Market Wrap: Bitcoin Pushes Past $19.4K; Deribit Ether Options Volume Spikes

How high can bitcoin’s price go? Analysts say the higher the price, the more investors will plow in. Meanwhile, increasing ether options volume on Deribit is likely making derivatives more expensive.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $18,987 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Gaining 3.2% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $18,059-$19,392
  • BTC below its 10-day moving average but above 50-day, a sideways signal for market technicians.


Bitcoin trading on Bitstamp since Nov. 22.
Bitcoin’s price broke above $19,000 Tuesday, hitting as high as $19,392, according to CoinDesk 20 data. Its price lost some steam after but rebounded to $18,987 as of press time.

“We could test an all-time high today,” said Rupert Douglas, head of institutional sales for crypto broker Koine. “We have had such a strong run-up that I’d be looking to take profits.”

Bitcoin’s record price high was $19,738 back on Dec. 18, 2017, according to CoinDesk 20 historical bitcoin data.

“Bitcoin is fast approaching all-time highs, with final resistance from 2017 within reach,” noted Katie Stockton, a technical analyst for Fairlead Strategies. “There are some signs of exhaustion, but they are not actionable unless a loss of momentum develops.”

At over $1.6 billion as of press time, momentum in the form of USD/BTC volumes on five combined major exchanges is set for another banner day. Tuesday is shaping up to be the second highest in the past month as billion-dollar volume days for the five exchanges are becoming more common.


Spot USD/BTC volumes on major exchanges the past month.
Global equities are also having a bullish day, with indexes flashing green in a major way:

Since starting the year uncorrelated with the S&P 500 – which is denoted as “0” in the chart below – bitcoin’s performance has more closely matched stocks after March’s crash when assets dropped amid COVID-19 concerns. The correlation coefficient of the two on a 90-day basis is now around 0.3.


Bitcoin’s 90-day correlation with the S&P 500 in 2020.
An optimistic economic environment has given both stocks and bitcoin “risk-on” properties as investment assets.

“Bitcoin has now shifted to a risk-on trade along with equities markets,” noted Jason Lau, chief operating officer of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange OKCoin.


Bitcoin’s price performance the past year.
Analysts expect $20,000 per 1 BTC to arrive soon, which could produce some profit-induced selling but also more bullish buying, according to Rich Rosenblum, head of trading at crypto firm GSR.

“Hitting $20,000 will likely bring some profit-taking,” noted Rosenblum. “Yet, reaching a new all-time high will also bring validation for bitcoin, which may spur more buying once we are firmly above $20,000. Once we reach a new high, every bitcoin investor will be in the money.”

ETH options heating up

Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was up Tuesday, trading around $604 and climbing 1.6% in 24 hours as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).

With 198,247 total contracts traded, Monday was the second-biggest day in 2020 for Deribit ether options contracts, according to data aggregator Genesis Volatility. The top day was Sept. 1, when total contracts reached 201,815.


ETH options volume on Deribit since Jan. 1, 2020.
Greg Magadini, chief executive officer of data aggregator Genesis Volatility, says all this action on Deribit, the largest derivatives venue in the crypto ecosystem, means the costs associated with ether options have risen.

“With this rally we are seeing a ton of option buying happening,” Magadini noted. “This is pushing up implied volatility a lot. The overall price of options adjusted for various parameters such as expiration, strike, etc., has increased.”

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