After months of waiting, the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday approved 11 spot Bitcoin ETFs. The approval itself is seen as a big boon for cryptocurrencies, and the market responded accordingly, with not only Bitcoin but many other top tokens rising in value on Thursday. Although, it is not yet entirely clear whether the SEC has fallen into the trap of chicanery, since from official statements it is quite obvious that the Commission itself is not very clear about the classification of spot Bitcoin ETFs, which are sometimes called ETPs, although the difference there is rather nominal (but it is everything is just like that).
On the first day of the launch of trading in shares of spot Bitcoin ETFs, about 700 thousand transactions were made, and trading volume reached $4.33 billion, said Eric Balchunas, an ETF market analyst at Bloomberg. Trading volume in shares of the Grayscale fund (GBTC) amounted to $2.09 billion, BlackRock (IBIT) – $1.01 billion, Fidelity (FBTC) – $673 million, Ark Invest (ARKB) – $673 million. Such a significant trading volume for GBTC is likely mainly due to sales and outflows of funds, as it traded at a discount throughout the session, the analyst said. We, for our part, will clarify that Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF, instead of being a new exchange-traded fund, is a conversion of its old flagship fund G BTC +1.57%. However, since both BlackRock and Fidelity are new products, it is likely that most of the trading volume came from capital inflows.
Online broker Robinhood has added the ability to trade shares of Bitcoin funds on its platform. There were reports on social media that Citi and UBS were blocking clients from trading ETF shares, but their representatives later told Coindesk that they had allowed such trades for a certain group of clients. At the same time, the second largest management company after BlackRock, Vanguard (more than $7 trillion under management), openly stated that it would not open trading in Bitcoin ETF shares on its own brokerage platform.
The Bitcoin (BTC) price remained volatile throughout the trading session on January 11. At the moment, the price of the first cryptocurrency approached $49 thousand for the first time since the spring of 2022, but then corrected noticeably. At 15:00 Hong Kong time, BTC is trading at $45.7 thousand.
The price of the second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum (ETH), on the contrary, is growing amid speculation around the approval of spot ETFs for it, which is expected later this year. BlackRock filed an application to register such a fund in November 2023, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to review it by May. ETH is growing not only against the US dollar, but also against Bitcoin. The coin is trading at $2,586, a weekly increase of almost 15%. At the same time, crypto-assets of projects using the Ethereum infrastructure are also growing. Among these are the token of the largest liquid staking service Lido (LDO), as well as the management tokens of the “second-level” networks – Arbitrum (ARB) and Optimism (OP), which showed growth from 15% to 20% over the week.