Bitcoin Dives 7.6% As Spot ETF Arrival Estimates Are Pushed Back And China’s Growth Outlook Darkens


Cryptocurrencies extended a slide Friday morning as investors reassessed the timeline for introduction of spot-market bitcoin exchange-traded funds in the United States and global economic issues weighed on sentiment.

Forced liquidations in the futures market on Thursday afternoon helped steepen a decline that began earlier in the week.

was trading at $26,219 at 10:30 a.m. in New York, according to CoinGecko, down 7.6% over the previous 24 hours and bringing its loss for the trailing seven days to 10.5%. Ether fell 6.5% to $1,670, a loss of 9.1% on the week. The value of all cryptocurrencies fell to $1.11 trillion, wiping out 9% of the market’s value since the prior Friday.

Bitcoin is nearing June lows amid a broader crypto selloff


“Weaker global macro sentiment pushed BTC lower,” Tim Bevan, founder and CEO of ETC
Group, told Forbes by email, “and we believe this move was then exacerbated by forced liquidation of leveraged long positions that many participants had taken in anticipation of a spot BTC ETF approval in the U.S. We see that over $1 billion in leveraged positions were liquidated in the last 24 hours, with BTC positions contributing to over 50% of that, according to CoinGlass.”

Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is still expected to approve spot bitcoin ETFs, it appears likely to do so later than investors had estimated, says Bevan, whose London-based company packages exchange-traded products for institutional investors. Attention is also focused on China’s deteriorating economy and on elevated interest rates in the United States, where the 10-year Treasury bond yields about 4.25%, near its highest level since 2007.

That is putting pressure on all risk assets, and bitcoin’s previously gentle decline from a July 13 high above $31,500 brought it to a level that “triggered a wave of long-position liquidations,” according to Michael Silberberg, head of investor relations for AltTab Capital, a cryptocurrency hedge fund.

“Traders betting on a price increase were forced to sell at a loss to avoid full liquidation due to insufficient margin,” Silberberg told Forbes in written comments. “This snowballed as continuous selling drove the price down further, causing more longs to liquidate.”

He added that the effect was concentrated on investors who had borrowed money to take long bitcoin positions and that funds were still flowing into the cryptocurrency from other sources. “Despite this drop, we still saw new inflows over the past week as long-term investors, like ourselves, saw discounted prices as an opportunity to accumulate more Bitcoin.”

Still, digital assets remain under pressure from longer-term issues. In a post on Medium, James Butterfill, head of research at Paris-based asset manager CoinShares, cited low crypto trading volume in recent months, which tends to widen market swings.

He wrote that bitcoin daily activity on “trusted exchanges” was less than $3 billion a day in recent weeks, well below this year’s $7 billion average. The recalibration of when spot bitcoin ETFs might arrive to perk up demand has brought the token’s price back to its levels before BlackRock’s
June application to offer such a fund. Market participants understood the move by the world’s largest asset manager to be a signal that it expected the SEC to abandon its opposition in the near future.

Butterfill also pointed to China’s real estate market, which is suffering from the “structural deceleration” of the country’s economy, about a quarter of which is related to property.

N.Y.’s Torres Asks If SEC Will Ease Up On Cryptocurrencies

New York congressman asks SEC if it will change its approach to cryptocurrency regulation after a … [+] court ruled that digital-asset transactions are not necessarily securities sales.


Representative Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) wants to know if the Securities and Exchange Commission “will reassess its regulatory assault” on cryptocurrencies after a legal setback last week.

Claiming the agency “had a dreadful day in court” last week after a federal judge ruled that some digital-asset transactions fall outside the agency’s regulatory purview, the Bronx congressman wrote in a letter to SEC Chairman Gary Gensler that the decision meant that “crypto assets are not securities in themselves but can be sold as part of investment contracts, which do qualify as securities.”

The ruling in an SEC suit against Ripple Labs involved the XRP
token. The agency alleged that sales of $1.3 billion of the digital asset since 2013 constituted an unregistered securities offering. Judge Analisa Torres ruled that only sales to institutional buyers could be considered securities, not those to retail purchasers nor employee salaries paid with XRP because the latter two categories did not constitute investment contracts.

The question of investment contracts is crucial in determining if an instrument qualifies as a security. Based on SEC v. W. J. Howey Co., a 1946 court case involving citrus groves in Florida, transactions are investment contracts if the following elements are present:

• An investment of money

• A common enterprise

• Reasonable expectations of profits

• Profits derived from the efforts of others

Rep. Torres wrote that Howey Test “has been applied sloppily by the SEC” and that the ruling “represents a return to a rigorous application.”

Although the district court decision is not binding elsewhere and may be appealed, it does indicate that the SEC’s insistence that most digital assets are securities that should be registered–which is impossible to do under current regulations–can be successfully challenged.

Torres’ letter also said the judge found fault with the SEC for “failing to provide fair notice to the industry” about what kind of digital assets count as securities. “Under Chair Gensler, the SEC has not issued a single rule on crypto assets, nor has it given any clear guidance.”

