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Bitcoin prices should ‘logically’ correct in Jan, but crypto’s a ‘wild card’

The price of Bitcoin (BTC) should “logically” undergo a correction once spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are approved, though commentators also concede that crypto is also a “wild card."

Bitcoin has been gaining momentum over the last 11 months, with a jump in March amid banking uncertainty, another spike in June when BlackRock filed for a spot Bitcoin ETF, and again in October, similarly due to optimism over spot Bitcoin ETF approvals.

On Dec. 3, Bitcoin cleared the $40,000 mark, its highest level in 19 months.

Sell the news event

James Edwards, a cryptocurrency analyst at Finder, said that “logically,” the approval of a spot Bitcoin ETF should trigger a sell-off event.

“I'd like to say that logically this makes it a sell-the-news type event.”

“Buy the rumor, sell the news” is a phrase that describes a situation where a stock or asset rises ahead of anticipated positive news or events but falls once the news is confirmed or the event occurs.

“The idea that this is going to lead to widespread institutional buying on day 1 is a bit too optimistic,” explained Edwards, adding it is unlikely fund managers will “ape in the moment it goes live.”

“It could be months – if not years – before we see truly groundbreaking inflows,” he added.

Crypto is a “wild card”

However, many, including Edwards, say this doesn't mean a material correction is definitely on the cards.

Ryan McMillin, the chief investment officer at Merkle Tree admits that while Bitcoin hasn’t seen a correction for over 100 days now — meaning that the risk of correction is rising — the spot Bitcoin ETFs are also the “most hotly anticipated ETF launch ever” and that any sell-off will be quickly brought up.

Meanwhile, CK Zheng, co-founder of cryptocurrency investment firm ZX Squared Capital believes any price pullback will be “shallow.”

“We expect any market pullback will be shallow as the fundamentals for BTC are greater than ever, which include the upcoming BTC halving next year, the massive money printing by global central banks, and the continued geopolitical uncertainty around the world,” he said.

Even Edwards conceded that cryptocurrency is nothing but a “wild card” — and that even when logic dictates a correction to occur, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen when it comes to crypto.

December outlook

Analysts don’t foresee Bitcoin losing steam in December either.

Edwards said there already early signs that institutional investors have been speculating on the ETFs’ approval, with inflows to existing Bitcoin futures ETFs ramping up in recent days.

"At worst, I expect prices will remain flat while investors await confirmation either in charts or from an ETF approval."

Crypto lawyer Joe Carlasare also saw “little chance” of a serious Bitcoin correction before ETF approval in an X post on Dec. 4.

“Why would any big sellers appear when we’re weeks away from likely approval?” said Carlasare.

Meanwhile, a mass spot Bitcoin ETF approval could be enough to put the mainstream focus back on the cryptocurrency market, says Henrik Anderrson, Chief Investment Officer at Apollo Capital.

The industry is awaiting a highly-anticipated potential approval window between January 5 and 10, 2024.

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