Bitcoin reserves on Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange, are decreasing rapidly, blockchain analytics firm CryptoQuant has reported. The outflow is notably moving towards Coinbase’s premium digital asset platform.
“$BTC moving from Binance to Coinbase “Coinbase’s reserves have since increased by around 12,000 BTC while Binance’s have decreased by 5,000 BTC.” by @gaah_im,” said CryptoQuant in a social media post.
CryptoQuant notes that while Binance now holds only 5,000 BTC, Coinbase Pro has added 12,000 Bitcoins. However, despite Coinbase steadily increasing its Bitcoin reserves at the expense of its competitor, Binance still conducts six times more spot Bitcoin trades than Coinbase.
Some in the crypto community believe that the recent $4.3 billion fine imposed on Binance might have caused significant outflows from Coinbase. However, CryptoQuant indicates this is mainly tied to ongoing discussions about spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
“The decrease in Bitcoin reserves on Binance appears to be due to retail outflows,” said Bradley Park, a Web3 analyst at CryptoQuant.
Recently, Bitcoin spot ETFs have gained attention in the growing industry. Various asset management firms like BlackRock, Valkyrie, Grayscale, Fidelity and WisdomTree, among others, have submitted spot ETF applications to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The common factor among all these applicants is their reliance on the Coinbase exchange, which acts as a crucial custodian for their spot Bitcoin ETFs.
Coinbase, listed on Nasdaq, is the favored trading platform for many institutional players in the U.S. and globally. According to CryptoQuant, these outflows are expected due to Coinbase’s vital role.
Meanwhile, analysts suggest that Binance’s recent settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice was the final obstacle to obtaining approval for a spot bitcoin ETF, and it’s also impacting fund movements.
“With this plea deal, the expectations for a spot Bitcoin ETF might have increased to 100% as the industry will be forced to follow the rules that TradFi firms must follow,” crypto services provider Matrixport said.
In the last two years, numerous traditional and cryptocurrency-related management firms have pursued SEC approval for a Bitcoin and Ethereum spot ETF.
Despite attempts, the SEC has hesitated to approve these ETFs, citing concerns about market manipulation, tracking asset prices accurately and risks to investors. Yet, recent progress hints at a higher chance of approval for a Bitcoin spot ETF soon.
Bloomberg analyst James Seyffart notes a sharp rise in the approval odds to 90 percent, targeting January 2024 as the expected timeframe for regulatory approval.
However, there’s been a swift shift in the last 48 hours following Binance’s settlement.
A crypto trader on social media suggests that the likelihood of a Bitcoin spot ETF approval is now higher due to the resolution of Binance’s legal problems.
“Binance uncertainty out of the way, its activities will now be monitored by an independent compliance monitor. Much higher ETF approval odds. Waiting for the market to agree with me that this is actually bullish,” said the trader.
However, Greta Yuan, head of research at the Hong Kong digital asset platform VDX, emphasized that the market is still uneasy about recent legal issues involving Binance.
“In the short term, we will see more users move funds to compliant or licensed exchanges for peace of mind,” Yuan said.
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