BTC price hovers above $61K amid fresh concerns over fate of physical Bitcoin ETF

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Bitcoin (BTC) saw some rare calm on Oct. 16 as the market continued to digest the approval of the United States’ first exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingView

Lack of faith over non-futures ETF approvals

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC/USD circling $61,500 on Saturday, still up by 4% in 24 hours. 

The pair had hit $62,940 hours after the Wall Street open on Friday as news hit that regulators had green-lit two ETF applications after years of failed applications.

These ETFs will have CME Bitcoin futures as the underlying asset, rather than Bitcoin itself, with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) set to begin deciding the fate of “physical” ETFs next month.

Futures-based ETFs have had a mixed reception, with opinions varying considerably on their market impact and overall effect on Bitcoin price action.

“We are not sure if these futures-based ETFs will be able to draw enough new money to trigger an exponential move higher like the one we saw in Q4 2020,” crypto trading firm QCP Capital stated in its latest market update.

“We do expect inflow from investors switching out of Gold ETFs into BTC. However, with BTC above 60k, the market capitalisation is above $1.1 trillion. It’s going to take a lot to move the needle.”

QCP pointed out that the nature of futures ETFs meant that the products would likely appeal more to retail rather than institutional investors, with the lion’s share of potential capital inflow into Bitcoin thus reserved for physical products.

These, however, may be a long time coming, as investors pile into existing Canadian and European physical Bitcoin ETFs instead of waiting for a potential change of play from the SEC and its new Chair, Gary Gensler.

“We suspect that after SEC Chair Gensler indirectly ruled out a physical BTC ETF in the US for the foreseeable future, investors able to access these overseas markets have decided to participate there rather than investing in the upcoming futures ETFs in the US,” QCP added.

Bitcoin futures open interest chart. Source: Bybt

Bulls out in force despite “priced in” ETF

As Cointelegraph reported, the outlook for the rest of 2021 nonetheless remains rosy in the eyes of analysts, with Bitcoin tipped to reach anywhere up to $300,000.

Related: Bitcoin gets green light for price discovery with ‘almost no supply’ on exchanges above $59K

A subsequent bearish phase, even on a macro scale, will likely have a floor of no less than $47,000, data suggests.

Meanwhile, institutional trading firm Bakkt is set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange next week.