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Ether Faces Weekly Loss as ETF Launch Fails to Alleviate Regulatory Concerns in Crypto Market

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Regulatory Uncertainty and Low Liquidity Impact Crypto Market Performance

The crypto market's struggle this week showcased the challenges of cryptocurrencies as an alternative to stock market volatility. While stocks faced a rise in Treasury yields, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average into negative territory, cryptocurrencies failed to live up to their reputation as a safe haven. Bitcoin is expected to post a 3% gain for the week, but has struggled to maintain its momentum. Similarly, ether is heading for a losing week despite the launch of ether futures ETFs, which was anticipated to have a positive impact on the broader cryptocurrency market.

Regulatory Uncertainty and Market Volatility

The ongoing regulatory uncertainty has played a significant role in the crypto market's struggle. Conor Ryder, head of research at stablecoin company Ethena Labs, highlights the tendency of crypto markets to be quick and optimistic in pricing in potentially positive news. However, this year has shown that such predictions have been premature, leading to struggles in sustaining price increases. Weak liquidity on both sides of orderbooks has made it easy for markets to move up on speculation, but lacking support on the downside has resulted in quick price retreats.

The Underwhelming Performance of Ether Futures ETFs

The launch of several ether futures ETFs was a major focus in the crypto market this week. However, the trading volume on the first day was underwhelming, with less than $2 million across six different ETH ETFs. This represents only about 0.2% of the trading volume seen by bitcoin futures ETFs on their first day. The lack of demand for ETH futures ETFs suggests that the consensus forecast of a wave of new capital entering the crypto market may have been too ambitious. Regulatory uncertainty could still be deterring institutional capital from entering the market. Early in the week, bitcoin briefly climbed back to $28,000 for the first time since August but quickly gave up those gains. The flagship cryptocurrency has struggled to break out of its tight range between $25,000 and $30,000 throughout the year. Despite being considered high-risk and volatile assets, both bitcoin and ether are still seen by some investors as safe havens, particularly those with a longer time horizon. However, others remain concerned about their stagnant prices and view them as resilient in the face of regulatory uncertainty and rising rates.

The Importance of Long-Term Perspective

David Wells, CEO of Enclave Markets, emphasizes the significance of a longer time horizon when considering cryptocurrencies. While short-term price movements may not reflect them as safe haven assets, those who believe in the store of value argument and the utility of the underlying technology find value in allocating a portion of their portfolio to cryptocurrencies. Wells acknowledges that sentiment can shift quickly with positive developments such as U.S. ETF approvals or regulatory changes in other jurisdictions. The year's retracements and reversion to mean after idiosyncratic catalysts can be attributed to low liquidity and lower volumes, particularly from retail investors. In summary, the crypto market's struggle this week highlights the impact of regulatory uncertainty and low liquidity on cryptocurrency performance. The underwhelming launch of ether futures ETFs and the inability of bitcoin to break out of its tight range reflect the challenges faced by the market. While some investors view cryptocurrencies as safe havens, others recognize the need for a longer time horizon and consider them as a smaller and relatively new asset class compared to traditional investments.

Implications of Crypto Market Performance on New Business Formation

The recent performance of the crypto market, marked by regulatory uncertainty and low liquidity, could have significant implications for new business formation. The struggle of cryptocurrencies to serve as a safe haven amidst stock market volatility raises questions about their reliability as a financial cushion for new businesses.

The Impact of Regulatory Uncertainty

The ongoing regulatory uncertainty, as highlighted by Conor Ryder of Ethena Labs, could deter new businesses from investing in cryptocurrencies. The premature optimism in pricing potentially positive news and the struggles in sustaining price increases could increase the financial risk for new businesses. The weak liquidity, which allows markets to move up on speculation but lacks support on the downside, could further exacerbate this risk.

Underperformance of Ether Futures ETFs

The underwhelming performance of ether futures ETFs, despite expectations of a positive impact on the broader cryptocurrency market, could also affect new businesses. The lack of demand for these ETFs suggests that the forecasted wave of new capital entering the crypto market may be too ambitious. This could limit the potential sources of funding for new businesses, particularly those looking to leverage the crypto market.
The Role of Long-Term Perspective
David Wells, CEO of Enclave Markets, emphasizes the importance of a longer time horizon when considering cryptocurrencies. While this perspective could benefit businesses with a long-term strategy, it may not be suitable for those seeking short-term financial stability. The volatility of cryptocurrencies, as reflected in the inability of bitcoin to break out of its tight range, could pose challenges for new businesses in managing their finances. In essence, the recent struggles of the crypto market could impact the financial strategies of new businesses. The regulatory uncertainty and low liquidity could increase their financial risk, while the underperformance of ether futures ETFs could limit their funding options. Therefore, new businesses should carefully consider their approach to cryptocurrencies, taking into account their risk tolerance and time horizon.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/10/06/ether-etf-launch-fails-to-ease-regulatory-overhang-on-crypto-market.html
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