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    Bitcoin price is down, but data signals that $30K and above is the path of least resistance

    2023.07.26 | exchangesranking | 1450onlookers

    Bitcoin price is down, but data signals that $30K and above is the path of least resistance

    On July 24, Bitcoin experienced a flash crash, plummeting to $29,000 in a movement now attributed to significant Bitcoin holders potentially liquidating their positions. 

    Amid the crash and market uncertainty, Bitcoin’s  three major trading metrics continue to project a bullish outlook, signifying that professional traders have not reduced their leverage longs through the use of margin and derivatives.

    Analytics firm Glassnode reported a surge in whales’ inflows to exchanges, reaching their highest level in over three years at 41% of the total BTC inflows. This forceful sell-off from whales alarmed investors, especially in the absence of any significant negative events impacting Bitcoin in the past month.

    Notably, a major concern stems from the ongoing court cases by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission against leading exchanges Binance and Coinbase. Still, there hasn’t been any major advancement in those cases, which will likely take years to settle.

    Bitcoin’s price crash might have been related to the U.S. dollar reversion

    Despite historical volatility, Bitcoin’s crash became more pronounced following 33 consecutive days of trading within a tight 5.7% daily range. The movement is even more noteworthy given the S&P 500 gaining 0.4%, crude oil rising by 2.4% and the MSCI China stock market index surging by 2.2%.

    However, it is essential to consider that the world’s largest global reserve asset, gold, experienced a dip of 0.5% on July 24. Furthermore, the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) reversed its two-month-long trend of devaluation against competing fiat currencies, climbing from 99.7 to 101.4 between July 18 and July 24.

    U.S. Dollar Index (DXY). Source: TradingView

    The DXY measures the strength of the U.S. dollar against a basket of foreign currencies, including the British pound, the euro, the Japanese yen, the Swiss franc and others. If investors believe that the Federal Reserve will manage a soft landing successfully, it makes sense to reduce exposure to gold and Bitcoin while increasing positions in the stock market. Lower odds of a recession can positively impact corporate earnings.

    Margin and derivatives markets show resolute professional traders

    To understand whether Bitcoin’s price movement down to $29,000 has successfully ruptured the market structure, one should analyze margin and derivatives markets. Margin trading allows investors to leverage their positions by borrowing stablecoins and using the proceeds to buy more cryptocurrency.

    OKX stablecoin/BTC margin lending ratio. Source: OKX

    The margin lending of OKX traders based on the stablecoin/BTC ratio rose between July 22 and July 24, suggesting that professional traders added leveraged long positions despite the recent price crash.

    Traders should corroborate this data with derivatives to ensure its marketwide impact. In healthy markets, BTC futures contracts typically trade at a 5 to 10% annualized premium, known as contango, which is not exclusive to crypto.

    Bitcoin 2-month futures annualized premium. Source: Laevitas

    Notice how the indicator sustained a healthy 5.7% average annualized premium, slightly lower than two days prior but still within the neutral range. This data confirms the resilience of margin markets, but to gauge market sentiment further, it’s also helpful to look at the options markets.

    The 25% delta skew can reveal when arbitrage desks and market makers charge higher prices for protection against upside or downside movements. In short, a skew metric rising above 7% suggests traders anticipate a drop in Bitcoin’s price, while periods of excitement generally yield a -7% skew.

    Bitcoin 30-day options 25% delta skew. Source: Laevitas

    The 25% delta skew remained negative, indicating that bullish call options were trading at a premium compared to protective puts. This further supports the thesis that professional traders remain unfazed by the flash crash, with no evidence indicating pessimism among whales and market makers.

    The path to $30,000 and above shows the least resistance

    Irrespective of the rationale behind the price move on July 24, Bitcoin bears could not dampen investor optimism, resulting in higher odds of a recovery above $30,000 in the short term. Notably, the mere appreciation of the U.S. dollar does not impact Bitcoin’s predictable monetary policy, censorship resistance and autonomous nature as a means of payment.

    On the brighter side, there are some positive triggers on the horizon, including the possible approval of a spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund and gaining regulatory clarity. Proof of this comes from a U.S. bill introduced on July 20 that seeks to establish a clear process for determining the classification of digital assets as commodities or securities. If the bill becomes law, it would give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission authority over digital commodities.


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