On January 3, crypto-focused financial services platform MatrixPort published a report speculating that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could reject applications for a spot Bitcoin ETF this month and approve them later in the year because of political headwinds within the agency. Although Bitcoin dropped by 4.8% following the report, the soaring open interest combined with the high funding rate, whose spike can be seen below in Figure 1, also contributed to the short-lived decline. This implied the market was overleveraged and required a corrective flush.
Figure 1: BTC Funding Rate
Conversely, progress seems to prevail as Goldman Sachs aims to be an authorized participant for Blackrock and Grayscale, while the SEC met with the NYSE, Nasdaq, and CBOE to discuss amendments triggered in the 11th hour. In addition, multiple asset issuers also filed 8A forms last week, which could imply that applicants have overcome significant hurdles from the agency’s point of view. In summary, the outlook for Bitcoin appears robust, with long-term investors—those who have held the asset for over a year—reaching the highest levels (~67%) in Bitcoin’s 15-year history, as seen below in Figure 2. This underscores the strong conviction in the asset over the long term
Figure 2: Percentage of BTC supply moved over a year ago
Celsius Begins its Liquidation Procedure
The bankrupt lender submitted a request to unstake 206K ETH, as part of its efforts to pay back creditors. Representing 1.9% of the total staked ETH ($450M), the request could add some selling pressure over the coming weeks. However, it’s worth noting that Celsius will allow in-kind redemptions, meaning it’ll distribute BTC and ETH holdings to users directly, so the company won’t have to sell the underlying to meet its obligations. Finally, the decision is also causing a significant surge in the ETH exit validator queue, as shown in Figure 3, which would take close to 14 days to fully exit and withdraw now while contributing to an increase in staking yield, bringing it up from ~3.088% to ~3.117%.
Figure 3: Ethereum Validator Queue
Source: Ethereum Validator Queue
Arbitrum Enhancing Customization Options
Arbitrum has announced that its custom blockchain development solution, Orbit, will allow networks building on top of it to designate their tokens as gas currencies instead of ETH, once they meet a specific criteria. The upgrade ensures that networks built on top of Orbit can create utility for their token while offering advanced features like gas subsidy. This level of flexibility puts Arbitrum on par with Cosmos, which makes it a more favorable option amongst developers. However, with the announcement of Arbitrum’s optimized architecture and the forthcoming implementation of Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade expected in February, there has been a resurgence of interest in Arbitrum, as well as other high-beta plays on the Ethereum network, such as Optimism and Lido, seen below in figure 4. Thus, we expect the assets mentioned above to perform well leading into the upgrade.
Figure 4: Price Action of ETH vs ETH Beta(s) vs SOL
This Week’s Calendar
Source: Forex Factory, CoinMarketCal
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