In an unprecedented move, nine spot Bitcoin ETFs have collectively amassed a staggering 100,000 BTC in just seven days, marking a historic milestone in the crypto world. This feat, led by prominent ETFs like BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust and Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund, outpaces the time it took for MicroStrategy, a giant BTC investor, to reach the same milestone by nearly 300 days.
The rapid acquisition of 102,613 BTC within the first week of trading, starting January 11, accounts for a remarkable 53% of all Bitcoin amassed by MicroStrategy over the past three years. MicroStrategy’s most recent BTC acquisition report, as of December 26, 2023, disclosed a total holding of 189,150 BTC. This surge in ETF activity signals a renewed interest and confidence in Bitcoin as a valuable asset.
Meanwhile, Ethereum enthusiasts received positive news from SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce, affectionately known as “Crypto Mom.” In a recent Coinage Media interview on January 24, Peirce expressed optimism regarding spot Ether (ETH) ETF approvals, stating that legal battles should not be necessary for the SEC to greenlight such applications.
Peirce emphasized, “We shouldn’t need a court to tell us that our approach is ‘arbitrary and capricious’ in order for us to get it right,” referencing the agency’s previous court loss to Grayscale that paved the way for Bitcoin ETFs. She acknowledged the importance of learning from past mistakes and hinted that the SEC might apply the same precedent from the Grayscale ruling to Ethereum ETFs. The SEC is expected to make a decision on VanEck’s ETH ETF application by May 23, with other major players like BlackRock, ARK 21Shares, Grayscale, Hashdex, Fidelity, and Invesco Galaxy likely to see simultaneous approvals.
In a surprising twist, JPMorgan analysts have downgraded the stock of leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. Citing Bitcoin’s lackluster price performance since the approval of nine spot exchange-traded funds, the bank deemed Coinbase’s stock as having limited upside potential, downgrading it to a “neutral” rating. With a current trading price around $124, JPMorgan maintained its year-end price target of $80 for COIN, suggesting a potential downside of over 35%.
We shouldn’t need a court to tell us that our approach is ‘arbitrary and capricious’ in order for us to get it right,” Peirce remarked, referencing the SEC’s previous court loss to Grayscale that paved the way for Bitcoin ETFs. She emphasized that lessons learned from the Grayscale ruling would guide the SEC in evaluating ETH ETF applications. Peirce acknowledged the uniqueness of each application but suggested that the precedent set by Grayscale would likely be applied.
With VanEck’s ETH ETF application awaiting an SEC decision by May 23, analysts anticipate simultaneous approvals for bids from industry giants such as BlackRock, ARK 21Shares, Grayscale, Hashdex, Fidelity, and Invesco Galaxy. The crypto community is keenly watching for developments that could potentially open new doors for Ethereum in the world of exchange-traded funds.
JPMorgan Sounds Caution for Coinbase Amidst ETF Excitement
However, amidst the fervor surrounding ETFs, JPMorgan analysts have downgraded the stock of leading cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. The downgrade is attributed to Bitcoin’s lackluster price action following the approval of the nine spot exchange-traded funds.
In a note to investors, JPMorgan stated that Coinbase’s stock has limited upside potential and adjusted its rating to “neutral.” Despite recognizing Coinbase as a dominant force in the U.S. crypto ecosystem and a global leader in cryptocurrency trading, the analysts foresee challenges ahead.
“While we continue to see Coinbase as the dominant U.S. exchange in the crypto ecosystem and a global leader in cryptocurrency trading and investing, we believe the catalyst in Bitcoin ETFs that has pushed the ecosystem out of its winter will disappoint market participants,” JPMorgan’s analysts noted in a statement.
As the crypto landscape continues to evolve, these developments underscore the dynamic nature of the market. Investors and enthusiasts alike are closely watching the intersection of traditional finance and the crypto world, anticipating the impact on prices, regulations, and the overall trajectory of digital assets.
Whether it’s the unprecedented surge in Bitcoin ETF acquisitions, the positive outlook for Ethereum ETF approvals, or the challenges faced by Coinbase in a shifting market, the crypto space remains a hotbed of excitement and uncertainty. Stay tuned as the crypto saga unfolds, influencing global financial landscapes and reshaping the way we perceive and interact with digital currencies.
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