– On January 11, bitcoin reached a peak of $47,787, a height last seen in the spring of 2022. However, instead of the anticipated growth, it plummeted and recorded a local low of $38,520 on January 23. In just 12 days, the leading cryptocurrency lost nearly 20%. According to experts, this is a classic case of the "buy the rumour, sell the news" scenario. Initially, there was an impressive bull rally, fueled by speculation about the launch of bitcoin ETFs on the stock exchange. However, once these funds became operational, market participants began actively taking profits.
The inflow of capital into BTC-ETFs, many of which were launched by major Wall Street players like BlackRock, was not as substantial as expected. Data from CoinShares shows that the 10 new funds launched on January 11 had gathered $4.7 billion by the end of Tuesday. Meanwhile, $3.4 billion flowed out of the Grayscale trust, which was considered the world's largest holder of bitcoin and has now also been transformed into a BTC-ETF. Logic suggests that a significant portion of the money in the 10 new funds likely came from Grayscale investors who switched to competitors with lower fees. If this is the case, then the inflow of new investments into the funds amounts to only $1.3 billion.
– Along with bitcoin, all major altcoins, including Ethereum (ETH), Solana (SOL), Cardano (ADA), Avalanche (AVAX), Dogecoin (DOGE), Binance Coin (BNB), and others, also suffered losses. Analysts believe that digital assets are facing additional pressure due to improvements in the stock markets, with both American and European indices on the rise. Investors are anticipating the recovery of the US economy ahead of the January 25 publication of the country's GDP data for Q4 2023.
– Peter Schiff, President of Euro Pacific Capital, didn't miss the opportunity to gloat over the buyers of bitcoin ETF shares. The share price of these funds fell by 20% or more from their peak. The FBTC shares suffered the most, depreciating by 32%. "I think VanEck should change the ticker of its ETF from HODL to GTFO [from 'hold' to 'get rid of", Schiff commented. This advocate for physical gold didn't limit his criticism to spot BTC-ETFs but also highlighted the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO), which allows investment in bitcoin futures. Since the launch of this derivative in October 2021, its share price has plummeted by more than half.
Schiff believes that the owners of spot bitcoin ETFs will continue to incur losses. Some experts do not rule out the possibility of the coin's price falling to $30,000 - $35,000, lending some credence to the financier's bleak forecast.
– An analyst operating under the pseudonym Ali illustrated the price patterns of the last two cycles of the first cryptocurrency and suggested a further decline in its value. The expert pointed out that during previous rallies, bitcoin followed a consistent pattern: first reaching the Fibonacci level of 78.6%, followed by a correction to 50%. Hence, according to this model, a drop in the BTC/USD pair to $32,700 (50%) is not ruled out.
Trader Mikeystrades also considered a dip to $31,000 and advised against opening long positions. "Save your money until the market starts showing bullish strength and follows the flow of orders," the expert emphasized.
A crypto trader known as EliZ predicted a fall in bitcoin's value to $30,000. "I anticipate a bearish distribution over the next two to three months, with the second half of 2024 likely to be truly bullish. These pauses are necessary to keep the market in a healthy state," he stated.
– Caroline Mauron, the head of OrBit Markets, told Bloomberg that if bitcoin fails to consolidate above $40,000 soon, we could witness a significant liquidation of positions in the futures market accompanied by a panic withdrawal of capital from the crypto sphere.
Michael Van De Poppe, the founder of MN Trading, has a different view. He emphasized that bitcoin has gathered liquidity and is approaching a local bottom. "Buy at the lows. Bitcoin under $40,000 is an opportunity," the analyst urges.
Yann Allemann, co-founder of blockchain data provider Glassnode, also known as Negentropic, believes that a bullish rally in the bitcoin market will start in the first half of 2024. He predicts that by early July, the coin's value will rise to $120,000. This forecast is based on the asset's past price dynamics after the appearance of a bullish flag on the chart.
– In recent critical remarks about digital gold, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan, once again expressed doubts about the asset's finite supply limit of 21 million coins.
