A potential wave of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds, PayPal’s new stablecoin and a key Ethereum upgrade are among the catalysts that could wake crypto from its hibernation.
While early 2023 has seen the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies improve from the second half of 2022, the past five months have seen more lethargy, with Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz calling the markets “lackadaisical” in June.
However, analysts told Cointelegraph that they’re tipping several catalysts that could add a new spark to crypto markets.
Chief Investment Officer at Apollo Crypto, Henrik Andersson, is among those with their eyes fixed on the potential approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs, saying it was “not unlikely” to see one approved in the next six months.
He told Cointelegraph that cryptocurrency’s institutional acceptance has continued to rise, adding that “the worst of the macro tightening appears to be behind us.” He said that central banks have paused rate hikes, meaning we’ve potentially reached the end of the hiking cycle.
Andersson has also seen PayPal’s stablecoin launch and potential moves from X (Twitter) to include crypto payments as bullish markers for future crypto adoption.
“There are other potential catalysts on the horizon, for example, what is X [Twitter] planning in terms of payments and financial applications — crypto is a real possibility there.”
Markus Thielen, head of research at crypto financial services platform Matrixport has also placed his bets on spot Bitcoin ETFs, but says an upcoming upgrade to Ethereum is also one to keep an eye on.
“Two significant catalysts are supporting Bitcoin and Ethereum prices into year-end: the potential SEC approval for a US-listed physical Bitcoin ETF and Ethereum’s EIP-4844 upgrade, which is expected for Q4 2023.”
The Ethereum upgrade will introduce a mechanism called proto-danksharding that will reduce fees and increase transaction throughput.
In the short term
Meanwhile, Singapore-based trading firm IG’s market analyst, Tony Sycamore, told Cointelegraph that investors should keep an eye on the minutes from the Fed’s last meeting.
The Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to release the minutes of its July meeting on Aug. 16 and it is expected to keep rates on hold.
“For Bitcoin specifically, it will be looking towards US stock markets for signs of stabilization after the Nasdaq posted its second consecutive losing week and towards the interest rate market, given that yields have closed higher in each of the last four weeks.”
Bitcoin prices have oscillated within a $6,000 range-bound channel since the middle of March. Resistance just above $31,000 has proven to be too strong on at least four separate occasions while support was found at $25,000 during the mid-June dip.
Furthermore, markets have suffered record lows in volatility as the liquidity and volumes have dried up in recent months.