Cryptos ease after recent rises and optimism sparked by Grayscale
Cryptocurrencies are taking a breather on Thursday. Bitcoin (BTC) pulls back moderately in the last 24 hours and sits comfortably above $27,200, while Ethereum (ETH) follows in its wake and holds at $1,700.
Even so, the main cryptocurrencies are notably above the levels at which they have been moving in recent days thanks to the boost provided by the court ruling in the case of Grayscale against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The U.S. court ruled in favor of the company and the regulator will have to revisit Grayscale's application to convert its flagship Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) into a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF).
While it is not guaranteed that Grayscale will get its way, as the regulator may still appeal the ruling or even end up rejecting the application after a second review, the market has interpreted this court decision as a key step in the approval of the dozen or so spot ETFs from BlackRock, Fidelity and other major companies. Since approving the initial applications of these firms, the SEC has 240 days to provide a response to each of them and experts are starting to manage the first quarter of 2024 as the date when they will receive the green light from the regulator.
Manuel Villegas, digital assets analyst at Swiss bank Julius Baer, pointed out that, although the latest developments are not an "automatic" victory, the arrival of these ETFs "is now looking much more likely" and he believes that it is "not in the best interest of the SEC to approve a single Bitcoin ETF". Likewise, the expert stated that the ruling highlights that the spot market "is deeper and more liquid" than the SEC argued, so any price manipulation in it "should be more difficult".
"This should result in renewed tailwinds for Bitcoin prices, not least because of a looming supply squeeze. That said, regulation will likely remain a source of uncertainty and volatility while macroeconomic headwinds are more likely to fade than to intensify," Villegas added.
On the technical side, Rania Gule, market analyst at XS.com, noted that the latest rally has Bitcoin testing "the level of the trendline it breached yesterday during the sharp price surge at $27,462."
"The next targets in this case would be $29,300 and $30,000, respectively. However, it's more likely that prices will remain within a range today, fluctuating between $28,133 and $25,878, as the markets await stronger catalysts," the expert added.
On the corporate front, Digital Currency Group has hit an old bump in the road in the bankruptcy proceedings of its subsidiary Genesis: Gemini. The Winklevoss brothers' cryptocurrency exchange, which has been at odds with the Barry Silbert-led conglomerate since last November, has joined two other major creditors in rejecting Digital Currency Group's proposed restructuring plan.
In other market news, the major altcoins are showing mixed movements. Solanna (SOL) has dropped around 4% in the last 24 hours, while Ripple (XRP) and Cardano (ADA) have fallen 1%. Dogecoin (DOGE) has risen 1%.