13 min read

2024.03 - Onramps

TLDR: When the world starts waking up to Bitcoin the wide new ETF onramps will act as life-savers tethered to Bitcoin's life-raft. Better than nothing, but I'd rather be inside the raft.
2024.03 - Onramps


It's been one week of Bitcoin ETF action and price has remained under $45k.

The price action may not reflect it yet, but the one-week old ETFs have been massively successful by any metric —surpassing silver to become the 2nd largest commodity ETFs.

Here are the cold facts:

By the end of the week, eight of "The 9" saw inflows of $1.2 Billion and Grayscale bled $590 Million, bringing the net inflows to the ETFs to $623 Million

In addition to the inflows, the volume has been huge compared with the ETF space in general:

It's important to remember they're just getting started. ETFs tend to capture automatic "set it and forget it" allocations.

For some context, here's what a "normal" highly successful ETF looks like:

But Price

Yes, price has been flat/down. Part of this is investors exiting the Grayscale Trust (forcing Grayscale to sell). This trend is likely to continue for a while (Grayscale still has a lot of Bitcoin in its inventory).

Why are clients dumping Grayscale again?

Two main drivers are:

  • They are by far the most expensive ETF
  • This product has been underwater since 2021 (at one point more than -40%), and is finally within 2% of black numbers

So, a lot of investors are taking this opportunity to exit the trade.

And last, but definitely not least, FTX has been forced to liquidate its Grayscale holdings, creating $900 Million in selling pressure (which is almost finished). Will the outflows keep their furious pace after they're done?

It's worth mentioning, not all of the investors selling Grayscale are rolling into other ETFs. The chart below lets you see the changes in the mix of ownership:

Here's another great BTC-ownership chart that looks beyond the ETFs:

Last week's takeaway was: have patience

This week's takeaway is: BIG new onramps which will allow large amounts of capital to flow smoothly into Bitcoin are coming online.

I say "are coming online" and not "are fully online" because some large brokerages are refusing to give their customers access to the ETFs (good luck with that).

So What?

The reason this is a big deal is not because there's a flood of people waiting to buy the ETFs (your buddies still don't give a damn, right?). It's because when that flood comes the roads will be wide enough to accommodate the traffic (price may need to rise a tad though).

And what makes me think said flood will come?

Let's try to connect some dots:

The stock maket is hitting All-Time Highs again, that's good right?

According to the book "Animal Spirits" an overheated economy is one where:

confidence has gone beyond the normal bounds, in which an increasing fraction of people have lost their normal skepticism about the economic outlook… careless spending by consumers is the norm and when bad real investments are made… when corruption and and bad faith run high.

Sounds familiar. Do we see any signs of danger? Here's one:

And here's two: The BTFP —a new and temporary credit facility The Fed invented to help cash-needy banks after the rate hikes put their bond holdings deeply underwater— is due to end in March, and banks seem to be making the most of it in its last few months.

There has been a lot of speculation about whether the temporary BTFP will be made permanent (banks need the liquidity), but a recent announcement by The Fed suggests they may shut it down after all.

Normally, a bank showing up at the Fed Discount Window is like the "walk of shame" of the banking industry. It's a publicly disclosed request which signals the bank is in distress.

The Fed's solution: add noise to hide the signal. By forcing ALL banks to ocassionally tap the Discount Window, the public won't be able to tell which are insolvent and which are "following orders" (haters will say they're all insolvent).

The takeaway from this is painful but simple:

The financial system is not in good shape (way too much debt). And it's all tied together in a way where one tumble could ripple across the whole system. And it will either be allowed to crash, or (more likely) the fall will be cushioned by an astronomic pile of freshly printed money.

The alternative to this debasement is Bitcoin. Most people neither understand nor believe this today. When they wake up to the fact, the onramps will be there.

This wonderful post sums up where you are nicely. You are both right and early. Enjoy this moment.

Bitcoin News

Look Ma

Cantor Fitzgerald may not be a household name. But it's one of the big financial services firms (over 30 locations and more than 1,500 employees).

Its CEO, in an interview in Davos, said Tether has the backing they claim to have. If this doesn't satisfy the skeptics (which it won't) neither will an audit.

