Bitcoin could rise up to $45,000 in January, once a spot ETF is approved, this asset manager says

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Bitcoin could reach up to $45,000 in January, once the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approves an exchange-traded fund investing in the cryptocurrency directly, according to digital-asset manager 3iQ. 

A false report on Monday by crypto news service Cointelegraph, which said BlackRock’s
BLK,
-3.05%
bitcoin ETF application had been approved in the U.S., briefly sent bitcoin up 10% to almost $30,000, before the crypto gave up most of its gains, according to CoinDesk data. Bitcoin
BTCUSD,
+0.82%
was trading at around $28,724 as of Monday afternoon, up 6% from 24 hours earlier. 

While the report was proved to be untrue, bitcoin’s brief rally provided evidence that a spot bitcoin ETF approval is not yet priced into the market, said Steven Lubka, head of private clients and family offices at Swan Bitcoin. 

“I think that’s actually strong evidence that when we do see that approval, we’re going to see the price rally. Maybe it happens more slowly as people start to get wind that it’s coming,” Lubka said. 

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has approved several bitcoin futures ETFs in the past, but has yet to greenlight anything based on bitcoin itself, citing vulnerability to market manipulation. 

Market participants expect the agency to approve ARK Invest and 21Shares’ bitcoin ETF application by Jan. 10, 2024, the final deadline to make a decision. 

Read: Bitcoin ETFs are not approved yet, but analysts think they could become a reality in January

“If you get a spot ETF approval, that’s going to unlock a bunch of money that can now buy bitcoin that previously could not buy it,” said Lubka. “It’s also going to paint the picture of a clearer regulatory situation in the U.S.”

Based on analysis of bitcoin’s 200-day moving average and 200-week moving average, the approval of a bitcoin ETF could send the crypto to somewhere between $35,000 and $45,000, said Mark Connors, head of research at 3iQ Corp. 

Bitcoin-related funds also rose Monday, with the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust
GBTC
up 7.9% to around $21.83. The fund is trading roughly 14% below the value of its underlying assets, the narrowest reading since 2021. ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF
BITO,
which invests in bitcoin futures, rose 6.5% to $14.51 on Monday, according to MarketWatch data.

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