April 16, 2024

Bitcoin fees skyrocket on spot BTC ETF hype

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The Bitcoin blockchain reached $11.6 million in fees paid on Nov. 16, with the average transaction fee up 746% from a year ago.

The prospect of a spot Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) being approved soon in the United States has increased demand for the major cryptocurrency, leading to a surge in transaction fees.

The Bitcoin blockchain reached $11.6 million in fees paid on Nov. 16, according to statistics from CryptoFees. At the time of writing, YCharts data shows that the average transaction fee is $18.69, up 113% from the previous day and 746% from a year ago.

Bitcoin transaction fees between January 2023 and November 2023. Source: CryptoFees

According to Cointelegraph’s market analysis, Bitcoin remains near 18-month highs and beyond its bear market trading range. At the time of writing, the cryptocurrency is trading at $36,407, a 0.58% gain over the past 24 hours.

Bitcoin’s price has been rising since Wall Street investment manager BlackRock filed for a spot BTC ETF with the Securities and Exchange Commission in June. After BlackRock’s application, several other major asset managers in the United States submitted similar proposals, including Fidelity, ARK Invest, and WisdomTree, among others.

While the SEC appears to be engaging with the firms on proposal adjustments, it has yet to make a decision, moving final deadlines to January 2024. On Nov. 16, WisdomTree amended its Form S-1 with the regulator, followed by similar amendments from ARK and 21Shares, Valkyrie, Bitwise and VanEck.

According to Bloomberg senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas, the amended versions may be a response to concerns the SEC has raised. “It means ARK got the SEC’s comments and has dealt with them all, and now put [the] ball back in [the] SEC’s court,” Balchunas said. “[In my opinion] good sign, solid progress.”

A spot Bitcoin ETF is an investment fund that mirrors the price of Bitcoin. The “spot” aspect means the fund directs the purchase of Bitcoin as the underlying asset. It enables investors to participate in Bitcoin’s market through their regular brokerage accounts. It’s a way to get exposure to BTC price fluctuations without the need to purchase it on a crypto exchange, for example.

As a result, a spot Bitcoin ETF is expected to draw institutional investors’ capital, which may potentially result in the price of Bitcoin reaching new highs in the coming months. According to Bloomberg analysts, there is a 90% likelihood of approval of all proposals in the same batch in January.

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