Bitcoin ETFs surpass $4B in trade volume while BTC’s price falters
Bitcoin ETFs are here, and, so far, bitcoin is not winning
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Spot bitcoin ETFs made their public market debut in the US Thursday, raking in more than $4 billion in trading volume and sending cryptocurrency prices and related stocks all over the map.
The largest cryptocurrency remains up 10% since the start of the year.
BlackRock’s IBIT emerged as the winner in terms of day-one trading volume, surpassing $1 billion just before the close Thursday. Shares ended the day around 5% lower, at $26.63, but were trading flat in after-hours.
Coinbase, which serves as the custodian for 9 of the 11 new products that launched Thursday, saw its shares dip on the debut. COIN lost close to 7%, closing at $141 and putting its year-to-date returns at negative 19%.
Business intelligence firm MicroStrategy and crypto mining company Marathon Digital also tumbled during Thursday’s session, closing 5% and 13% lower, respectively.
Ether (ETH) emerged as an early winner in the bitcoin ETF saga, gaining as much as 8% Thursday and putting its weekly gains at 13% higher. It’s a sign, analysts say, that traders may be betting on the US Securities and Exchange Commission greenlighting ether ETFs soon, but commission comments and historical precedent do not bode well.
Ether futures ETFs hit the market in October 2023, two years after bitcoin futures products were cleared by the SEC. The securities regulator already has received spot ether ETF filings and could issue responses as early as May, but commissioners are likely to extend the review period.
SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s Wednesday statement makes it clear that while he did vote in favor of the approval, he is in no way supportive of cryptocurrencies as a whole.
“Though we’re merit neutral, I’d note that the underlying assets in the metals ETPs have consumer and industrial uses, while in contrast bitcoin is primarily a speculative, volatile asset that’s also used for illicit activity including ransomware, money laundering, sanction evasion, and terrorist financing,” Gensler wrote.
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