What Will Happen If A Bitcoin Is Approved By ETF in 2024?

 If A Bitcoin Is Approved By ETF in 2024: Fifteen years have elapsed since the birth of Bitcoin with the mining of its inaugural block. For over a decade, the crypto community has awaited approval for a U.S. spot bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

As the industry buzzes with anticipation, analysts speculate that the SEC might finally greenlight one of the numerous proposals currently on the table. This potential approval could usher in a new era for crypto, enticing institutional investors into the market. This article explores the potential impacts of a Bitcoin ETF approval on the crypto market.

The journey of Bitcoin from its genesis block to the current day marks not only a technological marvel but a testament to the resilience of a decentralized financial system. Over the past ten years, the industry has fervently appealed to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to approve a U.S. spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Such an approval, long considered a holy grail by crypto enthusiasts, could unlock a floodgate of institutional investment, reshaping the crypto market dynamics.

The Divergent Predictions:

Gabor Gurbacs, the director of digital assets strategy at VanEck, anticipates that a spot ETF will generate “trillions in value” over the long term. However, he cautions against overestimating the initial impact, suggesting that the initial flows might amount to “a few hundred million of (mostly recycled) money.” On the contrary, other analysts argue that approval could trigger a significant shift in supply and demand dynamics.

The purchase of tens of billions of dollars worth of bitcoin to meet institutional demand might lead to a potential “supply shock.” The decline in exchange balances, reaching a five-year low in October, hints at a scenario where holders opt for personal wallets, indicating a reluctance to sell.

As we stand at the crossroads of potential approval, dissecting the divergent predictions surrounding the consequences of a Bitcoin ETF is imperative. Gabor Gurbacs’ bullish outlook, envisioning trillions in long-term value, is tempered by his realism about the initial impact.

A nuanced understanding is crucial here; while the ETF’s approval might not unleash an immediate tidal wave of capital, its long-term implications could reshape the crypto landscape.

The opposing viewpoint emphasizes the potential supply shock, a scenario where the institutional demand for Bitcoin, fueled by the ETF approval, might deplete the available supply.

The decline in exchange balances to a five-year low is cited as evidence, signaling that holders increasingly choose personal wallets, a move suggestive of their intention to hold rather than sell.

This prediction divergence sets the stage for a dynamic market scenario, where the short-term and long-term impacts of the ETF approval might paint a complex picture.

Historical Precedents: 

One can turn to historical examples to gain insights into the potential trajectory of a Bitcoin ETF. The debut of the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD), the first spot gold ETF in the U.S. in 2004, is instructive. Amassing $1.9 billion in its first four weeks, GLD’s total assets now stand at an impressive $57.37 billion.

Similarly, the Invesco QQQ ETF, launched in 1999, garnered $847 million in its first 30 days. Drawing parallels with recent history, the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), based on bitcoin futures, accumulated around $1.5 billion within 30 days of its October 2021 introduction. BITO currently boasts $1.65 billion in total assets, demonstrating the sustained interest in crypto ETFs.

A stroll down the memory lane of financial markets provides valuable insights into the potential trajectory of a Bitcoin ETF. The debut of the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) in 2004, marking the advent of spot gold ETFs in the U.S., is a pertinent case study.

Within its first four weeks, GLD garnered a significant $1.9 billion, which pales compared to its current total assets of $57.37 billion. This historical success story underscores the potential for rapid asset accumulation once a new financial instrument gains regulatory approval.

Similarly, the Invesco QQQ ETF, launched in 1999 to track the Nasdaq-100 index, provides another illuminating example. Amid the dotcom boom, the ETF attracted $847 million in its initial 30 days.

This historical precedent, coupled with the more recent success of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), reinforces the notion that investor appetite for new and innovative financial products remains robust, especially in the tech and crypto sectors.

The recent success of BITO, which accumulated $1.5 billion within 30 days of its October 2021 introduction, is a testament to the sustained interest in crypto ETFs. While BITO operates based on bitcoin futures, its popularity highlights the demand for investment vehicles providing exposure to the crypto market without the intricacies of direct ownership and storage.


Beyond the crypto sphere, the macroeconomic environment, characterized by elevated worldwide risk-free interest rates and worsening household finances, poses challenges for the mainstream adoption of spot ETFs. Understanding these broader economic factors becomes crucial in assessing the potential impact of a Bitcoin ETF approval on the market.

As we delve into the potential ramifications of a Bitcoin ETF approval, we must widen our scope to include the broader economic landscape. Influenced by elevated risk-free interest rates worldwide and worsening household finances, the global economy presents a complex backdrop for the mainstream adoption of spot ETFs.

The prevailing macroeconomic conditions raise pertinent questions about the readiness of institutional and retail investors to embrace spot ETFs. The conservative nature of pension and insurance funds, often considered stalwarts of traditional finance, poses a potential hurdle. The skepticism in the face of economic uncertainties could temper the anticipated mainstream uptake of spot ETFs despite their potential to reshape the crypto market.

