Investors seeking exposure to the second-largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum ($ETH), via exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may face a longer wait than anticipated, but despite this delay, investment bank Standard Chartered remains bullish on the cryptocurrency market.

The bank recently revised its previous timeline for U.S. approval of spot Ether ETFs, originally expected in May, according to a report from CoinDesk. Prediction markets like Polymarket currently assign only a 14% chance of such approval by the end of next month, despite the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in January of this year.

Standard Chartered analyst Geoff Kendrick, who previously predicted a May 23 launch for spot Ether ETFs, identified several challenges currently impacting the digital asset market, which include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent lawsuit against decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Uniswap, rising U.S. Treasury yields, delayed Federal Reserve rate cuts, and the negative impact of escalating Middle Eastern conflict on risk assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum.

This confluence of factors has tempered expectations for Ethereum’s swift integration into mainstream financial products. Standard Chartered, however, remains confident in the long-term trajectory of digital assets.

The bank revealed believes the recent downturn reflects a temporary setback, believing bad news is already priced in for both BTC and ETH, and “positive structural drivers” are expected to take over.

Standard Chartered remains bullish, reiterating its year-end price targets of $150,000 for Bitcoin and $8,000 for ETH, seeing the latter surging to $14,000 by 2025. Bitcoin is, at the time of writing, trading at $66,600, while Ethereum is trading at $3,280, according to CryptoCompare data.

The report also highlighted significant market adjustments. One key indicator is the largest daily liquidation of leveraged long positions in the Bitcoin futures market since October 2023, triggered by geopolitical tensions in mid-April, that removed $261 million from the market.

The bank, as CryptoGlobe reported, has projected Bitcoin could reach the $200,000 mark by the end of 2025 based on the assumption that between 437,000 and 1.32 million new bitcoins will be held in U.S. spot ETFs by the end of 2024, translating to an inflow of approximately $50-100 billion.

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