NFT ‘art revolution’: Beeple on his 5040 day labor of love

At the age of 26, Wisconsin web designer Michael Winkelmann began creating a new piece of digital art in his personal time every single day. He calls them ‘Everydays’.

“I saw a pretty big step-up in the work that I do,” he says. “The ‘Everydays’ are basically just the pictures that I do every single day, and I’ve been doing those for over 5,000 days now.”

Thirteen years later Beeple, as he’s better known, has been commissioned by huge acts like Justin Bieber and Imagine Dragons and he emerged in 2020 as a trail blazing figure in the NFT community. His digital art collections have fetched record prices in the millions at NFT auction houses including Rarible and Nifty and he’s about to take a major step into the mainstream, with Christies offering a collage of 5000 Everydays pieces at auction from Feb. 25 until Mar. 11.

“This monumental digital collage marks the first time Beeple’s work will be sold at a major auction house,” Christies said in an announcement. “It’s also the first-ever purely digital artwork (NFT) to be offered at a traditional auction house, with its authenticity assured thanks to blockchain technology,”

Beeple’s work touches on politics and pop culture, with a typical example being a recent image depicting Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as an octopus that he created on the day that the billionaire announced his upcoming retirement as CEO. Winkelmann says his daily ritual has made him a better artist.

“The broader message with this entire Everyday project is just about practicing and looking at things long term. I look at it as one long-term project. And so, incrementally improving and just sticking with something.”

Beeple's Everydays
NFT artist Beeple has created a new digital artwork every day for 13 years. (

Winkelmann, 39, only discovered NFT’s around four months ago, and immediately set to work converting his freely available Instagram art into highly sought after digital collectibles. In November he sold an election-themed digital collectible for $66,666.60, and a December auction brought in $3.5 million dollars. While one piece went for as much as $777,777, he also sold hundreds of images for $969 each of which have since gained in value exponentially.

NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, which means each token is unique and thus distinct from other tokens. Unique tokens make it possible to designate them as representing ownership of specific digital goods, allowing for transferable ownership of digital images, texts, or even in-game items.

“I think it’s just going to be seen as the digital art revolution. I truly believe this is the start of the next chapter in art history.”

The Wisconsin artist says that while everything is reproducible on the internet, NFTs allow for individual ownership of a piece even though it is copied and circulated widely.

“I’m very open with allowing people to share stuff and post it wherever,” he says. “You can’t police the f—ing Internet. You post on the Internet, it’s the f—ing Internet! The cool thing about the blockchain is that you can kind of have it both ways.”

He adds that NFT’s are a “very advantageous way of collecting art, because it will live on as long as the blockchain lives on, and it can take all different forms.”

Turning point

Last December, Winkelmann hit the crypto news headlines after he auctioned off a collection of digital artworks for $3.5 million on the Nifty platform. While the previous 13 years of Everydays accompanied a steady career progression of better clients and ever-increasing paychecks, he wasn’t quite prepared for “overnight” success.

“That was the big shift where it was like ‘oh shit this is it’, this is a crazy opportunity to look at my work that I never really thought about as being collectible, and now suddenly it’s like ‘wow this is very collectible!’”

But he points out he wasn’t a starving artist before the auction: “[Many people] think this is a little bit more rags to riches than it is. I was making pretty good money before.”

While he credits his success to a large social media following and established name as “one of the most well known digital artists,” Winkelmann acknowledges that he was also in the right place at the right time with little competition.

“There’s a lot of low hanging fruit […] In more mature spaces, you really need to come up with a fantastic idea to stand out, everybody has already got the easy shit. It feels like there’s still a lot of easy shit to try.”

Nevermind by Beeple
Nevermind by Beeple, created April 29, 2020 (

An artistic revolution

It is said that art is either plagiarism or revolution. The art world is in a constant state of redefinition, and it’s normal for new styles to begin as underground ‘degenerate’ movements that struggle for acceptance in the established art world. In this way it’s similar to cryptocurrency, which was first dismissed and derided by traditional investors and institutions, many of whom are now re-evaluating.

In the past, Winkelmann says that neither graphic art, nor graphic artists, could really exist in the traditional sense. No graphic artist could truly sell their personal work — they had to work as artisans because working as an independent digital artist was not an option.

“It wasn’t. There was just no way to collect your work. The technology did not exist, and the market did not exist… Everybody was just, you know, freelance, or they just had a job or whatever.”

This means that the innovation of NFT’s representing ownership of digital art represents a pivotal moment in art itself: art no longer needs be a physical item to be sold and displayed, but is equally legitimate as a digitally expressed and cryptographically transferrable manifestation of the artist’s mind.

Winkelmann said the upcoming Christies auction of his collage will be another milestone, as its a major auction house conducting “their first ever 100% digital auction. There will be no physical piece; they’re literally just auctioning off a JPEG. And so, I think that will be a very big moment, and big validation for this space. They’ll also be accepting Ether for this auction for the first time ever.” (Christies auctioned a combination physical work/NFT piece last year for $130,000.)

“Whoever buys it, I will work with them in the future to be like ‘okay, so how do we want to show this?’ Do we want to project it on the side of a building, do we want to make a giant canvas of it? Do we want to put it on a big screen? The artwork itself can take a bunch of different forms; that’s the beauty of digital art.”