Navigating the intricate relationship between global economic factors and the adoption of spot ETFs necessitates a nuanced understanding of the underlying dynamics. The potential impact of elevated risk-free interest rates worldwide and worsening household finances on investor sentiment forms a crucial piece of the puzzle.

As the crypto community eagerly awaits the SEC’s decision, the broader economic landscape adds an extra layer of complexity to the unfolding narrative of the Bitcoin ETF saga.

The Market’s Response: Rally, Correction, or Both?

The recent 61% surge in Bitcoin’s value since early October, driven by expectations of SEC approval, raises questions about the market’s response once the ETFs go live. Analysts predict a “sell-the-news” scenario, wherein investors who profited from the rally might choose to cash in their gains.

Drawing parallels with past events like the debut of CME bitcoin futures and the listing of Coinbase on Nasdaq, cautionary tales of post-event crashes loom large. With Bitcoin’s rally preceding significant corrections in the past, investors are bracing for a potential downturn in the aftermath of the ETF approval.

As the crypto market braces for the potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF, the recent surge in Bitcoin’s value underscores the anticipation surrounding this milestone. The 61% rally since early October, fueled by expectations of SEC approval, has captured crypto enthusiasts’ attention and prompted analysts to assess the potential market dynamics post-approval.

The concept of a “sell-the-news” scenario, where investors capitalize on the confirmation of the ETF approval to lock in profits, echoes through market predictions. One must revisit historical events such as the debut of CME bitcoin futures and Coinbase’s listing on Nasdaq to comprehend the potential market response.

These instances, characterized by pre-event rallies followed by subsequent corrections, serve as cautionary tales for those navigating the current landscape.

For instance, the debut of CME bitcoin futures in December 2017 witnessed a 15% surge in the three days leading up to the SEC’s approval. However, a month later, Bitcoin reached a record high of $69,000 before plunging into a bear market for over a year.

This historical precedent, along with similar patterns observed during the listing of Coinbase and the introduction of futures ETFs like BITO, contributes to the prevailing sentiment of caution among market participants.

Adding a layer of complexity to this analysis is the unique timing of the potential spot ETF launch. Unlike previous events, the ETF approval coincides with the upcoming quadrennial mining-reward halving of the Bitcoin blockchain. Historically, such events have marked the beginning of meteoric price rallies for Bitcoin.

Additionally, a brief price slide to $41,000 in a recent sell-off that liquidated $400 million in leverage bets and wiped out $2 billion in futures open interest adds further intrigue to the unfolding narrative.

Recycled Cash or Fresh Flows?

The difference between earlier sell-the-news events and this one is that a spot bitcoin ETF involves actual bitcoin, removing supply from the market. The CME’s launch of futures prompted price declines because it allowed traders to synthetically short the cryptocurrency following a ferocious bull market led by 2017’s unsustainable ICO mania. Another aspect of a spot bitcoin ETF is that institutional investors, such as the typically conservative pension funds and insurance funds, will gain a way to add exposure to native bitcoin, as opposed to an ETF derivative or bitcoin proxy shares like Coinbase (COIN) or MicroStrategy (MSTR).

As we dissect the potential market response to the Bitcoin ETF approval, a crucial factor comes into play – the nature of the funds that might flow into the market. The distinction between recycled cash and fresh flows holds significant implications for the supply and demand dynamics.

Unlike previous events, the spot bitcoin ETF involves the actual cryptocurrency, effectively reducing its supply in the market. This fundamental difference sets the stage for a potential shift in market dynamics. The CME’s launch of futures in 2017 allowed traders to synthetically short Bitcoin, contributing to subsequent price declines. In contrast, the spot ETF’s introduction involves the direct acquisition of bitcoin, mitigating the synthetic influences that characterized past events.

Moreover, the participation of institutional investors, including traditionally conservative entities like pension funds and insurance funds, introduces a new dimension. These institutional players gain a direct avenue to add exposure to native Bitcoin, bypassing derivative instruments or proxy shares. This shift toward direct ownership could mark a significant evolution in the institutional approach to the crypto market, potentially reshaping the investor landscape.

In Closing

In conclusion, the imminent approval of a Bitcoin ETF holds the promise of reshaping the crypto landscape. The approval could set the stage for substantial changes, whether it’s the predicted trillions in long-term value or the immediate market dynamics.

Investors, buoyed by the historical successes of gold and tech ETFs, remain cautiously optimistic. However, the potential sell-off and market correction following the approval underscores the unpredictable nature of the crypto market.

As we stand on the brink of this historic decision, crypto enthusiasts and investors alike brace themselves for the potential impact a Bitcoin ETF approval might unleash. The only certainty in this uncharted territory is the anticipation and excitement accompanying the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency.

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