Easing Off

The IRS have eased (for now) the ridiculous burden of having to report digital asset transactions smaller than $10,000

I'm not holding my breath for sensible regulation but this is a step in the right direction.

No Futures

Now that Van Eck has a spot Bitcoin ETF it has decided to close down it's previously-approved Futures ETF. Good, Bitcoin futures ETFs are instruments that allow users to speculate on the price of Bitcoin without forcing the fund to hold the underlying asset. Paper Bitcoin at its finest.

Doing Bitcoin

Jamie Dimon rues the day he had to start talking about Bitcoin. He's promised to quit. We'll see about that but he should either keep his word or get educated…

Jamie called Bitcoin a "pet rock" with use-cases limited to criminal activity —which Chainalysis claimed to represent all of checks notes 0.35% of cryptocurrency transactions in 2023.

Jamie should know all about illicit use-cases, considering how JP Morgan has paid over $38 Billion in fines for assorted abuses and violations under his tenure.

The "venerable" bank has had close links to luminaries like Bernie Madoff and Jeffrey Epstein, so it's laughable to hear him clutch his pearls over Bitcoin's moral turpitude.

As a cherry on top, he repeated his claim that "Satashi" might print more coins or delete Bitcoin outright. Embarassing.

I'm sure he's not at all influenced by his massive Ethereum position (which pre-dates the initial token sale).


Many miners in the US are facing curtailment —miners are shut off to accommodate local demand peaks. If this works as advertised (it seems to be going well) it will be a huge wake up call for energy producers that haven't turned in their Bitcoin homework yet.

Derivative Work

New Bitcoin derivative ETFs are being filed to make it even easier for degens to get REKT speculating on Bitcoin's price movements. Bitcoin's volatility is not going away anytime soon.

Newbs often focus on buying "at a good price", this is one of those ideas which sounds smart but isn't. Buy when you can and wait.

An acquaintance asked me about Bitcoin in January 2021 (price was around $38k), he asked me again last year in November (price was around $37.5k0). In between those dates he could have bought under $20k, he still hasn't bought.

"Crypto" News

The jokes often write themselves

Lost Them

Franklin Templeton turned xeetcoiner in less than one week. Sad to see.

"In crypto, speculation is a feature, not a bug"

Jesus Made Them Do It

A Colorado church issued an airtoken "backed by nothing but God's word". That's more than most crypto-tokens can say, to be honest.

Fiat News

Round Trip

China's stock market has been going down for over 3 years now, erasing all lifetime gains (read that last bit again).

One of the ways to read this is as pressure for Beijing to turn on the money printer.

It You

Javier Milei made a scathing 23 minute speech in Davos, singling out collectivism as the root cause of many of today's problems and roasting the atendees for their socialist-leaning agendas as a danger to the Western World.

The speech is worth listening to. If you don't speak spanish, this AI version translated the speech and rendered it in english, even trying to preserve Milei's accent (wild that this is possible now)


The Japanese Yen is now so light it floats.

Dystopian News


What looks like a turf war in Philladelphia has much darker and far-flung origins.

Remember this mexican saying whenever you see reports of "local tensions":
"Nobody knows who they really work for"

Heavy Lies the Crown

Apple will release their ballyhooed $3,500 Vision Pro goggles in February, with updated sales target reduced from 1,000,000 to 150,000 units.

I'm sure the tech is mind-blowing, but Early reports suggest they feel too heavy, not just on the wallet.

Who's is Bigger

What do Mark Zuckerberg, Rick Ross, Taylor Swift, Jamie Lee Curtis, Zooey Deschanel, Ronda Rousey, Post Malone, Kim Kardashian, and Tom Cruise and Jeff Bezos have in common?

They didn't have an "apocalypse bunker" a few years ago.

Price News

Bitcoin Surfing

Bitcoin lost its grip on the Board ($42.2k) last week, will it find its perch again this week?

Dip Fishing

After the dump from $46k to $42k last week, we are now flirting with $40k levels. I suspect we'll find support here, but the next big support is down at $38k

Calm Chart

January has flipped modestly red.