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Bitcoin ETF Inflows Returns After Abysmal Phase

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The outflows from bitcoin ETFs in the last couple of months suggested strong bearish sentiment among institutional investors. However, there seemed to be a change in the tide last week when a remarkable inflow trend was recorded over a three-day period. These inflows into the BTC ETFs that provide long exposure showed that investors were expecting further upside for the digital asset, and the decline in short BTC exposure speaks truth to this. 

ProShares Outflows And Inflows

The ProShares Bitcoin ETFs are the most popular in the market. The BITO ETF is one that offers long exposure, while the much newer BITI ETF allows investors to capitalize on short exposure. BITI, being launched in a bear market, grew quickly in terms of BTC exposure. However, the past week has shown a reluctance on the part of investors to bet against the price of bitcoin.

BITI outflows for last Friday came out to a total of 1,060 BTC in a single-day period, the largest outflows the ETF has recorded since it launched. Furthermore, the outflows would continue into the new week, when BITI saw another 425 BTC leave. This brought the total exposure of BITI down to 3,580 BTC as of Monday.

BITO ETF records inflows | Source: Arcane Research

As for the BITO, it has been all shades of good news in the last week. A consecutive three days of inflows saw 1,650 BTC flow into the ETF. This follows a month of outflows for the ETF, showing more demand for long exposure to the digital asset. 

While BITI had seen 1,050 BTC in outflows on Friday, BITO had recorded inflows of 700 BTC on the same day. It suggests that investors are pulling out of their short positions and putting them into long positions.

Bitcoin Not Out Of The Woods

Even though there have been a lot of inflows into long bitcoin ETFs, the numbers still do not suggest a complete shift to the bullish sentiment among investors. BITI’s BTC exposure shows that even though there might be some movement to long ETFs, betting against the price of bitcoin still remains on the minds of investors.

Bitcoin Price Chart From Tradingview.com

BTC declines to $20,000 | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

BITI’s current total exposure sits at 3,850 BTC, the same as it was back at its June and July peaks. So even though there have been outflows, there is still a strong sentiment to continue to short the digital asset.

BITO had recorded its strongest single-day inflows back on Friday, but it is yet to reverse the bearish trend completely. Even with such high inflows, the ETF is currently sitting at a three-month low. However, a positive from the three-day inflows was a recovery on the CME basis.

Featured image from CryptoPotato, charts from Arcane Research and TradingView.com

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Arthur Hayes Questions PoS Ethereum’s Decentralization, Suggests Rising Price

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The controversial Arthur Hayes is asking a burning question in his latest blog post. The former BitMEX CEO compares the PoS Ethereum to Binance Smart Chain, that’s famously and admittedly centralized. Arthur Hayes also describes how the validator’s disagreements with the majority are going to go, and predicts disaster for the dApps that build over a platform that doesn’t prioritize censorship resistance. In the short term, though, he’s bullish on Ethereum.

Before Artur Hayes gets into all of that, he describes a concerning reality that many people in crypto Twitter have noticed and discussed. It has to do with the validators:

“As of 21 September, Lido Finance, Coinbase, and Kraken together control slightly over 50% of all ETH staked on the beacon chain. This means they are the most powerful validators and, in essence, they could censor what sorts of transactions are processed. What do all three of these centralized entities have in common? They are all US-owned companies or DAOs with major investments from US venture capitalists.”

For those keeping score, that’s a centralizing factor and a few single points of failure. All of those companies are under US jurisdiction, one of the most restrictive in the world. And of course, Arthur Hayes recognizes  “protections in place to help ensure decentralization” and that the system punishes validators that censor transactions. Nevertheless, the PoS system seems fragile. Big institutions that the government can sue are the validators. And the biggest validators will control the whole system. 

Arthur Hayes Sees Centralization 

How will the slashing mechanism that punishes unruly validators play out? According to Arthur Hayes, this is how the system will deal with rebels: 

  • “There is a way to slowly lose your ETH if < 33% of the network refuses to attest to blocks. Slowly losing your ETH means that a validator is punished by reducing the deposit on a node. Should the deposit drop below 16 ETH, that validation node is removed from the network. This capital becomes dead capital as for the foreseeable future you cannot unstake ETH.”
  • “There is a fast way to lose your ETH if > 33% of the network refuses to attest to blocks. The penalties get exponentially worse quickly such that opposing validators quickly fall below the 16 ETH threshold and are booted from the network.”

If that happens, Hayes predicts that everyone will let that happen again and again, and compares it to the original DAO story. Ethereum’s developers decided to fork and “everyone at the time tacitly went along with the devs who forked the protocol so that folks could get their money back, rather than staying true to Ethereum’s supposed “code is law” ethos.”

ETH price chart on OkCoin | Source: ETH/USD on TradingView.com

Bullish On Ethereum Short-Term

Don’t get Arthur Hayes wrong, despite the criticism of the platform and PoS systems, he still thinks Ethereum will do well in relation to the dollar. 

“ETH as a financial asset — fully tethered to the US-led financial system and under the pretense of “decentralization” — could still do extremely well in the near future. The issue that I wrestle with is whether truly decentralized financial and social dApps can exist at scale (i.e., with hundreds of millions of users)”

In the end, it all goes back to the most important factor: scarcity. According to Hayes, the only thing that matters in the next three to six months is “how ETH issuance per block falls under the new Proof-of-Stake model. In the few days post-merge, the rate of ETH emissions has dropped on average from a +13,000 ETH per day to -100 ETH.” If this continues, Arthur Hayes is optimistic: 

“The price of ETH continues to get smoked due to deteriorating USD liquidity, but give the changes in the supply and demand dynamics time to percolate. Check back in a few months, and I suspect you’ll see that the dramatic reduction in supply has created a strong and rising floor on the price.”

Is the former BitMEX CEO right about this? We’ll find out soon enough.

Featured Image by GuerrillaBuzz Crypto PR on Unsplash  | Charts by TradingView

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VeChain Partners With TruTrace For Wider Blockchain Adoption

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Vechain Partners With Trutrace For Wider Blockchain Adoption
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