ETF approval announcement antics led to ‘legit’ market rally, says Yusko

“In [traditional finance] when you ask, ‘is it priced in,’ the answer is almost always ‘yes,’” says Ippolito. “In crypto, it is almost always ‘no’”


Morrowind/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


The past week’s run of green crypto candles “started off in a funny way,” says Mark Yusko. An errant post on X announcing the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s approval of a spot bitcoin ETF was definitely “not a good look” for crypto media, he says. 

But more interestingly, the market’s response since the futures melting slip-up has been to steadily rally upwards. Bitcoin buying action again surpassed the psychological barrier of $30,000 on Friday and has continued climbing. 

The subsequent run-up returns to prices briefly seen during the fake-out spike that caused around $100 million in hourly liquidations. The Morgan Creek Capital founder says the volatile market movement and subsequent climb indicates that an ETF approval is not yet “priced in.”

Speaking to Blockworks on the On the Margin podcast (Spotify/Apple), Yusko says that while the news itself was fake, the reaction to it was “totally legit.”

“When this is approved, there’s going to be increased demand,” he says. “It’s not ‘if.’ It’s ‘when’…and prices are going to rise.”

After the brief jump in bitcoin (BTC) prices following the much-maligned announcement, Blockworks co-founder Michael Ippolito notes that the normal expectation would be for trading to return to previous levels, if not even lower, as “the wind had been taken out of people’s sails.” 

Read more: A letter to crypto media: Slow down, be thoughtful, and get the facts right

“But what’s been interesting is the trend up since,” he says, “and now, the current price of bitcoin is even higher than what it was when it wicked up.”

“Folks got surprised by just how violently the market reacted to this,” he says.

Ippolito observes an interesting difference in market behavior between traditional finance and crypto: “In [traditional finance], when you ask, ‘is it priced in’ — the answer is almost always ‘yes.’ It’s almost always priced in.” 

“In crypto, it is almost always ‘no.’”

“A couple months from now,” he says, “people are going to start arguing about whether or not the halving is priced in — and it won’t be.”

The crypto market is still immature

It comes down to a lack of maturity in the crypto market, Yusko replies, comparing it to the stock market in the 1920s. “In the roaring 20’s, stuff was not priced in,” he says. “There was lots of manipulation. There was lots of scams. There was lots of big movements on little things. And then that changed a little bit.”

“Markets mature and media coverage matures,” he says, adding that analysis of the space is “still working itself to a level of high quality.”

Citing comments from Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Eric Balchunas, Yusko says that $30 trillion dollars worth of assets are currently prohibited from investing in bitcoin. “When there’s a BlackRock ETF, they’re going to have to let people own it,” he says.

Yusko then imagines price movement possibilities relative to potential asset allocations, noting a 1% allocation in bitcoin would be a “prudent” amount for investment. “So that’s $300 billion on a $500 billion asset,” he says, “and that ain’t priced in.” 

“I’m on the record. That is not priced in.”

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