During the peak of the last crypto bull run, as BTC was, in 2021, approaching its $69,000 all-time high, there was, along with plenty of liquidity, and animal spirits running rampant, a prominent driver for the bullish narrative: the belief that the institutions were coming to crypto.
This referred to institutional demand for and adoption of Bitcoin and other protocols, but was it an accurate suggestion? In some ways, yes, the beginnings of institutional involvement were apparent. Most notably, MicroStrategy led the way with its ongoing purchases of BTC as a treasury asset, and Tesla partly joined in this endeavor, although not nearly to the same extent, and with some selling later, while as well as holding BTC, the carmaker very briefly accepted it as a payment option.
However, as 2022 brought with it the collapse of FTX and other crypto entities, and coin prices across the board went into freefall, that promise of institutional inroads began to look less certain, while confidence in the industry took ongoing hits.
A Year Is a Long Time in Crypto
As we near the end of 2023, the crypto landscape is looking very different from how it was one year ago, when FTX went under. FTX’s Founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, has been found guilty on all counts so far relating to his criminal mismanagement of the exchange, the BTC price is up well over 100% from its 2022 lows, and, with the halving approaching next year, you can hear a familiarly optimistic claim echoing around the crypto landscape: the institutions are coming, again, and this time they really mean it.
As for whether or not this narrative is becoming a reality now, there have been several developments to suggest that these expectations have substance backing them up.
Are Spot Bitcoin ETFs Nearing Approval?
The major story that’s been catching attention and helping to drive prices higher recently, is that in the US, spot Bitcoin ETFs may be on the verge of approval from the SEC. What’s more, BlackRock, in addition to making moves towards a spot Bitcoin ETF, now also has a Nasdaq filing for a spot Ether ETF.
Notably, there was a moment of drama when news broke on X of a filing from BlackRock for an XRP ETF. This quickly turned out to be entirely false, but not before it had very briefly spiked the XRP price upwards.
When it comes to the spot BTC ETFs, there is debate as to the extent to which they will move price, and over what time period, but what is generally agreed upon is that, from a…