Bitcoin is trading flat as investors digest fresh restriction rhetoric from the Fed's Jerome Powell.
The world's largest digital asset by market capitalization is caught in a bind between enthusiasm over recent institutional ETF filings and the Fed chair's commitment to more rate hike cycles, expressed at the ECB Forum in Portugal.
"Policy hasn't been restrictive enough for long enough," Powell told the annual gathering of central bankers hosted by the ECB in the Portuguese resort of Sintra. "I wouldn't take moving in consecutive meetings off the table at all," he added.
On Thursday, the world's largest digital asset by market capitalization was trading at $30,408 by 7 a.m. ET, up 0.4% in the past 24 hours, according to Coingecko. However, ether dipped 0.5% in the same period, trading at $1,848.
Despite leaders of the world's top central banks reaffirming a commitment to further policy tightening, the Nasdaq managed a small gain on Wednesday. Investors appear to have priced in Powell's comments in Portugal, and according to Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial, "the economy can probably digest a 25 basis point rate hike."
President of the Bitnomial Exchange Michael Dunn has observed recent bullish trading patterns on exchange data, saying that traders appear to be “taking advantage of the relatively low implied volatility in Bitcoin to place bets on a potential upside breakout."
Speaking to The Block he added, "As a result, market makers are actively hedging their delta risk in the futures market, leading to a notable surge in open interest."
Pending spot bitcoin ETFs
Youwei Yang, chief economist at BTCM, emphasized the crucial role of ETFs in enabling large entities such as pension and mutual funds to gain exposure to cryptocurrencies. "Facilitating money access and reducing friction through regulatory clarity are key factors in driving institutional adoption," Yang told The Block.
Jeff Feng, co-founder of Sei Labs, said the recent ETF filing by Blackrock not only legitimizes bitcoin, but also applies pressure on its competitors. "Blackrock’s endeavor could also potentially apply pressure on major competitors, such as Vanguard, to respond in kind and could lead to blue ocean opportunities for future investment vehicles for retirement savings, given their substantial influence in this area," he told The Block.
He added that only a small allocation from retirement accounts into bitcoin via these digital asset investment products could have a profound impact on its market dynamics.
Feng also noted the importance of MicroStrategy's recent acquisition of over 12,000 BTC, raising its total holdings to more than 152,000 BTC. "MicroStrategy's consistent investment strategy, even in the face of market volatility, highlights the emerging view by some corporations for utilizing Bitcoin as an asset for diversifying a company's treasury," he added.
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