Bitcoin has rallied. But where is the price going next?
Potential approval of a spot bitcoin ETF could be “a rare buy the rumor, buy the fact event,” LMAX Group market strategist says
Adobe and cybermagician/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
Bitcoin rose above $44,000 on Tuesday before dipping below that level early Wednesday and subsequently straddling the price. Analysts expect it could inch higher by the end of the year and benefit from several tailwinds in 2024.
Bitcoin (BTC) dropped to as low as about $16,000 amid the collapse of crypto exchange FTX in November 2022 — a year after bitcoin reached its all-time high of roughly $69,000.
The asset’s price was at $43,780 at 4 pm ET Wednesday, up 25% in the last 30 days and 16% higher than seven days ago, CoinGecko data shows.
Analysts have attributed the recent bitcoin price surge to optimism around the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs, Binance’s settlement with the US government and easing inflation, among other factors.
Potential approval of a spot bitcoin ETF could be “a rare buy the rumor, buy the fact event” LMAX Group market strategist Joel Kruger told Blockworks.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to rule on a spot bitcoin ETF proposed by Ark Invest and 21Shares — and possibly other similar proposals — by Jan. 10.
“We still don’t believe the ETFs are fully priced in, and once confirmed, there should be plenty of additional demand given the compelling economics around bitcoin as an exceptionally scarce, limited-supply asset,” Kruger said.
Kruger called it “reasonable” to expect BTC’s price to be $50,000 at the end of 2023, noting major resistance zones” between $48,000 and $53,000.
Julius de Kempenaer, senior technical analyst at StockCharts.com, agreed $48,000 — a peak set at the end of March 2022 — is the next expected level of resistance.
Bitcoin could be at that level as 2023 concludes, he said, noting that $38,000 is a “support” level in the case of a price dip.
“After five or six days of strong upward movement in BTC, the daily chart is now getting overbought which may cause a small setback or hesitation,” de Kempenaer said in an email. “But the trend is still up; there is little doubt about that.
Looking ahead to 2024
Bitfinex analysts said Wednesday they expect bitcoin’s price to reach between $60,000 and $75,000 by the end of next year — noting spot bitcoin ETF approval could spur a surge in institutional investment.
Mathieu Ziaei, portfolio manager and risk officer at Criptonite Asset Management, said while $48,000 could be “the local top” for bitcoin in the short term, BTC could “rally freely” after that.
Traders front-running the spot bitcoin ETF approval possibility could hurt that prospect though, he added.
“There is also a high probability that we see a classic ‘buy the rumor, sell the fact’ move in early 2024 leading to a sharp move to the downside,” Ziaei said.
Kruger pointed to the 2004 launch of the first gold ETF — the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) — and noted the seven-year price rally that followed for the metal.
“If this was the case with gold, we believe it most definitely will be the case with bitcoin,” Kruger said.
Galaxy Digital research associate Charles Yu said in an October report that, based on historical gold market price action, BTC’s price could increase by 74% in the 12 months following spot bitcoin ETF approval.
Many expect the upcoming bitcoin halving will also be a boon for bitcoin’s price. The event, slated for April, means per-block rewards for mining bitcoin will be cut from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.
“This event is associated with supply scarcity, driving up the price,” Bitfinex analysts said. “Combined with the fact that we currently have the highest [inactive supply] statistics, especially for long term holders, this effect is already in play.”
Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.