Bitcoin (BTC) price has seen a significant increase today, surging by 5% and reaching a two-week high of over $28,000. This surge follows the U.S. Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Neomi Rao’s decision to side with Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) in its case against the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This ruling has amplified the growing institutional interest in Bitcoin, with companies like BlackRock and Fidelity Investments being scheduled to discuss their BTC spot ETFs on September 2.
The rally in Bitcoin price began on August 29, after Judge Rao vacated the SEC’s order to deny the GBTC spot ETF over concerns of “fraud.” Grayscale Bitcoin Trust had taken the SEC to the appeals court to defend the legitimacy of Bitcoin futures. Although the ruling does not approve the spot ETF, Judge Rao adjudged that “Grayscale’s petition for review be granted and the Commission’s order be vacated, in accordance with the opinion of the court.”
In addition to the positive ruling for Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, the discount on the Grayscale ETF is also approaching its highest level since 2023, falling under 25%. This indicates that institutional investors are showing a growing interest in the Grayscale ETF.
Despite multiple applications, including those from BlackRock, Fidelity, Cathie Wood’s ARK, and 21Shares (which has filed for approval three times), the SEC has consistently refused to approve a spot Bitcoin ETF. BlackRock, being the world’s largest asset manager with over $8.5 trillion in assets under management, has even chosen Coinbase as the custodian for the BTC in their trust, as stated in their filing with the SEC. The SEC has a series of ETF decisions to make in September, potentially approving, denying, or delaying those applications.
Another significant development is the decreasing supply of BTC on exchanges, reaching its lowest level since January 2018. Traders typically withdraw their BTC from exchanges when they intend to hold it in self-custody for the long term. The market interprets this as a bullish signal, as it implies that Bitcoin investors are anticipating a price rally, even amidst the prolonged bearish trend of 2023.
Liquidations and Short-Selling
With Bitcoin leaving exchanges, liquidations have less cushion, leading to increased volatility. In the past 24 hours alone, over $46.5 million worth of BTC shorts have been liquidated across the crypto market, with over $100 million in total. However, despite this losing streak for short-sellers, 48% of the futures market remains short on Bitcoin price. This high ratio of short positions presents a potential opportunity for a short-squeeze, which could result in further price upside for Bitcoin.
While Bitcoin price shows signs of bullish momentum in the short term following the Grayscale ruling and short liquidations, the Bitcoin Fear & Greed Index indicates that market sentiment remains fearful. The index is down over 13 points compared to the previous month, suggesting that there is still caution among investors.
The recent rise in Bitcoin price can be attributed to the positive ruling in the case involving Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and the SEC. This ruling, along with the decreasing supply of BTC on exchanges, has sparked further institutional interest in Bitcoin. However, despite these positive developments, the market sentiment remains cautious, indicating that there are still concerns among investors. As the SEC considers various ETF applications in the coming months, the future of Bitcoin and its price trajectory remains uncertain.