Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin steadily retreats from last week’s 2023 peak of $38.4k
  • Crypto fans hold out hope for a spot BTC ETF approval

Bitcoin’s Fall

Bitcoin (BTC) fell as low as $36,800 Tuesday morning, before clawing back up to $37,100. The leading digital asset has pulled back from last Friday’s 2023 peak of $38,437, where it was driven higher by optimism surrounding spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approvals. Despite the retracement, November still proved itself a prosperous month for the token, advancing nearly 9%.

Last week, markets reacted to revived excitement for spot Bitcoin ETF developments. Representatives from investment giant BlackRock met with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to discuss their proposed listing of a spot BTC ETF, prompting amped-up whispers among crypto fans.

The firm follows in the footsteps of asset manager Grayscale, who had met with the SEC to hammer out the details regarding the conversion of their $17 billion Bitcoin trust into a spot BTC ETF. The move comes on the heels of a recent court victory for the fund manager against the federal agency’s initial refusal. 

Crypto enthusiasts are expecting at least a few of the proposed 12 spot BTC ETFs to be approved by the SEC in the early months of 2024. Should any spot crypto ETF be permitted, market participants would have access to the decentralized currency through more traditional brokerage accounts.

Although Bitcoin is dabbling in red waters, the sought-after token has shown resilience time and time again. Even as two major players fell out of the game and into legal trouble (Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX and Changpeng Zhao of Binance), the digital asset wasn’t going to let them rain on its parade.

Laughing in the face of uncertainty, the token pushed higher, despite somewhat expected downward pressure stemming from the legal battles. The sturdiness of the coin adds to hopes for a Santa Claus rally to kick off, which typically starts in the last week of December, leading into the early days of the next year.

In Stocks

Back in regulated territory, all three of the major indexes closed lighter after Monday’s bell. The tech-focused Nasdaq was the least affected, dropping 0.1%, while the broader S&P 500 shook off 0.2%. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.17%. 

On Thursday, economists will be standing by for fresh inflation data to be released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Both headline PCE (Personal Consumption Expenditure) and Core PCE (which excludes food and energy) are set to be reported, both of which will offer some key insights into the current state of the economy. 

In short, traders have quite a bit to mull over this week. Any news related to crypto ETFs – good or bad – will likely determine Bitcoin’s next move. Upcoming inflation data could influence markets, as a swing in any direction will influence policymaker’s interest rate decisions.