Buying the rumor paid off for spot bitcoin ETFs — and Ethereum looks to be next

Anyone who bought bitcoin when BlackRock first filed for its spot ETF last year would be well in the green


Shutterstock-Pixelsquid and Natalja Petuhova/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


Bitcoin ETFs backed by actual bitcoin finally hit US exchanges on Thursday after more than a decade of attempts. So far it’s done mostly nothing for bitcoin’s price.

Bitcoin briefly neared $49,000 after the spot ETFs went live but it has since shed about $3,000 to retrace by 6%.

That’s even slightly below where it was before the SEC’s social media hacker posted an authorized approval announcement about the ETFs on Tuesday, about 24 hours before legitimate confirmation.

Any boon to the price of bitcoin seems to have come way earlier. Bitcoin traded around $25,000 before BlackRock filed for its spot ETF last June and rallied 20% within days. 

With the post-BlackRock pump, bitcoin had reclaimed its pre-Terra implosion price.

Bitcoin would give up those gains in the weeks following. But by mid-October, a fake news tweet claiming the SEC had approved BlackRock’s bid set bitcoin on a major uptrend. 

There was immediate volatility around the tweet — climbing $2,000 and down again within 30 minutes — but bitcoin ended up shooting nearly two-thirds in two months, from $27,700 to $44,000 in December.

At this rate, ether could soon overtake bitcoin for six-month returns

About there it hovered until earlier this week. Analysts, researchers, traders and pundits were generally in consensus that the SEC would indeed approve spot ETFs for launch in the US, and come Monday bitcoin had jumped 8% to clear $47,000 for the first time in almost two years.

All things considered, the bitcoin spot ETF approval was massively front-run by those trading on the rumor. Anyone who bought bitcoin when word of BlackRock’s filing first broke last year would now be up by more than half. 

Anyone who bought bitcoin when the ETFs were officially approved would now be about even and could even be down slightly. 

Had they opted for ether, they’d be up to 8% in the green, as traders appear looking to frontrun the next potential wave of crypto spot ETF approvals in the US. 

BlackRock and other issuers including Fidelity, VanEck and Invesco Galaxy have filed for a spot ether ETF since lodging their equivalent bitcoin applications. The SEC has between late May and early August to make its first decision.

Read more: Bitcoin and ether diverge after SEC’s bitcoin ETF snafu

In the meantime, markets seem to be waiting to find out exactly how much bitcoin BlackRock, Fidelity and other ETF issuers actually bought to back their respective funds after a busy day-one session, when more than $4.6 billion in spot ETF shares were traded in the US overall.

In and outflow figures would be the first indications of investor interest and could shed light on their potential influence on bitcoin prices moving forward.

Some preliminary figures have been floated on social media but analysts warn they may not be totally accurate. Confirmed data is only expected to be completely accurate later in the day, or even early next week.

Start your day with top crypto insights from David Canellis and Katherine Ross. Subscribe to the Empire newsletter.

Explore the growing intersection between crypto, macroeconomics, policy and finance with Ben Strack, Casey Wagner and Felix Jauvin. Subscribe to the On the Margin newsletter.

The Lightspeed newsletter is all things Solana, in your inbox, every day. Subscribe to daily Solana news from Jack Kubinec and Jeff Albus.


Upcoming Events

Salt Lake City, UT

MON - TUES, OCT. 7 - 8, 2024

Blockworks and Bankless in collaboration with buidlbox are excited to announce the second installment of the Permissionless Hackathon – taking place October 7-8 in Salt Lake City, Utah. We’ve partnered with buidlbox to bring together the brightest minds in crypto for […]

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research Report Templates.png


ZKPs enable efficient offchain transaction processing and validation, resulting in increased throughput and reduced fees. Solana's ZK Compression leverages ZKPs to minimize onchain storage costs, while Sui's zkLogin streamlines user onboarding by replacing complex key management with familiar OAuth credentials.


North Korea suspected in breach of Indian exchange’s multisig wallet


Plus, Sanctum’s CLOUD token has officially launched — but not without problems


It’s not yet clear whether Donald Trump is pumping bitcoin. But an unofficial memecoin is still seeing benefit.


StarkWare takes a step towards making StarkNet for Bitcoin


The numbers point to one conclusion: Risk is back, or at least it was during the first half of the year