In response, Jameson Lopp, co-founder & CTO of Casa, posted a fragment of the bitcoin protocol code that establishes a halving of miners' rewards every 210,000 blocks, or approximately every four years. This mechanism implies that after 33 halvings, the reward will drop to zero from the initial 50 BTC, meaning no new coins will be produced. Lopp asserted that "even Satoshi [Nakamoto] can't force" a change in these five lines of the software.
However, some experts believe that theoretically, modifications to bitcoin's source code, like any other, are possible, and the emission limit of 21 million coins could be lifted. But such a decision would have to be made by a consensus of miners. A historical precedent cited is the "block size war" of 2017, when some developers, crypto companies, and mining pools wanted to increase the block size from the original 1 MB to scale the network. This idea was rejected by the community as it would have led to greater centralization of bitcoin.
In a Bitcointalk forum discussion of Dimon's statement, users noted that increasing the emission would negatively impact trust in the cryptocurrency. "The finite supply of 21 million BTC is an advantage that sets bitcoin apart from other banking products. With an emission limit, the asset becomes more valuable. Any attempt to increase the supply is foolishness by short-sighted people who want to undermine trust in digital gold," comments on the forum read. Most participants in the discussion agreed that the final decision remains with the community, which is unlikely to support a change in emission parameters.
– The crypto exchange BitMEX organized a mission with an ambitious goal: to deliver the main digital asset to the surface of Earth's natural satellite. Aboard the lunar lander was a 43-gram cold crypto wallet containing 1 BTC. The module was inscribed with text from the bitcoin genesis block: a tribute to the creator of the first cryptocurrency, Satoshi Nakamoto.
However, something went wrong. The spacecraft, launched into space ten days ago, struggled to maintain orientation towards the Sun, necessary for charging its onboard batteries. Engineers at Astrobotic detected a fuel leak in the module's engine system, but it was too late. NASA recommended burning the module in the atmosphere. Eventually, it almost completely burned up, with the remnants falling somewhere in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean. Thus, the bitcoin managed to travel only 50,000 km from Earth's surface, instead of the planned 385,000 km.
– Bloomberg exchange analyst James Seyffart believes that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may authorize the trading of options on spot bitcoin ETFs. He announced this on his page on X (formerly Twitter). Seyffart notes that the SEC has already taken into consideration applications under form 19b-4 for the possibility of trading such instruments. According to the analyst, approval could occur between February 15 and September 21 of this year.
– Last week, Morgan Stanley published a document titled "Digital (De)Dollarization?" authored by the bank's COO, Andrew Peel. According to the author, there is a clear shift towards reducing reliance on the dollar, which in turn is fuelling interest in digital currencies such as bitcoin, stablecoins, and CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies). Peel writes that the recent surge in interest in these assets could significantly alter the currency landscape. He cites a recent survey by Sygnum Bank, which found that over 80% of institutional investors believe cryptocurrencies play a vital role in the global financial industry.
– Popular analyst Lark Davis has pointed out the significant demand for cryptocurrencies in South Korea. He suggests that if local authorities decide to approve a spot bitcoin ETF, it could potentially generate up to $3 billion per year. Additionally, Davis reminded that organizations in Hong Kong are planning to launch their debut product in Q1 this year. If this happens, the influx could amount to about $6 billion over 12 months.
– The number of cryptocurrency users has reached over half a billion people, which is approximately 6% of the Earth's population. According to recent data, the number of people owning Ethereum has increased from 89 million to 124 million, while the number of Bitcoin owners by the end of the year rose from 222 million to 296 million. Notably, 40% of BTC owners also hold ETH, whereas 42% of cryptocurrency owners do not have these coins in their portfolios.
The increase in user numbers is linked to the prolonged bearish trend in the crypto market, as the authors of the study believe: “The adoption of cryptocurrencies in 2023 grew despite macroeconomic obstacles, namely: tightening of monetary policies by Western central banks in an attempt to curb inflation, military conflicts, and the long-term consequences of the pandemic.” Analysts at Crypto.com noted a particularly sharp demand for bitcoin in Q4 2023, spurred by expectations related to the launch of BTC-ETFs.
Notice: These materials should not be deemed a recommendation for investment or guidance for working on financial markets: they are for informative purposes only. Trading on financial markets is risky and can lead to a loss of money deposited.
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