Bitcoin’s Surge – Exchange-traded fund investors are divided on what will happen to Bitcoin after its dominant performance in 2023.
The ProShares short bitcoin strategy ETF (BITI), which tracks the inverse performance of bitcoin and costs $US149 million ($221.7 million), has consumed more than $US118 million so far this year despite a 47% decline. Its optimistic, much larger twin, the $US1 billion ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which has attracted $US89 million amid a 60% increase this year, has brought in a smaller harvest than that one.
The flow dynamics between the two ETF products underscore the unease around Bitcoin’s breakneck climb, which has increased 70% so far this year. It has handily outperformed every other asset class in the first quarter which was propelled by optimism that the US Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle is nearing its end and the current instability in the global banking industry.
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However, given the speculative character of Bitcoin and its absence of conventional fundamentals and valuation criteria, investors appear to be unsure of the direction the virtual coin will go next.
“It reflects uncertainty when you have roughly half the market participants go long and half of them go short,” said Chris Gaffney, president of world markets at TIAA Bank. “It shows that nobody really knows where we’re going.”
He continued by saying that the uncertainty will probably increase volatility.
Following a brutal 64% decline in 2022, bitcoin has experienced a year-to-date rise, rekindling ETF issuers’ interest. Over the past few weeks, at least three US companies submitted applications to start leveraged bitcoin futures ETFs, a product structure that is currently unavailable in US markets.
Bitcoin’s Surge Effect
Although Bitcoin has recently risen, not all markets have seen appreciable inflows. For instance, the best-performing non-leveraged fund this year with a gain of 127%, the $US10 million Valkyrie bitcoin miners ETF, has only generated $US5.7 million thus far.
Investors’ inclination toward the short bitcoin strategy ETF may also be explained by recent excitement around the ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency. Although both bitcoin and ether have increased in value this year, ether has lagged behind bitcoin by about 10%.
However, some investors now believe it to be playing catch-up to Bitcoin, particularly in light of Ethereum’s much-awaited Shanghai upgrade, which they had worried would trigger a sell-off in ether tokens. But in the days that followed the upgrade, no such decline appeared.
Some have claimed that Bitcoin may function as a safe haven in such a scenario. This is because of the broader surge across cryptocurrencies this year. The surge has been partially driven by investors favoring digital assets during the banking crisis in the US and Europe. However, many have questioned that claim.
BTC Price Today
Bitcoin’s two-day decline was extended overnight when it briefly fell below $US28,000. Recent market data from CoinDesk show that it dropped 2.3% over the last 24 hours to approximately $US28,245.