Five Things to Know in Crypto This Week: BTC-Spot ETF Inflows and SEC vs. Ripple

Bob Mason
Updated: May 18, 2024, 06:23 GMT+00:00

Key Points:

  • The US BTC-spot ETF market recorded five consecutive days of net inflows in the week ending May 17.
  • SEC vs. Ripple case entered its final stages, with the focus shifting toward SEC plans to appeal against the Programmatic Sales of XRP ruling.
  • Investors await President Joe Biden’s decision on the SAB 121 repeal.
Five Things to Know in Crypto This Week

In this article:

US BTC-Spot ETF Market Enjoyed a Five-Day Inflow Streak

BTC eyed a return to $70,000 going into the weekend. From Monday (May 13) to Saturday (May 18), BTC was up 8.54% to $66,734.

US BTC-spot ETF market inflows drove buyer demand for BTC.

In the week ending May 17, the US BTC-spot ETF market saw total net inflows of $910.2 million (excl. iShares Bitcoin Trust numbers), up from $139.4 million during the previous week.

According to Farside Investors,

  • Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) saw weekly total net inflows for the first time since January 11. In the week ending May 17, GBTC reported total net inflows of $12.3 million
  • Fidelity Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) reported total net inflows of $344.5 million, up from $111.3 million in the week ending May 10. Significantly, FBTC topped the weekly table for net inflows.
  • ARK 21Shares Bitcoin ETF (ARKB) had total net inflows of $243.7 million, ranking second on the US BTC-spot ETF table.
  • iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) saw total net inflows of $93.7 million (Mon-Thurs). In the previous week, IBIT reported net inflows of $48.1 million.
  • Nine of the Ten issuers recorded total net inflows in the week ending May 17.

Investor hopes of a September Fed interest rate cut drove buyer demand for US BTC-spot ETFs.

BTC heading toward $70,000
BTC Weekly Chart 180524

US Inflation and Retail Sales Numbers Raise Bets on a Q3 Fed Rate Cut

The total crypto market cap was up 7.20% ($158.678 billion) to $2,362 billion from Monday (May 13) to Saturday (May 18).

US economic data raised investor bets on a September Fed interest rate cut. Softer inflation and retail sales figures drove buyer demand for riskier assets.

The annual inflation rate softened from 3.5% to 3.4% in April, with retail sales flat after rising by 0.6% in March. On Wednesday (May 15), the crypto markets responded to the data, with the total crypto market cap surging 6.38% ($130.478 billion) to $2,326 billion.

However, Fed speakers tempered investor bets on multiple 2024 Fed rate cuts, preventing a crypto market breakout. FOMC members Raphael Bostic and Loretta Mester suggested a higher-for-longer Fed rate path to gain confidence inflation would return to the 2% target.

Fed rate cut bets drive buyer demand for cryptos.
Crypto Mkt Cap Weekly Chart 180524

SEC vs. Ripple: Filings Continue Before Court Deliberations Begin

SEC vs. Ripple case-related updates attracted investor attention in the week. On Tuesday (May 14), Ripple filed a Motion to Seal documents associated with the SEC Motion for Judgment and Remedies.

Ripple filed the motion to seal financial statements and documents detailing existing business relationships. Chief Financial Officer Jonathan Bilich also filed a declaration supporting the Motion to Seal. Ripple argued the audited financial statements and other documents are nonpublic. According to the filing, the SEC did not object to the Motion to Seal.

While the court will likely grant the Motion to Seal, investors await a court ruling on the Ripple Motion to Strike. Ripple filed the Motion to Strike in April, requesting the court to strike new expert testimony and accompanying materials presented in the SEC’s remedies-related opening brief.

Beyond a ruling on the Motion to Strike, the parties have two remaining court filings before court deliberations begin.

According to the court schedule, the SEC, Ripple, and any third parties must file opposing omnibus letter motions by Monday (May 20). The parties must file redacted versions of all documents 14 days after the court ruling on the omnibus sealing motions.

XRP trailed the broader crypto market in the current week, rising by 4.77% to $0.5231 from Monday (May 13) to Saturday (May 18).

Uncertainty about the amount Ripple must pay for breaching US securities laws and the possibility of an injunction prohibiting XRP sales to US institutional investors remained headwinds.

SEC plans to appeal against the Programmatic Sales of XRP ruling also left XRP trailing the broader crypto market.

XRP trailed the broader crypto market over uncertainty about the SEC vs. Ripple case.
XRP Weekly Chart 180524

Capitol Hill Repeals SAB 121 in a Bipartisan Vote

On Thursday (May 16), the Senate voted to repeal SAB 121, a positive vote for the US crypto market. SAB 121 would require companies, including banks, to include assets under custody on their balance sheets. Assets under custody would include client-owned cryptos.

The vote was good news for the US crypto market. However, US President Joe Biden must decide on vetoing the resolution, signing it, or leaving the resolution unsigned.

Senator Cynthia Lummis had this to say about the bill,

“This is historic. Do the right thing and sign this bipartisan resolution into law.”

With the race to the Whitehouse heating up, cryptos have already featured in former President Donald Trump’s campaign. In early May, Trump targeted 52 million US crypto holders, saying,

“If you like crypto in any form…and it comes in many forms…if you’re in favor of crypto, you better vote Trump.”

A Republican Party victory could end SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s reign and the era of regulation through enforcement plaguing the crypto market.

In Other News

The Hong Kong crypto-spot ETF market faces net outflows in the week ending May 17. According to Farside Investors, the HK BTC-spot ETF market had total net outflows of $41.7 million from Monday (May 13) to Thursday (May 16). The HK ETH-spot ETF market saw total net outflows of $6.6 million.

About the Author

Bob Masonauthor

With over 20 years of experience in the finance industry, Bob has been managing regional teams across Europe and Asia and focusing on analytics across both corporate and financial institutions. Currently he is covering developments relating to the financial markets, including currencies, commodities, alternative asset classes, and global equities.

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