Wall Street opened its doors for the first Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) on Oct. 19, with the listing of ProShares Bitcoin Strategy (BITO) on the New York Stock Exchange. The fund attracted more than $1 billion in trading volume on its first day, while Bitcoin’s price rallied to a new record high of $67,000.
But the spot gains did not stay for too long, with BTC paring some gains going into the weekend.
Bitcoin’s price corrected by almost 11% from its all-time high to reach levels below $60,000 on Saturday, raising fears about selloffs that typically come after the launch of major crypto derivatives products on Wall Street.
Analysts call for wider BTC correction
Nunya Bizniz, an independent market analyst on Twitter, recalled two of such major events: the listing of the first Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and the debut of the crypto trading service Coinbase’s stock (COIN) on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Notably, CME launched its Bitcoin futures product on Dec. 18, 2017, the date on which Bitcoin rallied toward its then-record high of around $20,000. But the launch also marked the beginning of one of Bitcoin’s longest bear cycles, which bottomed around $3,200 12 months later.
Similarly, the much-celebrated COIN’s debut on Wall Street on April 4, 2021, coincided with Bitcoin rallying to a new all-time high around $65,000 just 10 days later. Nonetheless, the upside move met a bout of strong selloffs, causing BTC to correct to as low as $28,800.
As a result, the recent ProShares Bitcoin ETF left Nunya Bizniz and many other analysts worried about the so-called “buy the rumor, sell the news” correction. For instance, analyst Lark Davis noted that he “wouldn’t be surprised” if Bitcoin’s price crashes following the ProShares ETF launch just like it did after the CME Bitcoin Futures launch.
Also, Dan Morehead, CEO and co-chief investment officer of Pantera Capital, wrote in a newsletter earlier this month that he “might want to take some chips off the table” ahead of the Bitcoin ETF launch.
Impressive debut for Bitcoin ETF
Despite historic bearishness associated with high-profile Wall Street crypto listings, some analysts believe the Bitcoin ETF’s impressive debut will result in limited downside moves in the spot BTC market.
Todd Rosenbluth, head of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA, told the Financial Times that ProShare’s $1-billion debut is “a sign of the pent-up demand” among traditional finance companies looking to score a slice of the rising crypto industry.
JPMorgan Chase added that retail traders accounted for only 12%–15% of net inflows into BITO on the first two days of trading.
That pointed to a significant interest in Bitcoin ETFs among institutions, with cash-marginated Bitcoin futures open interest rising by up to 79% month-to-date and CME basis going from negative in July to above 16% earlier this week.
Noelle Acheson, head of market insights at crypto trading firm Genesis, noted that Bitcoin’s perpetual futures rolling basis, a metric to gauge the demand for leverage, ticked up but was still only 13.08% compared to mid-April’s 34.6%.
High leverage remains a common factor across recent spot BTC market corrections. In other words, the neutral funding rates at the moment suggest that the chance of a big pullback is relatively low.
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