Investors Who Piled Into Bitcoin After the SEC Approved ETFs Are Getting a Crash Course in Crypto Volatility

Bitcoin is at its lowest level in two months, following a SEC decision that had been forecasted as a ‘watershed moment’ for the industry.

AP/Kin Cheung, file
An advertisement for Bitcoin displayed on a street at Hong Kong. AP/Kin Cheung, file

Investors who waited until the Securities and Exchange Commission approved spot bitcoin exchange-traded products  may be in for a rude awakening — their investments are down already. Significantly.

The SEC’s decision two weeks ago making it easier for ordinary investors to buy and sell bitcoin was forecasted to be a “watershed moment” by the industry. The decision day was celebrated by Hashdex’s chief investment officer, Samir Kerbage, as a “monumental day in the history of digital assets.”

In the first three trading days after the funds were approved by the SEC on January 10, investors poured nearly $2 billion into the nine securities that started trading. That figure had doubled to more than $4 billion by Monday.

Yet, Bitcoin is down nearly 5 percent in the last day alone, and 20 percent overall since then, according to Coindesk, reaching the lowest level in two months. It’s considered a “sell the news” event, where prices are pushed higher “in the lead-up to a bullish event, only for prices to tumble shortly after.”

In the past five years, “ the Commission rejected more than 20 exchange rule filings for spot bitcoin ETPs,” the SEC Chair, Gary Gensler, said on January 10, noting that one of the filings was made by Grayscale to convert its Bitcoin Trust into an ETP.

Circumstances “have changed,” he said, following a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which held that the SEC “failed to adequately explain its reasoning in disapproving the listing and trading of Grayscale’s proposed ETP.” 

“I feel the most sustainable path forward is to approve the listing and trading of these spot bitcoin ETP shares,” he said, while adding that bitcoin is a “speculative, volatile asset that’s also used for illicit activity including ransomware, money laundering, sanction evasion, and terrorist financing.”

The SEC was not approving or endorsing bitcoin, he said, adding that “investors should remain cautious about the myriad risks” associated with it.

The New York Sun

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