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October 25, 2021

First US Bitcoin Futures ETF Breaks String of Records After Driving Bitcoin to New ATH

October 25, 2021

One of the most bullish cryptocurrency weeks on record saw bitcoin’s price break the previous ATH level of $64,900. The launch of the first US bitcoin-linked ETF this week drove the leading cryptocurrency higher – a moment many have been waiting for since the lows of July. Elsewhere, ethereum followed bitcoin and briefly touched ATHs at $4,380. Walmart began offering customers the chance to purchase bitcoin in stores and the NBA confirmed a multi-year partnership deal with a cryptocurrency platform.

  • Bitcoin breaks ATH as first US bitcoin ETF is launched
  • Ethereum races after bitcoin towards ATH
  • Walmart implements 200 bitcoin ATMs at stores
  • NBA signs multi-year partnership deal with crypto sponsor
  • Dorsey weighs in on inflation worries

Bitcoin price blows through ATH as bitcoin futures US ETF debuts

The price of bitcoin soared past April highs last week as the first bitcoin futures ETF was launched. The previous all-time high from April stood at $64,900. After breaking this level, prices continued higher until peaking at a weekly high of $67,000 per coin.

After three consecutive weeks of bullish momentum, the successful launch of a US-based ETF pushed the leading cryptocurrency into unchartered territory. ProShares launched its Bitcoin Strategy ETF, or BITO, on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Tuesday. The fund tracks the price of bitcoin futures contracts. 

After weeks of anticipation, the newly released fund jumped 5% on the first day of trading and experienced $1 billion in trading volume during the first 24 hours. Several Bloomberg analysts believe the launch was the largest ‘natural’ first-day volume for any ETF on any market. After the first 2 days, the fund also became the quickest to capture $1 billion in assets under management.

Many funds are now hot on the heels of ProShares, with Valkyrie launching another bitcoin futures ETF during the same week. To try to capture market share Valkyrie changed the name of its ETF ticker to BTFD – which is slang for ‘Buy The F***ing Dip’, a commonly uttered phrase used in the cryptocurrency community

To boost excitement further, Tesla, the electric car manufacturer, released its Q3 earnings report on Wednesday. The report outlined that the company still held bitcoin on its balance sheet, after becoming one of the first to do so back in Q1 2021. With the recent price advances, the company now holds bitcoin equivalent to $1.26 billion. After the release of the report, the CEO, Elon Musk, tweeted a meme depicting the bitcoin price at $69,000 and the price of ethereum at $4,200.

As the price of bitcoin rose towards $67,000 the market cap of the coin peaked at $1.22 trillion. 

Pile of Bitcoin with trading chart on a blue background


Ethereum brushes ATH boosted by DeFi

Close on the heels of bitcoin, the second-largest cryptocurrency, ethereum, surged towards ATHs after news of a bitcoin ETF filtered through the market. After clearing the psychological level of $4,000, the coin retested the ATH level of $4,380 on Thursday. Although the ATHs were not broken, bullish momentum remains strong.

After briefly touching ATH levels, prices quickly retreated during the subsequent 48 hour period. Many analysts believe that the previous ATH would have been an optimum level for an increase in short-term profit-taking. Although bearish pressure quickly entered the market upon retest, ethereum began to rise once again during the latter half of the week.  

The coin was boosted by news that the total value locked (TVL) in decentralized finance (DeFi) applications had broken its previous record. There is now more than $228 billion locked within the sector. 

DeFi apps, which focus on decentralizing traditional financial activities, such as borrowing and lending, predominantly reside on the Ethereum blockchain. As a result, an increase in TVL in DeFi ultimately has a positive impact on the price of ethereum.

Line graph illustrating the total value locked within all DeFi applications

Line graph illustrating the total value locked within all DeFi applications

Wallmart adds 200 bitcoin ATMs to stores

Customers of the retail giant, Walmart, will now have the ability to purchase bitcoin directly in store thanks to the integration of new bitcoin ATMs. Bitcoin ATMs will be placed in 200 stores up and down the US, facilitated by the ‘coins to cash’ operator, Coinstar.

The launch of bitcoin ATMs is part of a new pilot scheme for Walmart, which is currently investigating how to implement cryptocurrencies throughout stores. The ATM machines are due to be installed by Coinstar who already offer consumers the ability to swap physical coins for cash. Thanks to a partnership with cryptocurrency exchange CoinMe, Coinstar will now offer the ability for shoppers to buy bitcoin at some kiosks.

Shoppers that wish to purchase bitcoin will need to set up an online account with the CoinMe exchange. Customers can then visit a Coinstar kiosk in Walmart to make a bitcoin purchase. After the purchase has been made, a voucher is provided which can then be redeemed online through the CoinMe exchange.

Access to kiosks at Walmart is part of a larger initiative being implemented by Coinstar. The company is due to offer bitcoin at over 8,000 different kiosks throughout the US.

A trolley inside a Walmart store with a Walmart logo on it


NBA confirms multi-year cryptocurrency sponsor

The National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WBNA), NBA G League, NBA 2K League, and USA Basketball have confirmed a multi-year partnership with cryptocurrency platform, Coinbase. Working together the partnership hopes to educate basketball fans on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

Although Coinbase has been shunned by customers recently due to deals it has signed with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, the move is a positive one for cryptocurrency awareness more broadly. The sponsorship will allow cryptocurrencies to be seen by all those that watch the NBA season, which has a reported viewership of 1.6 million.

The deal will begin at the start of the NBA’s 75th (2021-2022) season.

Dorsey weighs in on inflation worries 

The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, admitted on Friday inflationary pressures “are likely to last longer than previously anticipated.” However, he also later added that “I think it’s very possible we’ll be at-or-near labor market conditions that are consistent with our maximum employment goal next year.” 

The Fed has been waiting for the labor market to return before implementing steps that will reduce the rising inflation. As a result, many analysts now expect the Fed to start unwinding quantitative easing soon and begin increasing interest rates early next year. 

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of social media platform, Twitter, and financial software company, Square, weighed in with his own inflation thoughts on Friday. The bitcoin bull stated that “hyperinflation is going to change everything. It’s happening.” After answering comments Dorsey made it clear that he believes inflation problems will begin in the US and then subsequently escalate around the world.

It is actually the belief of JPMorgan’s strategists that inflation is the main reason behind bitcoin’s latest price spike and not the addition of a bitcoin-futures ETF.

Graph showing US Consumer Price Index for the previous 20 years.
US Consumer Price Index for the previous 20 years. Source: U.S Bureau of Statistics


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