The SEC has been at the center of a U.S. government effort in recent months to rein in the cryptocurrency industry. The crackdown also includes other regulators, the White House and some members of Congress.

Rep. Torres, taking the opposite approach, is supporting the crypto industry. Last week, he requested two investigations into the license granted to Prometheum Ember ATS that allows it to act as a cryptocurrency exchange even though it is not active in that business and may not be able to under current regulations.

Crypto Market Notches 12% Weekly Gain As Old-School Financial Firms Come Out To Play

BlackRock, Fidelity and a host of other old school money managers are moving into the cryptocurrency … [+] market, giving prices a lift even as the SEC cracks down on upstart rivals.

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Cryptocurrency prices are ending an up week on a high note in New York as the market benefits from an incursion by traditional finance players while the U.S. government clamps down on leading pioneers of the digital-asset industry.

The value of all crypto tokens was about $1.25 trillion in the late afternoon, according to CoinGecko, up almost 12% for the week and 51% for the year. Market leader Bitcoin
(BTC) was quoted at $30,889, rising 2.5% over the previous 24 hours and 20% for the week, while No. 2 crypto ether (ETH
) edged up 0.8% to $1,901, bringing its seven-day gain to 14%.

Two forces seemed to be driving prices. First was the previous week’s announcement that BlackRock
, the world’s largest asset manager, was seeking approval to list an exchange-traded fund (ETF) for spot-market bitcoin. The Securities and Exchange Commission had repeatedly refused to accept such funds, even though it allows futures-based ETFs, claiming the latter are less susceptible to market manipulation. BlackRock took steps to make its offering seem palatable to the SEC, but when a company that powerful puts in the effort to prepare a listing in a new category after multiple competitors were turned down, the idea’s time has probably come.

Evidence can be seen in the slew of smaller ETF sponsors that quickly followed in BlackRock’s wake by proposing their own spot bitcoin funds, including Invesco
, WisdomTree and Valkyrie Investments. Spot-market ETFs could broaden demand for bitcoin by offering the convenience of stock trading to the kind of investors who are hesitant to get involved with crypto wallets, seed phrases and the risk of hackers. Collective investment funds run by professional managers may be antithetical to the individualistic philosophy of many early digital-asset buyers—the kind who subscribe to the “not your keys, not your crypto” slogan—but that did not halt the week’s gains.

The other development supporting the market was the announcement that EDX, a cryptocurrency exchange for institutions, was opening for business. Backed by traditional-finance heavyweights including Charles Schwab, Citadel, Fidelity and Sequoia Capital, the exchange offers trading in four cryptos: bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash. It differs from entrenched competitors in operating on a noncustodial model that bars it from taking possession of the assets it lists.

“It seems that despite a fractious SEC, many of the largest players in the U.S. financial services Pantheon are still very bullish crypto—planning new spot ETFs and making investments in ecosystem infrastructure,” Bradley Duke, co-CEO at ETC
Group, which provides exchange-traded crypto products in Europe, told Forbes by email. “This has had the effect of boosting investor sentiment.”

The improved outlook comes after the early-June crackdowns on Binance and Coinbase, the two largest cryptocurrency exchanges. The SEC issued civil complaints against both for acting as unlicensed exchanges and listing cryptocurrencies that it considers unregistered securities, additionally charging Binance with engaging in “a multi-step plan to surreptitiously evade U.S. laws.”

The issue of which cryptos are securities and which are commodities and whether a single currency can be each at different times is not settled, although bitcoin seems to be beyond the SEC’s reach.

Crypto prices fell in the days following the suits, with the market’s value reaching a nadir around $1.06 trillion on June 13. The BlackRock news on June 15 kindled a rebound that gained power this week.

One big gainer in the current surge is bitcoin cash, which rose 31% on Friday and 66% for the week. Its inclusion as one of the inaugural EDX listing was the catalyst for that rise, according to Greg Moritz, cofounder of crypto hedge fund AltTab Capital, told Forbes by email.

“With the recent launch of the institutional exchange EDX, Bitcoin Cash has been in the spotlight,” he writes. “Being listed alongside BTC and ETH suggests that institutional players think BCH
is likely to be considered a commodity rather than a security. Accordingly there has been a spike in open interest as traders anticipate a significant flow of institutional capital into BCH, a project which until now has had rather bleak long-term prospects.”

Bitcoin cash is a built on the same blockchain as bitcoin, but it can process transactions much more quickly. That makes it faster and cheaper to use, but at the potential expense of security.

, the fourth EDX-listed currency—which, like bitcoin cash, is an offshoot of bitcoin—was up 5.4% on Friday and 19% for the week.

On Wall Street, crypto mining stocks posted notable gains. Marathon Digital was up 7.4% for the day and 27% for the week, Hive Blockchain gained 7% (29%) and Hut 8 Mining 5% (27%).

Coinbase notched a daily gain of 6.9% and is up 11% for the week. The exchange is also 4.7% above its level before the SEC suit was announced on June 6.