A bitcoin rally to new 2020 highs has been slowed by lower spot volume. Meanwhile, some ether investors are moving capital out of DeFi.
- Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $15,502 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Gaining 2.6% over the previous 24 hours.
- Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $15,190-$15,934
- BTC near its 10-day moving average but above the 50-day, a sideways signal for market technicians.
Bitcoin’s price rise stalled Friday after making gains over the past 24 hours, most notably going as high as $15,934, according to CoinDesk 20 data. It was trading at $15,502 as of press time.
“BTC has been bullish for the last four weeks, incredibly rallying from $10,000 to $15,000,” noted Ian Balina, chief executive officer of analysis firm Token Metrics. “This month’s rally is similar to its previous big rally back in 2017 when BTC rallied from $6,000 to almost $20,000 over November and December.”
The last time bitcoin’s price was at these levels was back on Jan. 7, 2018, when its 24-hour low was $15,632, a descent from that day’s $16,861 high during an overall market sell-off, according to the CoinDesk 20.
“The next resistance level is between $16,000 and $17,000,” Balina added. “If it flies by that, it can retest its all-time high and possibly move above $20,000.”
A bitcoin price push higher will likely require the return of higher-than-average spot volumes. Volumes for Friday were much lower than Thursday, which at $1,569,081,137 was the highest daily average volume day since July 27. On that summer day it hit $1,579,784,44 on major USD/BTC spot exchanges. As of press time, Friday’s spot exchange volume was at $1,064,734,786.
Futures open interest for bitcoin Thursday matched a record high from Aug. 17. “Longer-term trends remain very bullish. Bitcoin futures aggregate open interest is at an all-time high at $5.7 billion and perpetual swaps funding rates are trending up,” noted Jason Lau, chief operating officer of San Francisco-based exchange OKCoin.
“The minor pullback today is normal and healthy,” Lau told CoinDesk. “In the past, bitcoin has experienced strong, quick moves and retracted much more. I’d look to see if BTC can settle in and establish a base before making another move upwards.”
Bitcoin’s dominance, a measure of the world’s oldest cryptocurrency’s market cap as a percentage of total crypto assets, is starting to dip. After a steady October and early November rise to 65.5%, it dropped on Friday.
Jean-Marc Bonnefous, managing partner of investment firm Tellurian Capital, said bitcoin might be losing some momentum after its stratospheric price rise, adding that some investors make take profits and plow them into alternative cryptocurrencies, or altcoins.
“BTC has already done quite a bit of work to the upside and will need to take a breather,” Bonnefous said. “At some point the rotation will occur again from BTC to these heavily sold alt tokens.”
Ether locked in DeFi drops
The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ether (ETH), was up Friday, trading around $442 and climbing 7% in 24 hours as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).
Since Oct. 20, when the amount of ether locked in decentralized finance, or DeFI, was at 9,211,000 ETH, investors have been pulling the cryptocurrency out. Over 642,000 ETH was moved out of DeFi as of press time, down to 8,569,000 ETH, according to data aggregator DeFi Pulse.
The trend follows a rocky past 30 days for ether locked in DeFi, as about one month ago the amount of ether into DeFi was at 8,423,000 ETH. Vishal Shah, an options trader and founder of derivatives venue Alpha5, says ether’s gyrations locked has to do with the ethereal nature of Ethereum’s DeFi products.
“Most of the ETH locked in DeFi is to accumulate or accrue tokens that don’t have a tenable value,” Shah noted. “And as those values started to fall dramatically, the ‘APY’ [annual percentage yield] that served as the bait for participation in various pools naturally started dwindling.”
Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are all green Friday. Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):
- Oil was down 2.8%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $37.39.
- Gold was in the green 0.14% and at $1,952 as of press time.
- U.S. Treasury bond yields all climbed Friday. Yields, which move in the opposite direction as price, were up most on the two-year bond, jumping to 0.159 and in the green 9.6%.