September has never been a great month for Bitcoin, and, according to analysts, this year could be worse than usual.
Bitcoin has only recorded positive monthly returns in September twice since 2013. Otherwise, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency has consistently taken modest drawdowns, according to crypto data firm CoinGlass. A year ago, the coin fell 3% in September, and while it typically falls by single digits during the month, it fell as much as 19% in 2014, a year in which the coin lost half its value.
This year, some analysts are predicting a monthly decline of up to 10%, which as of Wednesday would put Bitcoin around the $23,000 range. The top crypto had been trading consistently at around $30,000 between June and mid-August before falling back to earth. Since then, barring a few spikes, it has floated between $25,000 and $26,000. That said, it’s still up 55% year to date, but far from its 2021 high of more than $68,000.
On Crypto Twitter (now X), pseudonymous crypto analyst Rekt Capital said in a Tuesday tweet that they expected a decline of 7% to 10% based on historical data. Benjamin Cowen, another crypto analyst and influencer, said 10% is more likely.
Grayscale’s victory over the Securities and Exchange Commission last week sent Bitcoin up as much as 8%, to $28,000, but in just a few days those gains were erased.
Ric Edelman, the founder of the Digital Assets Council of Financial Professionals, said investor eagerness following the Grayscale decision was misplaced. “This was a euphoric response from those who naively believed that the ruling would instantly translate into a spot Bitcoin ETF becoming available for purchase,” he told Fortune.
Although the court vacated the SEC’s decision to deny Grayscale’s proposal to create a spot Bitcoin ETF, the agency isn’t being forced to approve one immediately. But that could happen in October.
In the wake of the Grayscale decision, some analysts have said the odds of the SEC eventually approving a spot Bitcoin ETF have improved. Valkyrie Investments chief investment officer Steven McClurg said in a TV interview with Bloomberg News on Tuesday he thinks the odds of his firm’s application being approved in October are greater than 50%. Still, the SEC has already delayed its final decision on several spot Bitcoin ETF applications, including those from Valkyrie and BlackRock, until mid-October.
— Bloomberg (@business) September 5, 2023
Edelman pointed out that the agency has several other options that don’t include approving a spot Bitcoin ETF.
“The SEC could instead appeal the court’s decision, demand that Grayscale refile its application, delay all pending spot Bitcoin ETF applications for 240 days each, or even rescind its prior approval of bitcoin futures ETFs (which would seemingly satisfy the court, which objected to the ETFs being treated differently),” Edelman added via email. “Any of these actions would send Bitcoiners into despair, and likely cause Bitcoin prices to fall 20% or more.”
Still, some analysts, including Vetle Lunde, a senior analyst at digital assets brokerage K33 Research, believe now is the time to buy. In a Tuesday note, Lunde said Bitcoin should not be trading at a three-month low, given that the last quarter brought about several positive developments—BlackRock’s spot Bitcoin ETF application and Grayscale’s court victory among them.
“The last three months have greatly enhanced the odds of an ETF approval,” Lunde wrote, “yet prices are far from reflecting this.”