Bitcoin ETF Sparks Fears of Cryptocurrency Exchange ‘Bloodbath’

Sahana Kiran
Source – Watcher Guru

As the anticipation of a potential spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval in the United States grows, analysts are cautioning that this development could bring about significant consequences for cryptocurrency exchanges. While some foresee a surge in Bitcoin’s value and increased market competition, concerns are emerging regarding the potential impact on centralized exchanges.

Spot Bitcoin ETF Approval and Market Projections

Speculation is rampant that a spot BTC ETF could initiate trading in early 2024, coinciding with the anticipated block reward halving for Bitcoin in April. Blockstream CEO Adam Back believes this dual event could propel BTC to $100,000, while Jan3 CEO Samson Mow suggests the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. could drive Bitcoin to as high as $1 million in the “days to weeks” following the approval.

Also Read: Coinbase Files Lawsuit Against the SEC Over Crypto Regulation

Analysts Express Concerns

However, the outlook is not entirely positive for centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, according to ETF Store president Nate Geraci and Bloomberg ETF analyst Eric Balchunas. Geraci, expressing his concerns on X (formerly Twitter), indicated that the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. could result in a “bloodbath” for cryptocurrency exchanges.

Retail vs. Institutional Trading Dynamics

Geraci highlighted the disparity between retail spot Bitcoin ETF buyers and sellers benefiting from institutional trade execution and commissions, while retail users of crypto exchanges would continue to experience “retail trade execution and commissions.” He emphasized the necessity for exchanges to enhance their services to compete with the efficiency of a spot Bitcoin ETF. Balchunas echoed this sentiment, underscoring that a spot Bitcoin ETF would carry a 0.01% trading cost, significantly lower than the average fee for ETF trading.

Impact on Crypto Exchanges and Price Competition

The approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF is anticipated to introduce more price competition to the crypto industry. Balchunas believes this would redirect funds back to investors from exchanges that allocate substantial resources to advertise their services, including high-profile events like the Super Bowl.

Crypto Markets Witness Turmoil Amid Increased Volatility

In a separate development, the crypto markets recently experienced heightened volatility, resulting in a significant wipeout of $130 million in long positions. Liquidations, triggered when the market moves against traders with leveraged long positions, led to automated sell-offs to cover their positions. The Bitcoin chart indicated a notable correction, with the price dip closely tied to the cascade of liquidations.


Also Read: FTX Reportedly Sold $500 Million Worth of Crypto in December 2023

As the crypto community eagerly awaits the potential approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF, the contrasting viewpoints from analysts underscore the evolving dynamics of the cryptocurrency market. While some envision substantial value gains for Bitcoin, concerns about the potential impact on centralized exchanges and the imperative for enhanced services take center stage. As regulatory decisions unfold, the crypto industry remains in a state of flux, navigating challenges and opportunities within the continually evolving financial landscape.