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Bitcoin Faces 20% Slump Post-ETF Launch as Investors Tread Cautiously

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Bitcoin has fallen almost 20% since the Jan. 11 launch of the first exchange-traded funds investing directly in the token as speculators become more cautious about the potential impact of the products.

The digital asset spiked to $49,021 on the day the ETFs from issuers including BlackRock Inc. and Fidelity Investments went live. Bitcoin traded at $39,990 as of 6:03 a.m. Tuesday in London, an 18% drop from that intraday peak.

Nine new US spot Bitcoin funds started trading on Jan. 11, while the $22 billion Grayscale Bitcoin Trust — or GBTC — converted from a closed-ended structure into an ETF. A net $1.2 billion flowed into the group in the first six days, Bloomberg Intelligence’s Senior ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas wrote on X.

BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust and the Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund garnered most of the influx, while $2.8 billion exited the Grayscale fund, Balchunas said. Among the sellers was the estate of bankrupt crypto exchange FTX, which disposed of the majority of its shares in the Grayscale vehicle.

“Over the past two weeks, Bitcoin has been challenged by tougher macro conditions — evidenced by rallying rates and a strengthening dollar — and significant selling pressure from traders unwinding their GBTC arbitrage positions along with the FTX bankruptcy estate offloading assets,” Sean Farrell, head of digital-asset strategy at Fundstrat Global Advisors LLC, wrote in a note.

The disposals by FTX potentially remove a supply overhang, suggesting that the “intense selling pressure from GBTC may soon subside,” Farrell added.

Also Read: How to Sell Bitcoin in Nigeria

Bitcoin surged almost 160% last year, outperforming traditional assets such as stocks, amid speculation that the ETFs would catalyze wider adoption of the cryptocurrency by institutional and individual investors. The token has been retreating since the turn of the year and trailing global markets.

Tokens such as Ether and BNB were little changed in Asia on Tuesday along with Bitcoin, the largest digital asset, which is roughly $30,000 below its 2021 pandemic-era record of almost $69,000.

“GBTC outflows have created a dynamic in the market that needs to be normalized before we will see true price discovery,” said Leah Wald, chief executive officer of digital-asset investment firm Valkyrie Investments.

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Market Cap Tops $1 Trillion Amid Broad Cryptocurrency Rally

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The cryptocurrency market reached a significant milestone as Bitcoin’s market capitalization surpassed $1 trillion amidst a broad rally across various digital assets.

The climb, reflective of Bitcoin’s 22% year-to-date gain, marked the first time the cryptocurrency reached such heights since December 2021, as reported by data from CoinGecko.

This monumental achievement underscores the resurgence of Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem, signaling a renewed investor confidence in digital assets.

Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, joined in the rally, ascending back to levels unseen since the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin nearly two years ago.

Ether’s 5% rise, coupled with the rally of altcoins like Avalanche, Polkadot, and Polygon, further fueled the overall market optimism.

Despite a higher-than-expected US inflation report on Tuesday which typically impacts risk sentiment, the digital asset market remained steadfast in its recovery.

The recent approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has bolstered market sentiment, solidifying the narrative of cryptocurrencies as a legitimate investment avenue.

While Bitcoin’s resilience amidst market volatility is commendable, some analysts have cautioned about potential short-term corrections based on technical signals.

Nonetheless, the overall sentiment remains bullish, with investors eyeing the upcoming Bitcoin halving in April as a potential catalyst for further price appreciation.

The market’s response to the ETFs, coupled with anticipation surrounding the Bitcoin halving, underscores the growing mainstream acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrencies.

As Bitcoin continues its meteoric rise, traders and investors alike are poised for a potential continuation of the digital asset’s historic rally, with options markets signaling bullish sentiments towards surpassing previous price records.

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Bitcoin Breaks $50,000 Resistance Level Amidst Rate Cut Expectations

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Bitcoin has surged past the significant $50,000 level to reach its highest level in over two years, according to data from Coindesk.

As at the time of writing, the world’s most dominant cryptocurrency bitcoin was trading at $50,094 a coin.

Year to date, bitcoin has appreciated 16.3% with Monday’s gain being its highest in a single day this year.

Analysts attribute the recent bullish momentum to various factors, including expectations of interest rate reductions later in the year and the recent green light from regulators for U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs.

Investors have also expressed enthusiasm over the potential impact of upcoming bitcoin halving, anticipated in April, which is designed to curtail the supply of new bitcoins.

The previous three halvings, including the most recent one in 2020, have historically led to significant rallies in Bitcoin’s price.

Furthermore, the approval of the first U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs has spurred increased investor interest and inflows into these products, with analysts forecasting substantial growth in the sector.

According to estimates by Bernstein and Standard Chartered analysts, these ETFs could attract billions of dollars in investments, indicating growing mainstream acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrencies.

As Bitcoin continues its ascent, market participants remain vigilant for further regulatory developments and macroeconomic factors that could influence its trajectory in the coming months.

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Bitcoin’s Fundamentals Strengthen Ahead of Halving Event, Grayscale Research Notes

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Grayscale, a leading crypto asset management firm, released a research note highlighting Bitcoin’s robust fundamentals as the cryptocurrency approaches its halving event.

The report underscores Bitcoin’s resilience and increased utility over the past year, positioning it as a stronger asset compared to previous halvings.

Researcher Michael Zhao emphasized Bitcoin’s evolving role beyond being digital gold, noting significant advancements in technical fundamentals and use cases.

Despite short-term challenges faced by miners, on-chain activity and positive market structure updates make this halving distinctive, according to Zhao.

The halving event, an integral aspect of Bitcoin’s network code, aims to mitigate inflationary pressure by halving rewards for mining new Bitcoin blocks.

This reduction in rewards historically precedes bullish market trends.

Zhao pointed out the revitalization of on-chain activity driven by ordinal inscriptions and BRC-20 tokens, contributing to over $200 million in transaction fees for miners by February 2024.

Also, the report highlights the potential impact of Bitcoin ETFs in driving market demand and post-halving price dynamics.

Grayscale’s analysis suggests that Bitcoin’s strengthened fundamentals and positive market structure indicate a promising outlook leading up to and following the halving event, positioning the cryptocurrency for continued growth and adoption in the digital asset landscape.

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