Bitcoin targets $48K in ‘spot-driven’ BTC price rally

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Bitcoin (BTC) hit new 21-month highs on Jan. 2 as excitement returned to crypto markets in the Asia trading session.

BTC/USD 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

BTC price closes in on ETF target range

Data from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView showed BTC price strength building as the new year holiday period ended.

Amid renewed excitement over the United States’ first spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), BTC/USD gathered steam to hit $45,922 on Bitstamp.

Rumors over the ETF abounded, these including a potential decision coming in advance of the official approval window, which begins Jan. 4.

Traders were in no two minds about the source of the latest BTC price upside. In an update to subscribers on X (formerly Twitter), Crypto Tony described “anticipation” of the ETF driving trajectory.

“Bitcoin is trading like an ETF is about to be approved,” trader, analyst and podcast host Scott Melker summarized.

Analyzing order book changes, fellow trader Skew noted that some selling was taking place, but that this remained comparatively muted in volume.

“Price stalling since spot selling started, eyeing previous highs as area of importance on a dip ($44.4K),” his latest X post confirmed.

As Cointelegraph reported, estimates for how high BTC/USD could go around the ETF focus on $48,000.

No major bloodbath for BTC shorts

Despite gaining up to 8% in 2024 already, Bitcoin nonetheless saw no significant losses from those betting the other way.

Related: Countdown to US spot ETF: 5 things to know in Bitcoin this week

According to the latest data from statistics resource CoinGlass, just $38 million in BTC shorts had been liquidated on the day at the time of writing.

Previously, Cointelegraph reported on extremely high funding rates across exchanges, hinting at a broad belief that the ETF event would spark upside in advance.

Cross-crypto short liquidations meanwhile stood at $62 million.

BTC liquidations (screenshot). Source: CoinGlass

Skew nonetheless noted that “earlier” shorts had been taken by surprise during the move past $45,000, with perpetual swap traders underprepared for a leg higher.

“So what is clear here is perp market was mostly underexposed overall to this current move which is being driven by spot, so this means with perps trailing spot price there is going to be a feedback loop of volatility especially around $45K,” he commented

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.