Bitcoin and cryptocurrency prices struggled to find direction in June after falling sharply in April and May.

Bitcoin price, which is down almost 50% from its high of around $ 65,000 per bitcoin in April, has managed to hold above the closely watched $ 30,000 level – but failed to generate convincing gains.

Now that around $ 1.5 billion worth of Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) stocks hit the market on July 18 – something JPMorgan called a downside risk to Bitcoin price – researchers at the U.S. crypto exchange have Kraken predicted that the upcoming Grayscale unlock could be “positive for Bitcoin price.”

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Bitcoin and crypto traders nervously await the closely watched Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) … [+] Unlock July.

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Grayscale, the world’s largest digital asset fund manager with $ 24 billion in assets under management, enables institutional investors to get exposure to bitcoin through shares in its Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) – a fund that currently sells just over 650,000 bitcoin -Token holds approximately 3% of the Bitcoins circulating supply. GBTC shares are subject to a six month lock-up period after purchase.

“Although one is a single-asset fund of the other, Bitcoin and GBTC are two distinct assets with different forces that affect their respective prices,” said Pete Humiston, manager of Kraken Intelligence, in email comments alongside Kraken’s latest market summary report . “While we don’t expect the unlock window to have much of an impact on the market, the trading strategies commonly used by institutional investors lead us to conclude that the event could be slightly positive for Bitcoin price.”

According to Kraken Intelligence, large institutions make up a sizable chunk of the GBTC owners whose shares will be unlocked this month, citing recent filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

It is believed that these institutions bought GBTC shares using Bitcoin in order to get the markup on the net asset value at which GBTC was trading, and in order to do so, they may have shorted or bet against Bitcoin in order to avoid price volatility to be influenced. Therefore, if these institutions cash out their GBTC shares, they may need to buy bitcoin from the spot market to secure their GBTC hedge.

“The complexity and duration of repositioning in the market amid the release of GBTC stock is not black and white,” the Kraken Intelligence report said. “On its own, it is probably not significant enough to affect the price of Bitcoin immediately, as some have suggested.”

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Bitcoin price has traded sideways for the last month after its sharp sell-off in April and … [+] Can.

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Last month, JPMorgan analysts predicted that bitcoin price could drop as low as $ 23,000 per bitcoin before bottoming out, pointing to GBTC unlocking as a potential risk.

“The sale of GBTC shares, which are exiting the six-month lock-up period in June and July, has turned out to be an additional headwind for Bitcoin,” JPMorgan analysts wrote in a June statement.

The recent Bitcoin price, sparked by China’s crackdown on Bitcoin and crypto and exacerbated by Tesla billionaire Elon Musk’s fickle stance towards crypto, has stalled Bitcoin’s massive bull run in 2021.

However, Kraken researchers believe the recent negative news from China will only have a short-term impact on Bitcoin price – suggesting Bitcoin’s past performance following earlier Bitcoin and crypto breakthroughs in China.

“If you look back to 2013, you can find countless headlines from China expressing the country’s aversion to crypto assets,” wrote Kraken analysts. “While Bitcoin slumped the next day, week, and month on many of these news announcements, Bitcoin tended to move higher in the months that followed.”