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 the year ago level.
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.
The Bitcoin price has been rising since Wall Street investment manager BlackRock filed for a spot BTC ETF with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 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.
— ₿ Isaiah⚡️ (@BitcoinIsaiah) November 17, 2023
While the SEC appears to be engaging with the firms on proposals 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 Bitcoins 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’s fluctuation without the need to purchase it on a crypto exchange, for example.
As a result, the 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.