January 2, 2024 at 10:44 GMTModified date: January 2, 2024 at 10:44 GMT
January 2, 2024 at 10:44 GMT

BTC hits $45k as ETF approval imminent

With ETF approval expected this month, Bitcoin has gained over 7% since the start of 2024.

BTC hits $45k as ETF approval imminent

Bitcoin ($BTC) has started the new year with fireworks after gaining 7% and breaching the $45,000 mark for the first time since early April 2022. This upward trend is largely attributed to the growing anticipation surrounding the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) potential approval of several spot Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) this month.

A recent Reuters report hinted that the SEC might start approving $BTC ETF applications as early as this week. 

Fox Business reporter Charles Gasparino indicated that while the SEC is still processing the necessary paperwork for these ETFs, an announcement is expected towards the end of the week.

Bitcoin rally

Bitcoin and the majority of the cryptocurrency market was in the green this week with the possibility of the SEC approving one or several of the 14 pending spot BTC ETF applications. 

Major players in the industry, including BlackRock, WisdomTree, and Valkyrie, are eagerly awaiting the regulator’s decision, which could arrive early this January.

In anticipation of this potential approval, crypto-native firms have begun rolling out marketing campaigns. 

The last time Bitcoin’s value exceeded $45,000 was nearly 20 months ago, on 5 April 2022, when it closed at $45,241. Since then, the market witnessed a prolonged bear phase, with Bitcoin’s value dipping as low as $15,600.

At the time of writing, Bitcoin was trading at $45,664, up 7% in the past day and week.

BTC market forecasts

Analysts are cautious about short term gains, however. The crypto options trading platform Greeks.live suggested that the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF might not trigger an immediate rally due to the decreasing implied volatility in Bitcoin options. 

Greeks.live analysts said that the market has already factored in the potential ETF approval, with participants adjusting their positions in anticipation. Consequently, an actual approval might have a limited impact on Bitcoin’s price and volatility.

Echoing this sentiment, Bloomberg’s ETF analyst James Seyffart said that while the market might be overestimating the short-term impact of the ETF approval, it could be underestimating its long-term implications.

The outlook for Bitcoin’s long-term price trajectory remains optimistic among many analysts. James Butterfill, head of research at CoinShares, expressed a bullish stance on the future of digital assets.

Speaking to CNBC, Butterfill predicted significant changes in the landscape for cryptocurrencies in 2024, with $BTC potentially reaching the $80,000 mark. 

He said: “This long-awaited development is poised to expand the investor base for cryptocurrencies and integrate them more closely with traditional financial markets.”