Race for first spot bitcoin ETF in full swing

Bert Slagter Schrijver, spreker en analist bij Bitcoin Alpha, Descryptor & Satoshi Radio

8 September 2023

The bitcoin market started July calm and in good spirits. But also tense, partly due to the ETF race that restarted in June. At the end of June, that tension manifested itself in a sharp price movement. What happened? You can read that, and more, in this Weekly!


The crypto market started the month of July quietly. The price moved sideways in the price range of $29,400 to $31,400 over the past two weeks. That is a good 20 percent higher than the first half of June, when concerns about SEC charges against Coinbase and Binance set the mood. The price was then around $25,500.

Those worries now seem far in the rear-view mirror. Optimism and hope now colour the sentiment, fuelled by the potential entry into the crypto market of major financial institutions such as BlackRock, Fidelity and Deutsche Bank.

In the chart, we have put an indicator line at Friday afternoon, 30 June. That is when the price fell 5 percent in a short time to its lowest point in the past week. That was a shocking reaction to the news that the SEC would find the ongoing ETF filings inadequate.

According to insiders, the SEC has told the exchanges on which the ETFs will be listed that important information is missing. Namely which crypto exchange has a supervisory agreement with which to recognise market manipulation. Meanwhile, all applicants have submitted a new version of their paperwork. All named Coinbase as a supervisory partner.

The share price recovered quickly and some ETF analysts see the SEC's reaction as encouraging. The ETF story is alive and well. The sharp reaction of the share price also shows that the market is in tension. The line between hope and disbelief is razor-thin.

BTCUSD 2023 07 05 10 39 34

After the share price rise at the end of June, we finished the month, quarter and first half of the year fine:

  • Month: +11.9%
  • Quarter: +7.0%
  • Half-year: +84.2%

The chart below shows our base case scenario for the coming years. We expect the adoption of decentralised technology to continue, and major crypto assets such as bitcoin and ether to capture some of its value. The route to this follows the ebb and flow of the market cycle. From a bear market, a bull market is born, and vice versa.

The MACD indicator at the bottom of this monthly chart says something about long-term momentum. It is positive again for the first time since August 2021. An indication that the rising trend of recent months belongs to the very first fledgling of a new bull market.

BLX 2023 07 05 12 22 26

News summary

In the market update above, you were updated on the ongoing ETF filings and the optimism created as a result. You would almost forget that in the US there are still all sorts of lawsuits and bankruptcy proceedings pending. Pieces of the bear market that still need to be cleaned up. Two of them appeared in the news last week.

We start with FTX.

On 11 November 2022, this exchange fell, an event you can no doubt remember well. Meanwhile, $200 million has already been spent on bankruptcy proceedings. If the process takes a total of two years, it is estimated that almost $800 million will be needed. That is three-quarters of what it cost to settle Enron, even though that company was almost 100 times bigger than FTX in terms of turnover and employees.

In his latest report, deputy chairman of the board John Ray explains why the costs are so soaring. "Immediately after its establishment, customer assets and company assets were intermingled and misused," Ray writes. He therefore calls the process of recovering assets arduous and "extremely challenging".

Nevertheless, Ray has now recovered and secured some $7 billion in liquid assets. When the exchange went bankrupt, it owed customers about $8.7 billion. Most of this consisted of misused dollars, whether in the form of stablecoins or not.

We continue with Genesis Trading.

In January, Genesis filed for bankruptcy. The company owed hundreds of millions of dollars to its customers. The fall of FTX punched a hole in the loan company's balance sheet, which proved to be a blow it could not take unscathed.

Meanwhile, negotiations to resolve the bankruptcy are all over the place. Things get tough from time to time, with moments when dirty laundry is discussed openly. On Tuesday, we were confronted with that again.

Tweet cameron

Gemini, one of the largest creditors in the process, published a second open letter addressed to the chief executive of DCG, Genesis' parent company, through Cameron Winklevoss. The letter contains a final offer that DCG ceo Barry Silbert can respond to, demanding that Silbert responds positively to it before Friday. If he fails to do so, Gemini claims to file a lawsuit against DCG and Silbert personally. You understand: this is part of the underlying negotiations and a way to put pressure on Silbert in the process.

Analysts expect all parties to reach an agreement in the summer. We are still holding back on this, as talks have taken unexpected turns before. To be continued!

Other news:

MicroStrategy makes its biggest bitcoin purchase in the last two years.
Michael Saylor's company bought 12,333 bitcoin for $347 million. That brings the total to 152,333 bitcoin, equivalent to $4.52 billion. MicroStrategy owns the largest corporate bitcoin treasury by a factor of 12. The last time the company made such a large purchase was in June 2021. Then it bought 13,005 bitcoin.

Bitcoin and ether ETFs in the app of Hong Kong's largest bank.
HSBC Hong Kong customers have been able to buy and sell these products from their banking app since last week. They are the CSOP Bitcoin Futures ETF and the CSOP Ethereum Futures ETF. Why the bank has taken this step? According to the bank's spokesperson, the answer is simple: there is clear demand for it from bank customers.

Cryptocurrency mainly takes place outside bitcoin.
So writes TRM Labs in its Illicit Crypto Ecosystem Report. In 2016, two-thirds of hacks took place on or around bitcoin. By 2022, that share will have fallen to below 3 per cent. Ethereum (68 per cent) and Binance Smart Chain (19 per cent) are now of most interest to criminals. Interestingly, for terrorist financing, all activity seems to have moved to TRON (92 per cent).


This week, our quantitative portfolio manager Tim Stolte joined Cryptocast. There, he spoke with Herbert Blanksteijn and Bert Slagter about the ways you can invest in bitcoin and crypto. What types of crypto investors are there? How do you serve them with the right mix of opportunities and risks? What role does algorithmic investing have in it? And even if you only invest in bitcoin, can you still beat its performance?

Behind the scenes

New at Amdax: Fantom ($FTM)

Since this week, it has been possible to trade Fantom ($FTM) on Amdax. Fantom can be bought and sold at EUR. It is also possible to buy FTM periodically via the crypto savings plan.

You can buy FTM quickly and easily via the Amdax app or our web environment.

Bert Slagter Schrijver, spreker en analist bij Bitcoin Alpha, Descryptor & Satoshi Radio

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