether outperformed bitcoin amid the news, suggesting that altcoins will also benefit.

"It's been a while since the second-largest digital asset moved 10% in a single day, so this is rather substantial," Lipiński said in an emailed note.

"Looking forward, it would make sense to see BTC eventually resume rallying higher as supply becomes more scarce while these 11 ETFs begin to gobble up significant amounts of supply," he explained. "With bitcoin potentially becoming harder to buy, it would also make sense that other coins begin to fill the void left behind."

"ETH, solana (SOL), Polygon (MATIC), and others could greatly benefit from this desire to find additional opportunities elsewhere in the digital assets ecosystem," Lipiński added.

UPDATE (Jan. 10, 22:35 UTC): Updates BTC price action. Adds comments from analysts throughout the story.

Edited by Marc Hochstein and Nick Baker.


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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.