In 2023, institutional investors reduced Ethereum holdings, while Bitcoin faced volatility amid economic and regulatory uncertainties.
In 2023, institutional investors have shown a waning interest in Ethereum, offloading assets that are well into the nine-digit range. The latest insights by CoinShares reveal that Ethereum, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency, has witnessed a staggering outflow of $4.8 million in a mere week. This brings the total to an enormous $108 million for the year, making Ethereum the digital asset most relinquished by large-scale entities.
James Butterfill, CoinShares’ head of research, dubbed Ethereum as the “least loved digital asset” for institutional investors focusing on exchange-traded products (ETPs). It’s worth noting that Ethereum’s decline surpasses that of its closest competitor, Tron, by a margin greater than $50 million.
Yet, the landscape might experience a shift. Ark Invest, spearheaded by Cathie Wood, recently made waves by seeking approval for the inaugural Ethereum ETF in the U.S. This pivotal move follows on the heels of Ethereum’s transition to an inflationary model, coupled with a decrease in on-chain activity as the current bear market persists.
Broader Digital Asset Sentiments Echo Ethereum’s Plight
CoinShares highlights that the disinterest Ethereum encountered this year mirrors the sentiment towards digital assets at large. The firm’s latest weekly report indicates a continuation of the selling trend, with the fourth consecutive week recording asset outflows. Over the past week alone, $59 million left the digital asset space.
The report, penned by Butterfill, identifies a whopping $294 million in outflows, which equates to 0.9% of the total assets under management (AUM). A geographical breakdown of these figures reveals that the U.S. and Canada are at the forefront, having shed $12.3 million and $17.6 million respectively in the past week. Meanwhile, Europe saw Germany as the leader in asset selling, accounting for $20 million.
The strength of the U.S. dollar, believes Butterfill, stands as a major driving force behind this surge in asset selling. Recent market trends suggest a belief in a “soft landing scenario” with the dollar, having recorded consistent growth over eight weeks. However, Butterfill anticipates that perceptions may shift by year’s end, especially if there’s an upswing in interest rates.
It’s crucial to highlight a significant drop in trading activity from CoinShares’ previous report. Despite a 90% surge in trading volumes reaching $2.8 billion, the past month’s activity dwindled to an average daily volume of $2.3 billion. This is a far cry from the yearly average, which stands at $7 billion. The past week alone saw a plunge by 73%, with figures resting at $743 million. According to Butterfill, this signifies the presence of an “apathetic investor.”
Bitcoin Faces Turbulence While Investors Eye Future Moves
Bitcoin, despite its previous week’s positive performance, faced a major blow with large investors divesting $69 million of the asset. Compounding this bearish sentiment, short products of Bitcoin observed the highest weekly inflows since March, totaling $15 million. Butterfill identifies a correlation between this trend and periods of regulatory uncertainties.
The prevailing sentiment in the investor community is anticipation, with many keenly observing the Federal Reserve’s upcoming decision on interest rates. Any perceived frailty in the U.S. dollar could potentially bolster Bitcoin’s standing. However, Butterfill also draws attention to the potential impact of the Consumer Price Index (CPI), given the sudden increase in gas prices. Moreover, with FTX undergoing asset sales, Butterfill hints at potential “stock overhangs” that might influence the market.
In a rapidly evolving financial landscape, it remains to be seen how Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other digital assets fare amidst fluctuating investor interests and global economic shifts.