July 23, 2024

Crypto Plays Stall Out Ahead Of Imminent Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval

Bitcoin and crypto stocks came under pressure early Wednesday as the market continues to wait for spot bitcoin ETF approvals by federal regulators, which are expected to come around Jan. 10.


The bitcoin price, which moved above $45,000 on Tuesday for the first time since 2022, tumbled 5% vs. 24 hours earlier to $42,930.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (COIN) fell 2% while bitcoin miner Marathon Digital (MARA) pared losses gaining 2.7% Wednesday during market action. COIN stock fell 6.7% on Tuesday. MARA stock reversed lower Tuesday for a 2.4% loss after plunging 16.4% on Dec. 29.

Fellow crypto-related play ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) sank 4.4%. Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) fell 4.7%.

Launched in October 2021, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is the first U.S. bitcoin-linked ETF. It’s also the largest based on assets under management as of Sept. 30, according to Bloomberg data. BITO invests in bitcoin futures contracts and does not offer direct exposure to the cryptocurrency.

The moves lower Wednesday by bitcoin and crypto stocks comes as traders expect the Securities and Exchange Commission to approve a wave of spot bitcoin ETF applications in the next week. The expectation is that this will let institutional investors more readily participate in the crypto market and offer exposure to their customers.

At the end of 2023, bitcoin was trading at 20-month highs around $43,000, surging from $27,000 at the end of September. The world’s largest cryptocurrency rebounded 158% in 2023.

Among other crypto-related stocks, Riot Platforms (RIOT) lost 2%, Robinhood Markets (HOOD) 3.6% and MicroStrategy (MSTR) 6.8%.

Please follow Kit Norton on X, formerly known as Twitter, @KitNorton for more coverage.


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