Bitcoin ETF: A Game-Changer or a Pipe Dream?

Azeez Mustapha


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The crypto world waits with bated breath as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decides whether to approve the first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) in the country.

A Bitcoin ETF would allow investors to buy and sell shares of a fund that tracks the price of the cryptocurrency without having to deal with the complexities and risks of owning and storing it directly.

By sidestepping the complexities and risks associated with direct ownership and storage, a potential ETF is anticipated to fuel the adoption and legitimacy of Bitcoin, attracting both institutional and retail money.

Despite the optimism surrounding the potential approval, the SEC has historically hesitated to greenlight such proposals, citing concerns over market manipulation, fraud, and regulatory oversight. Notable players in the latest wave of hopefuls, including Valkyrie, VanEck, and ProShares, are anxiously awaiting the SEC’s decision, with the deadline looming at the end of this week.

Bitcoin ETF Anticipation Triggers Surge Demand for Bitcoin Futures

Market indicators already reflect a sense of anticipation, with Coinglass data revealing a surge in demand for Bitcoin futures, reaching $19.2 billion in early December—the highest level in two years. Though the figure has slightly receded to $18.85 billion, it remains well above the 2023 average.

Bitcoin futures open interest chart
Image: Coinglass

Positive funding rates since October further underscore the growing confidence in Bitcoin’s upward trajectory. This sentiment is mirrored in Bitcoin’s spot price, which reached a local high of over $47,850 on Jan. 9, marking a remarkable 170% gain in 2023.

Bitcoin daily chart from TradingView
BTC/USD Daily Chart

However, not everyone is convinced of imminent or desirable ETF approval. Analysts caution that an SEC rejection could trigger a market sell-off, deflating expectations of a breakthrough. Some argue that an ETF may compromise Bitcoin’s original vision as a decentralized and censorship-resistant form of money, exposing it to heightened regulatory scrutiny and intervention.

As the SEC’s verdict hangs in the balance, the crypto community finds itself at a crossroads of hope and fear, excitement and anxiety.

The impending decision sparks questions: Will a Bitcoin ETF be a game-changer, or is it merely a tantalizing pipe dream? Only time will unravel the fate of this pivotal moment in the crypto world.


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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