Bitcoin Under $39K as ETF Debut Continues to Be a ‘Sell-the-News’ Event

BTC was down nearly 5% in the past 24 hours, reaching its lowest level in two months. The CoinDesk 20, a liquid index of the highest tokens by market capitalization, fell 7%.

AccessTimeIconJan 23, 2024 at 10:42 a.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 8:20 p.m. UTC
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Bitcoin (BTC) slumped under $39,000 during Tuesday’s European trading hours, reversing nearly all of the past two months’ gains carved out in anticipation of spot exchange-traded fund (ETF) approvals in the U.S.

BTC fell nearly 5% in the past 24 hours, reaching its lowest level in two months. The CoinDesk 20, a liquid index of the highest tokens by market capitalization, fell 7%.

The cryptocurrency pulled back to as low as $38,700 before recovering slightly. The token had recently hit a two-year high of over $49,000 as spot bitcoin ETFs began trading in the U.S. on Jan. 11.

Part of the recent selling pressure on bitcoin has been traced back to sales from the FTX bankruptcy estate, which has dumped some 22 million shares of Grayscale’s GBTC in the past few weeks, as CoinDesk reported. On-chain analysis firm CryptoQuant was among the few contrarian bets that speculated that the ETF approval would be a sell-the-news event.

“Sell the news” is a well-known term in capital markets and describes how asset prices, leverage and sentiment push prices higher in the lead-up to a bullish event, only for prices to tumble shortly after.

The approval of spot bitcoin ETFs in the U.S. was much anticipated and well priced, and the event is “likely to be a short- to mid-term top for the price,” analysts at Japan-based crypto exchange bitBank told CoinDesk in an email.

Earlier this month, analysts at 10X Research, led by Markus Thielen, said they expected bitcoin to fall to at least $38,000 in the near team, citing technical analysis. CryptoQuant’s target remains much lower at $32,000.

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.

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