The recent US SEC-approved Bitcoin ETFs collectively netted $1.1 billion in inflows last week, according to a new report by European crypto asset manager CoinShares.
Total inflows into spot Bitcoin ETF products now amount to $2.8 billion since they hit the market on January 11.
Institional hoarding of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency is reflected in its price. On Monday, BTC topped $50,000, according to crypto data aggregator CoinGecko. Altogether, Bitcoin has risen 13.2% in the last seven days, although it’s currently trading just shy of its $50k support level at $48,603.
Bitcoin’s recent inflows have contributed towards pulling the entire market back up to a capitalization of nearly $2 trillion. Bitcoin accounts for around half of that as it closes in on its former all-time high market cap of $1.28 trillion on November 9, 2021.
Other cryptocurrencies that saw notable appreciation last week include Ethereum, Cardano and Solana. Ethereum gained 12.1% in the last seven days, Cardano grew 8.4%, while Solana rallied 16.3%.
The buying was strongest in the United States, according to CoinShares. The US accounted for virtually all of the $1.1 billion inflows. In second place came Switzerland, accounting for $38.9 million in inflows.
Digital assets start the week with US$1.1bn inflows!
AuM is at its highest level since early 2022, at US$59bn.
– ETFs dynamics –
The momentum of inflows into new issuers is not slowing down. Newly issued US spot-based Bitcoin ETF now total US$2.8bn inflows since their… pic.twitter.com/kGqVU6jX62
— CoinShares (@CoinSharesCo) February 12, 2024
Crypto’s Next Inflows: Ethereum ETFs?
While Wall Street is finally paying attention to crypto, the US is behind several other territories that have been actively trading crypto spot ETF products for many months now, including Canada and Europe.
This is largely due to the lack of regulatory clarity tied to the “enforcement-by-regulation” style of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Under Chairman Gary Gensler, who took office on April 17, 2021, the federal regulator has been cracking down hard on crypto companies with a series of high-profile lawsuits, including against industry titans like Binance and Coinbase.
Gensler had to concede ETFs to the industry after his agency refused an application by crypto fund Grayscale to convert its decade old Bitcoin Trust into an ETF. Grayscale took the matter to a Federal appeals court and scored a landmark victory for the industry on August 29, 2023, when Judge Neomi Rao ruled that the SEC’s rejection was “arbitrary and capricious.”
May 23: A Date To Mark
Logically, Ethereum ETFs should be next. London-based multinational Standard Chartered Bank suggested that there could be a spate of approvals on May 23, the date the SEC is expected to give a verdict on a recent round of filings for a spot Ethereum ETF. This assumption is based on the observation that the SEC approved applications for Bitcoin ETFs on its January 10 deadline this year.
However, Bitcoin was a different story because the agency has stated before that BTC is not a security. The regulator has been more ambiguous about Ethereum. If the SEC views Ethereum as a security, it would claim the asset falls within its jurisdiction, posing significant hurdles for ETF approval.
Another potential spanner in the works arrived in the press last week. Prometheum, the only SEC-approved crypto company in the US, announced it is launching an Ether custody service in late March. Analysts say the move could finally compel the SEC into clarifying whether or not it views Ethereum as a security.
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