Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices have stormed into October after a dire September.
The bitcoin price is now nudging $50,000 per bitcoin for the first time since early September while the ethereum price is approaching $3,500 per ether after falling as low as $2,600 last month.
Now, speculation is swirling among bitcoin, ethereum and cryptocurrency bulls that a long-awaited U.S. bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) could be approved in October—with verdicts expected on a clutch of ETF applications.
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“Following the August 3 quotes from [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Gary] Gensler, a futures-based ETF seems most likely to get approved as of now, so the ETF response bonanza in October could be an exciting period to follow,” Arcane Research analyst Vetle Lunde wrote this week. There are five ETF application responses from the SEC expected in October, with a few more due in November and December.
In early August, Gensler said that a bitcoin futures ETF that complies with the SEC’s strict rules for mutual funds could be a route toward approval. Since 2013, the SEC has rejected several attempts to create a bitcoin ETF, citing the potential for price manipulation.
“The bitcoin market could be heating up shortly, caused by anticipations leading into the ETF verdicts,” added Lunde, predicting bitcoin and crypto traders “might seek to front-run in case of approvals.”
Meanwhile, independent research boutique Fundstrat this week noted that Gensler appears receptive to the idea of a bitcoin futures ETF and such a fund could attract more attention than the lackluster interest in an existing bitcoin mutual fund.
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“The larger point here is that it probably doesn’t matter how much capital flows into these futures-based ETFs so long as the spot market for bitcoin gets a boost from improved sentiment,” Fundstrat analysts wrote in a report, adding bitcoin, ethereum and crypto “bears start to hibernate in the fall.”
“Any near-term selling is an opportunity to buy as we anticipate a risk-on environment through the end of the year,” the note read.
Fundstrat’s head of research, Tom Lee, has previously predicted the bitcoin price will soon hit $100,000, a level named by a number of other bitcoin and cryptocurrency market watchers.
“We are steadfast in our view that any near-term selling is an opportunity to increase one’s position as we still anticipate a risk-on environment through the end of the year to yield a run at all-time highs for both bitcoin and ethereum,” Fundstrat’s report read.