First Mover Americas: BTC, ETH Consolidate Ahead of Ether ETF Decision

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for May 23, 2024.

AccessTimeIconMay 23, 2024 at 12:01 p.m. UTC

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter, putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

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Prices FMA, May 23 2024 (CoinDesk)

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Bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) consolidated recent gains early this morning ahead of the SEC's decision on VanEck's spot ETH ETF application later today. BTC is little changed, down about 0.8% in the last 24 hours at $69,600, while ETH has risen nearly 2.75% to over $3,800. The wider digital asset market, as measured by the CoinDesk 20 Index (CD20) is down just over 0.5%. The general outlook for the two largest cryptocurrencies remains bullish. BTC and ETH options on derivatives exchange Deribit continue to reveal a bias for calls, or contracts that allow traders to profit from price rises, according to data tracked by Amberdata.

BlackRock, Grayscale, and Bitwise filed amended 19b-4 forms with the SEC for their proposed spot ether ETFs, removing the staking provisions some commentators said were causing regulatory roadblocks. Staking is the process of locking specific cryptocurrencies for a set period to help support the operation of a blockchain for a reward. These rewards are considered mainly passive income among crypto traders. All ether ETF hopefuls have now filed their amended proposals ahead of an approval or disapproval decision expected today. Fidelity filed earlier this week, with VanEck, Franklin Templeton, Invesco Galaxy and ARK 21Shares following suit. Hashdex is the only issuer yet to file an amendment to its Ethereum ETF.

Shares in Nvidia reached a record high during Wednesday's post-market hours after the company beat analyst estimates to report record revenue of $26.04 billion for the first quarter. The rally might be a positive signal for cryptocurrencies, including tokens supposedly associated with AI technology. This is because, historically, the inflow of money into the crypto market and the so-called AI coins has been partly contingent on outsized gains in NVDA and the tech-heavy Nasdaq index. Top AI coins such as FET, ICP, RNDR and GRT traded mixed, having rallied in the lead-up to the NVDA announcement, according to data by CoinGecko.

Chart of the Day

COD FMA, May 23 2024 (Amberdata)
  • The chart shows SOL's seven-day put options on Deribit are again trading at a premium relative to calls.
  • Investors seem to be preparing for a decline in prices in case the U.S. SEC rejects spot ether applications this week.
  • A put option provides insurance against price drops.
  • Source: Amberdata

- Omkar Godbole

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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.