The Bitcoin (BTC) price rose as high as the $44,800s on Thursday, with bulls eyeing a retest of the $45,000 level following reports that the US SEC is to approve multiple spot Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) applications, with news expected as soon as tomorrow.
It was TechCrunch’s senior crypto report Jacquelyn Melinek broke the news via a post on X (formerly Twitter), as per her sources who are “extremely close to the matter”.
heard from sources extremely close to the matter that the bitcoin spot ETF is going to be approved by the SEC for *multiple* firms’ applications
— Jacquelyn Melinek (@jacqmelinek) January 4, 2024
Bitcoin was last trading in the $44,400s, up over 7% from Wednesday’s lows, though still lower by about 3% versus recent highs near $46,000.
The approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US has been hotly anticipated going back to last June, when Wall Street heavyweight and the world’s largest asset manager BlackRock filed to set up their own spot Bitcoin ETF.
Indeed, anticipation that spot Bitcoin ETFs will soon gain approval was a key driver of Bitcoin’s rally from pump from the mid-$20,000s as recently as mid-October to current levels in the mid-$40,000s, with analysts anticipating that the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs will unlock a wave of new demand for BTC.
That’s because 1) approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF product is an important stamp of approval in Bitcoin as an asset class from US regulators, which ought to ease traditional investor concerns about Bitcoin’s legitimacy and 2) many traditional investors who have been expressing an interest in owning Bitcoin have been waiting for a regulated spot product to get involved, given their reluctance to deal with cryptocurrency exchanges, wallets and other web3-related barriers to entry into the Bitcoin market.
Melinek’s tweet comes after Bloomberg analyst Eric Balchunas tweeted earlier in the day that the “SEC is giving final comment as we speak, then issuers will submit final 19b-4s and S-1s soon after”.
SEC is giving final comments as we speak, then issuers will submit final 19b-4s and S-1s soon after. So I mean this is def as close to “done” as we’ve been but no official approval as far as I know.
— Eric Balchunas (@EricBalchunas) January 4, 2024
Bitcoin’s recovery, which has seen it gain over 3.5% on the day, means that the majority of Wednesday’s dip back from yearly highs, which saw BTC briefly retest $41,500, has now been reversed.
Sentiment at the time appeared to have been dented by a report published by widely followed crypto analytics firm Matrixport, which claimed that spot Bitcoin ETF applications would be rejected or delayed by the SEC, though most analysts at the time dismissed the report as baseless.