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Bitcoin price today: Back below $70k as halving hype drives higher volatility

Published 04/01/2024, 08:04 AM
© Reuters

Bitcoin price slipped on Monday, pushing the largest cryptocurrency by market cap back below the $70,000 threshold amid higher market volatility ahead of the long-awaited halving event that is expected to happen later this month.

BTC fell more than 1% over the past 24 hours and was sitting at $69,597.8 by 07:26 ET (11:26 GMT).

Last week, Bitcoin's 30-day annualized realized volatility surged to 63.76%, staying above 60% as the week ended, according to Glassnode data, marking the highest level since August 2022.

Realized volatility measures the deviation of returns from their average over a specified timeframe, where higher figures indicate a greater risk of price fluctuations during that period.

Amidst this increase, Bitcoin's 30-day realized volatility has now outpaced Ethereum's by almost 10 percentage points, marking the widest gap seen in over a year, as per analytics firm Kaiko.

This significant divergence in volatility levels emerged shortly after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved a series of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The move provided traders an avenue to gain exposure to Bitcoin indirectly, without the need for direct ownership.

Analysts at JPMorgan estimated sales of roughly $184 million across the US spot Bitcoin ETFs on Thursday, the group’s 54th trading day.

“Daily gross flows (excl. GBTC) were $289mm on Thursday with both BlackRock˖s IBIT and Fidelity˖s FBTC significantly underperforming historical averages,” analysts wrote.

“Grayscale˖s GBTC redemptions were just -$105mn, below its -$273mn running average since launch,” they added.

Analysts said there was a noticeable slowdown across the board, except for Bitwise's BITB vehicle, which experienced a significant uptick with $67 million in inflows on Thursday, notably above its daily average of $30 million.

Following the SEC's green light, the spotlight has been on the performance of these spot ETFs, with net inflows leading to increased volatility in Bitcoin and the wider cryptocurrency market. Meanwhile, diminishing expectations for the SEC's approval of an Ethereum ETF by May have led to a decrease in trading enthusiasm among ETH investors.

Biggest Thai crypto exchange to launch IPO in 2025

Elsewhere in the crypto world, Bitkub Capital Group Holdings, the parent company of Thailand's leading cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub Online, is gearing up for a public share offering next year, CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa told Bloomberg News.

He said that Bitkub is aiming for a listing on the Stock Exchange of Thailand to improve the company's visibility and secure additional funding.

The firm is currently engaging financial advisors for this purpose, he mentioned. The move towards an IPO in Thailand had been first hinted at in a shareholder letter from 2023, though without a definitive timeline.

In July 2023, Bitkub offloaded a 9.2% share of Bitkub Online Co., its cryptocurrency exchange branch, to Asphere Innovations Pcl for 600 million baht ($16.5 million). Jirayut anticipates an increase in Bitkub Online's valuation from the 6 billion baht established in this transaction, driven by trading volumes reaching heights comparable to the last cryptocurrency boom in 2021.

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