In the last 24 hours, Bitcoin Price witnessed a 5% increase in its price, marked by a distinct upward movement in its candlestick chart. This surge has propelled the price to a two-week peak of more than $28,000 (₹23,16,500). The driving force behind this upward movement was the decision of US Court of Appeals Circuit Judge Neomi Rao to side with the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) in its legal battle against the US SEC.

This legal victory further accentuates the recent surge in institutional interest in Bitcoin, a trend demonstrated by prominent entities like BlackRock and Fidelity Investments. These companies are slated to receive updates about their Bitcoin spot exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on September 2.

Bitcoin Price ChartLet's delve into the factors responsible for today's upswing in the price of Bitcoin.

Institutional Engagement Ignites a Surge in Bitcoin Price

The rally in Bitcoin's price on August 29 was triggered when Judge Rao nullified the SEC's decision to reject the GBTC spot ETF on grounds of "fraud" concerns. This verdict comes after Grayscale took its case against the SEC to the appeals court, advocating for the legitimacy of Bitcoin futures back on June 30, 2022. Although the court's decision does not grant approval for the spot ETF, Judge Rao ruled:

“The court grants Grayscale's request for review and nullifies the Commission's order, as per the court's judgment.”

Furthermore, Judge Rao's action of overturning the SEC's denial of the Grayscale ETF has also invigorated the Grayscale ETF, causing its discount to approach levels below 25%, which represents the highest point in 2023.

Grayscale holdings

Source: CoinGlass

Hitherto, the SEC has consistently rejected proposals for a Bitcoin ETF based on the spot price, despite the involvement of multiple applicants such as BlackRock, Fidelity, Cathie Wood's ARK, and 21Shares, which have submitted applications on three occasions.

BlackRock, a financial giant with assets under management exceeding $8.5 trillion (₹661 Trillion), plans to enlist Coinbase's services for safeguarding BTC in its trust. This detail was disclosed in the submission to the SEC. As September arrives, the SEC faces a slew of decisions pertaining to ETFs, encompassing approvals, rejections, or postponements.

Diminished BTC supply on Exchanges

Concurrently with the surge in Bitcoin's price on August 29, the quantity of BTC available on exchanges has plummeted to its lowest point since January 2018.

BTC balance on exchanges

Source: Glassnode

Market sentiment interprets the movement of coins away from crypto exchanges as an optimistic signal. This interpretation stems from the fact that traders usually withdraw their BTC from exchanges when they intend to retain it in personal custody for extended periods.

Interestingly, data derived from on-chain transactions shows that exchanges have been shedding Bitcoin Price since May 18, 2023. In essence, a significant portion of Bitcoin investors is positioning themselves for a potential price rally, despite the prolonged bearish market trend prevailing in 2023.

Potential Elevation in Bitcoin's Price Due to Liquidations

As the outflow of Bitcoin from exchanges continues, liquidations face a reduced buffer, thereby heightening market volatility. Over the past 24 hours alone, shorts valued at over $46.5 million (₹3.8 billion) in BTC have been liquidated, contributing to a total of more than $100 million (₹8.2 billion) in liquidated shorts across the cryptocurrency market.

Despite the prolonged period of short sellers experiencing losses, nearly half (48%) of the futures market maintains a short stance on Bitcoin's price. This significant ratio of short positions suggests the possibility of a short squeeze, which could potentially drive Bitcoin's price even higher.

Bitcoin short vs. long ratio

Source: CoinGlass

While there is a positive momentum evident in Bitcoin's short-term price movement following the Grayscale ruling and the occurrences of short liquidations, the Bitcoin Price Fear & Greed Index reveals that the market sentiment remains dominated by fear, with a decline of more than 13 points compared to the preceding month.

Conclusion

In the wake of a resounding legal victory for the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), BTC Price has surged by 5% in the past 24 hours. This surge, catalyzed by US Court of Appeals Judge Neomi Rao siding with GBTC against the SEC, underscores the growing institutional interest in Bitcoin, exemplified by industry giants like BlackRock and Fidelity. 

Judge Rao's pivotal decision also rejuvenated the Grayscale ETF, ushering it to its highest point in 2023. Combined with diminished BTC supply on exchanges and short liquidations, the stage is set for potential further escalation in Bitcoin's price, although market sentiment, as indicated by the Fear & Greed Index, remains tinged with apprehension.

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