Crypto Mania

Bitcoin ETFs: Overhyped or underestimated?


  • Alex Thorn raised concerns that Bitcoin ETFs might be potentially overhyped. 
  • However, investors remain confident in the potential approval of Bitcoin ETFs.

In a recent discussion on YouTube’s “Bankless” podcast, Alex Thorn, head of Research at Galaxy Digital, shared insights on the potential impact of Bitcoin [BTC] Exchange-Traded Funds [ETFs] on the cryptocurrency market.

One of the critical concerns voiced by Thorn is the potential overhyping of Bitcoin ETFs. He argued that the market may have already priced in the ETF approval. Thorn even compared the ETF hype to a deflating balloon, implying that the market’s reaction may not meet expectations.

Another skeptical view centered around Bitcoin’s historical behavior during market fluctuations. Bitcoin has typically leaned towards being a risk-on asset, not a safe haven.

Thus, in cases of financial crises or significant market turmoil, investors might not flock to Bitcoin as a store of value, potentially dampening the ETF’s impact.

Furthermore, it was pointed out that a significant shift in the global economic environment, such as an inflation surge or a geopolitical crisis, could alter the demand for Bitcoin.

In times of turmoil, investors may choose alternative assets, undermining the bullish narrative surrounding the ETF approval.

ETFs to trigger bearish sentiment?

Thorn also cautioned against the buy-the-rumor, sell-the-news phenomenon. Even if the ETFs are approved, the initial hype might not translate into immediate inflows.

The ramp-up period for these products could be slow, given regulatory processes, and it may take time for brokers and advisors to offer these products to clients.

In the context of the Futures ETF, which differs from spot Bitcoin ETFs, Thorn observed that these products may not be suitable for long-term investors. The ETFs are more favorable for short-term trading due to decay and roll costs over time.

This factor could deter long-term investors, including financial advisors, who generally cater to such clients.

This bearish stance also considers potential regulatory hurdles. While Bitcoin might not be the primary focus of regulators, wider cryptocurrency-related regulations could impact the market.

Factors like restrictions on mining or limitations on self-custody could affect the overall appeal of Bitcoin ETFs.

However, the bullish camp remains confident in the potential approval of Bitcoin ETFs. They view these products as powerful market vehicles that have revolutionized asset management. They offer ease of trading, accessibility, and suitability for various investors, institutional or retail.

The ETFs not only provide a gateway for institutional players but also act as a stamp of approval, solidifying Bitcoin’s maturity and mainstream acceptance.

As the largest asset managers, BlackRock and Fidelity, support Bitcoin and ETFs, the narrative surrounding this investment option may become more positive with time.

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