Crypto Markets See Minor Losses as Investors Shrug Off Bitcoin ETF Withdrawal

Cryptocurrencies posted slight to moderate declines on Thursday, as the impact of CBOE’s bitcoin ETF withdrawal was largely disregarded by traders. This can mean one of two things: traders don’t care about the ETF or have yet to fully process the news.

Market Update

Most major cryptocurrencies traded slightly lower on Thursday, though losses were generally contained to a few percentage points. Bitcoin cash (BCH) fell 3.1% to $128.45 following a promising breakout attempt on Wednesday.

Ethereum’s price declined 1.3% to $116.76. XRP edged down 0.3% to $0.3166. Stellar XLM was down 2% to trade at $0.1015.

Bitcoin’s price held below $3,600 after making only modest moves in the last 24 hours. The leading digital currency was last seen trading at $3,590.39, where it was down 0.4%.

In terms of gainers, privacy coins Monero and Zcash rose 1.3% and 1.7%, respectively. Dash climbed 1.1%. Maker added 2.8%.

Over the past 24 hours, the total cryptocurrency market capitalization has fallen by nearly $600 million to $119.8 billion. Trade volumes held steady near $15.6 billion.

Bitcoin ETF Withdrawal

As Hacked reported earlier, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has withdrawn its application for a proposed rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that would pave the way for the VanEck-SolidX Bitcoin Trust to be listed. The application was pulled on Tuesday, with the official announcement made by the SEC on Wednesday.

Several factors may have underpinned CBOE’s decision to pull the application, which was first tabled in June 2018. For starters, the proposal wasn’t getting the attention it deserved from federal regulators amid the partial government shutdown in Washington, which has lasted for five weeks. As President Donald Trump recently noted, the budget impasse over border-security funding will likely go on for a while.

Secondly, VanEck’s chief digital asset strategist Gabor Gurbacs announced via Twitter that his firm was still working with “regulators and major market participants to build appropriate market structure frameworks for a bitcoin ETF…”

Approving a bitcoin ETF largely hinges on the size and scope of the underlying spot and futures markets. These factors determine whether the bitcoin markets are free of manipulation and provide adequate investor protection. This view has been echoed by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.

“What investors expect is that the trading in that commodity that’s underlying the ETF is trading that makes sense, is free from the risk or significant risk of manipulation. Those kinds of safeguards don’t exist in many of the markets where digital currencies trade,” Clayton told a New York conference back in November.

The SEC rejected more than a dozen bitcoin ETFs last year. Industry observers believe that applications will face a similar fate in 2019 as regulators monitor the growth and maturity of the nascent market. More on this story: Crypto Markets Get a Boost Heading Into the Weekend as Debate Over Bitcoin ETF Intensifies.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chief Editor to and Contributor to, Sam Bourgi has spent the past nine years focused on economics, markets and cryptocurrencies. His work has been featured in and cited by some of the world's leading newscasts, including Barron's, CBOE and Forbes. Avid crypto watchers and those with a libertarian persuasion can follow him on twitter at @hsbourgi