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BTC Continues Clash With Alameda Gap Despite ETF Approval

While spot Bitcoin ETFs have amassed a trading volume exceeding $20 billion, the cryptocurrency market continues to grapple with persistent liquidity challenges.

Thu, 25 Jan 2024, 08:53 am UTC

The current state of the Bitcoin market reveals notable challenges in liquidity, a crucial aspect measured by Bitcoin's market depth.

Despite a substantial number of buy and sell orders visible on the Bitcoin depth chart, executing transactions seamlessly remains less than optimal. The market is grappling with limited liquidity, particularly around the prevailing price level, with the lingering influence of the 'Alameda gap' still evident.

Major players retreat and market volatility

Prominent entities such as Jane Street Group and Jump Crypto have significantly scaled back their involvement in cryptocurrency trading.

According to Crypto News, this retreat of major players has played a pivotal role in the liquidity shortfall, contributing to heightened price volatility. Notably, Bitcoin witnessed substantial price swings of up to 12% during the launch of ETFs, a phenomenon directly linked to the reduced participation of these influential firms that were once instrumental in stabilizing the market.

The absence of these larger entities has created a conspicuous void, leaving smaller firms to navigate challenges in filling the gap. However, their relatively modest financial resources constrain their ability to manage substantial risks, especially during periods of heightened market volatility. This dynamic often results in significant liquidations when market fluctuations intensify.

ETF-related trading and liquidity disconnect

Contrary to expectations, the influx of trading activity associated with new Bitcoin ETFs has not directly contributed to enhancing Bitcoin's overall liquidity.

A significant portion of the bitcoin trading related to ETFs occurs over-the-counter, exerting minimal impact on the market's depth. The conversion of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust into an ETF, for example, triggered approximately $4 billion in redemptions, creating a situation where GBTC shares frequently trade at a discount to their underlying assets.

According to Bloomberg, this disconnection highlights a disparity between the trading volume of equity shares and the actual liquidity in the cryptocurrency market.

The existing state of the Bitcoin market portrays reduced liquidity and an increased susceptibility to price manipulation. The challenges faced by the cryptocurrency sector in the absence of larger, stabilizing market makers underscore the need for strategic measures to address and enhance market resilience.

Photo: Michael Fortsch / Unsplash

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