Bears are growling, macroeconomic headwinds are swirling and there’s been talk of another big dip coming. But hang on, a new twist. A US federal judge just did Grayscale, and potentially all of crypto, a solid.

Let’s very obviously start with that, because it sent Bitcoin pumping roughly US$2,000 from barely US$26k to US$28k. It’s settled back a shade under that for the moment as it regathers its thoughts. Here, see if you can spot when all the excitement went down late last night (AEST).

So what happened? And what’s Grayscale again?

Grayscale is a major Bitcoin and crypto asset manager – actually, the biggest 100% crypto-focused asset manager in the space.

At great expense, and risk, it’s been fighting a legal battle with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) helmed by Gary “The Gunslinger” Gensler in order to get its over-the-counter GBTC (Grayscale Bitcoin Trust) product converted into a listed Bitcoin ETF.

A spot Bitcoin ETF is seen as the holy grail for institutional investment into Bitcoin and crypto in the United States, and some huge players, including BlackRock, VanEck, and ARK Invest, among several others, are all gunning to get their applications approved.

Until now, the SEC had successfully roadblocked Grayscale’s attempts, but overnight, a US Court of Appeals Circuit Judge, Neomi Rao, ordered that Grayscale’s petition for review be granted and for the SEC’s order to deny the GBTC listing application to be vacated.

This. Could. Be. Huge.

The American Bloomberg crowd is certainly getting frothy about it…

Here’s a take from Tim Bevan, CEO at the crypto exchange-traded product provider ETC Group, whose people got in touch with Stockhead this morning with the following:

“Despite the inevitable SEC appeal, to our mind there is no doubt now, spot BTC ETFs are coming to the US.

“We don’t believe the SEC will act as kingmaker and the most likely outcome is a block approval of applications that meet requirements, probably in Q1’24.

“The level of pent up institutional and retail demand in the US is significant and we expect this to have a positive impact on the price of Bitcoin as can be seen from today’s price reaction, as well as further accelerate the global trend towards acknowledging crypto as a new asset class.”

Liking it, liking it. This is a major blow in Emperor Warren and Darth Gensler’s Anti-Crypto War. An appeal from the SEC is indeed inevitable, though, and here’s a take or two on what it could do next…


“But the court didn’t order the SEC to approve Grayscale’s ETF proposal. It just said the SEC’s analysis on the “fraud and manipulation” issue was wrong,” notes Jake Chervinsky – an American lawyer focused on blockchain, crypto and DeFi.

“Now, the SEC has to go back and review Grayscale’s proposal again, with the court’s ruling in mind. What will the SEC do?

“One theory is that the SEC will just pick a different reason to deny Grayscale’s proposal and force more long and costly litigation. That’s possible. It’s hard to understate the extreme hostility of SEC leadership toward crypto. Will Chair Gensler really accept this loss?

On that last point there… it all seems to be falling very neatly in place for BlackRock’s BTC ETF plans, doesn’t it. What Fink wants, Fink gets?


But what about those bears?

We mentioned the bearish sentiment swirling at the top of this article. As much as we hate to throw a wet blanket over proceedings, let’s just check in on that side of the ledger for a sec.

Here’s another Bloomberg view –  Senior Macro Strategist Mike McGlone, who has certainly recently flipped from the positive Bitcoin outlook tune he was playing last year and even earlier this year even. His Bitcoin teenager analogy isn’t bad, though.

Also of note in the Negative Nellie corner, we have a widely followed trader and pseudonymous analyst who goes by the name Cantering Clark, who isn’t particularly confident we’re going to see another crypto bull run at all.

Last bear market people thought it was over. This time everyone just comfortably leans on the idea of ‘next bull market’,” he wrote in an X post to his 181,600-odd followers.

“I was very confident last time, less confident in the market now.

“More confident in some kind of limited survivors integration with TradFi.”

“Constant future promises, plenty of scams, and no real-world application beyond stables and the Swiss-Bank’esq of BTC.

Not to mention the things that actually are transformative for the global financial system don’t actually require tokens to come to fruition,” he added.


Top 10 overview

With the overall crypto market cap at US$1.15 trillion, up 5% since about this time yesterday, here’s the current state of play among top 10 tokens – according to CoinGecko.

It’s a green scene across the crypto majors board. Thanks, Federal Court Judge Neomi Rao.


Top gainers in the top 100 

There’s not much slumping in the top 100 cryptos by market cap at the time of writing, so here are some of the biggest 24-hour gainers at press time. (Stats accurate at time of publishing, based on data.)

(11-100 market cap position)

XDC Network (XDC), (market cap: US$921 million) +25%

Stacks (STX), (market cap: US$739 million) +22%

Bitcoin Cash (BCH), (market cap: US$4.37 billion) +18%

Toncoin (TON), (market cap: US$5.9 billion) +13%

THORChain (RUNE), (market cap: US$486 million) +11%

Fantom (FTM), (market cap: US$607 million) +7%

Lido DAO (LDO), (market cap: US$1.48 billion) +6%

Render (RNDR), (market cap: US$550 million) +6%

Polygon (MATIC), (market cap: US$5.53 billion) +5%

Injective (INJ), (market cap: US$607 million) +5%


Around the blocks

Some pertinence and randomness that stuck with us on our morning moves through the Crypto Twitterverse.

Meanwhile, here’s a song about Gary Genlser’s latest loss, although someone thinks it’s all a “top signal” and time to “gtfo”. Sheesh, some people just can’t ever enjoy half decent news, can they.