Bitcoin’s Explosive 70% Surge Triggers Epic ETF Battle
- Bitcoin’s 70% surge in 2023 has left investors divided on its future.
- The ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF absorbs $118 million despite a 47% drawdown.
- At least three firms filed applications to launch leveraged Bitcoin futures ETFs.
Bitcoin’s reign in 2023 has caused a stir among exchange-traded fund investors, with opinions divided on what the future holds for the cryptocurrency.
The $149 million ProShares Short Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which tracks the inverse performance of Bitcoin, has managed to attract over $118 million so far this year despite experiencing a 47% drawdown. This is a much larger amount than its bullish counterpart, the $1 billion ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which has seen less success despite a 60% increase in value this year.
These numbers highlight the uncertainty surrounding BTC’s rapid rise, which has surged by 70% this year thanks to optimism that the Federal Reserve’s tightening cycle is coming to an end and the recent turmoil in the global banking sector. This surge has made it the best-performing asset class in the first quarter of the year, easily outperforming every other asset class.
However, given Bitcoin’s speculative nature and lack of traditional fundamentals and valuation metrics, investors are unsure of its future movement. Following a bruising 64% plunge in 2022, its year-to-date surge has renewed interest from ETF issuers with at least three firms filing applications to launch leveraged Bitcoin futures ETFs over the past several weeks – a product structure that doesn’t currently exist in US markets.
Despite this, BTC’s recent rally hasn’t been met with meaningful inflows across the board. For example, the $10 million Valkyrie Bitcoin Miners ETF, which has seen a 127% gain so far this year and is the best-performing non-leveraged fund, has only seen $5.7 million in inflows so far this year.
However, some investors see it as playing catch-up with Bitcoin, particularly after Ethereum’s highly anticipated Shanghai upgrade, which they had feared would cause the Ether token to sell off. But such a decline didn’t materialize in the days following the update.
The broader rally across cryptocurrencies this year, partly driven by investors favoring digital assets amid the banking turmoil in the US and Europe, has also led some to say that Bitcoin could act as a safe haven in such an environment, though many have refuted that stance.
“We are seeing accumulation from those looking for an ‘insurance’ asset and those who believe the long-term upside more than compensates the downside risk, which explains the inflows into BITO,” said Noelle Acheson, author of the “Crypto Is Macro Now” newsletter.
“Those taking short BTC bets could be counting on portfolio rotation out of BTC and into ETH, especially since BTC now has attractive gains to lock in,” she said.
While some investors are optimistic about Bitcoin’s future, others see it as a speculative gamble with uncertain returns. Despite this, there are still those who view it as a safe haven and are willing to invest in it in the hopes of long-term gains.
DISCLAIMER: The Information on this website is provided as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. We encourage you to do your own research before investing.
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