Banksy on it

Beeple’s NFT journey from avant-garde to acceptance follows an arc not dissimilar to other hugely successful artists like Banksy, whose graffiti stencil art reliably sells for millions today. “20 years ago that wasn’t the case. That was vandalism. Like graffiti is not, you know, ‘art’, it’s vandalism.”

Indeed, we need not go far back in time to find similar narratives within the blockchain space. Back in early 2018 Cryptokitties, one of the first NFT projects, was slowing down the entire Ethereum network causing people to accuse the lovable but useless NFT cats of ruining Ethereum.

It is an unfortunate arc d’art that experimental artists are often under-appreciated in their time, with the likes of Van Gogh and Monet dying in obscurity before achieving wide recognition for their work. “So are you saying I’m going to die?” Winkelmann asks sarcastically but with a hint of existential dread, to which I reassure him that he appears well ahead of his historical peers. He agrees. “I feel very lucky to be in this position, especially so young to be able to capitalize on this.”

While he may now have a lot of money, Winkelmann won’t be rushing out to buy a Lamborghini.

“Honestly, I’m really just putting it back in, making more and more art and cooler projects that I didn’t have the ability to do […] anybody who is collecting my artwork, I very much look at them as ambassadors, and they’ve sort of given me that money to like ‘OK there you go, go do even cooler things’, and that’s what I want to do. I want to do bigger projects, that obviously requires more money, or hiring people, or this or that.”

Considering his generous art budget, I suggest an NFT Bitcoin Lamborghini that comes with a real, physical lambo as a bonus physical token. “I think that’s a good idea, that would be great! Is it a green or a yellow lambo?” he asks. “I’ve got to figure out something like that, I feel like that would be very interesting.”

I tell him I’m claiming a 10% cut on that idea. Beeple laughs. “You’ve got your royalties all set up there!”

Endgame by Beeple
Endgame by Beeple. Created Jan. 6, 2021 in response to the Capitol insurrection. (

Art markets re-imagined

Speaking of royalties, NFTs open up new opportunities for artists because the pieces can be programmed so that whenever they are sold, a 10% royalty payment is returned to the artist.

This means that if an artist originally sells a piece for $100 and the buyer sells it to someone else some months later for $1,000, the artist will double their earnings to $200. Even more exciting, a $100,000 sale will net the artist $10,000 even years after the original sale, and the artist’s great grandchildren could theoretically benefit from the sale of the art a hundred years after the fact. In this new order, artists have a lifelong relationship with and ambassadorship to their pieces. “When you buy one of my NFT’s, it’s the beginning of us having a relationship,” says Winkelmann.

There are several platforms in which NFT’s can be traded. Winkelmann prefers Nifty Gateway, owned by the Winklevoss twins, for his sales. He’s far from a cryptocurrency maximalist, preferring instead to make his blockchain-enabled artwork as widely accessible as possible.

“The things I liked about Nifty is that they accept credit card payments. And again, I look at the NFT’s and the blockchain as sort of a means to an end, and not like the end. It’s one of these things where nobody really cares how credit cards work. They just work, they make your life easier and that’s how I look at NFT’s”

He adds: “Nobody’s going to give any shit about how NFT’s work or what blockchain they’re on.”

Until recently, a large portion of NFT art has been decidedly close to the ideas surrounding cryptocurrency and blockchain, giving them a sort of meta-quality. Winkelmann believes this will change, as NFT’s are merely “the mechanism used to make these, prove provenance, prove ownership. I don’t think moving forward it’s going to have as much to do with crypto.”

Crypto- themed art will certainly continue to exist, he says, but as “a subset of digital art”.

Future visions

Winkelmann believes that everything is being digitized, and our lives will soon revolve around virtual and augmented reality. This recalls the concept of The Metaverse, which refers to an ongoing, shared 3D space that connects various virtual worlds together. It was originally described by Neil Stephenson in 1992.

This future may be closer than we think. Twenty 1/1 NFT’s in Beeples latest auction were purchased for $2.2 million by an NFT fund (yes, such things exists) for the purpose of launching VR digital art galleries in several virtual words including Cryptovoxels, Decentraland and Somnium Space. The pieces were bundled together along with virtual land and museums, and tokenized as the B.20 token so that anyone can own a piece of NFT history. Winkelmann says we’re only just getting started exploring the possibilities:

“I think we will look back fondly on the days when we were just glued to our phones as the ‘good old days’. The alternate realities that people are living in now will be nothing compared to the alternate reality people will be living in when AR really becomes a very viable thing and people are wearing these headsets all day. I think you’re gonna see some f—ing crazy shit happening.”


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Bitcoin’s Rise Won’t Affect Dollar’s Dominance: St. Louis Fed Pres.

In brief

  • St. Louis Fed President Jim Bullard believes Bitcoin is more comparable to gold that it is to currency.
  • He pointed out that gold is volatile like Bitcoin, but that it doesn’t affect how the Federal Reserve crafts monetary policy.
  • Bullard says the influx of private currencies is just a natural part of currency competition, but that the dollar will win.

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is conducting a fair amount of research about where cryptocurrency is taking the future of money. That doesn’t mean it thinks cryptocurrency is money.

Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box today to talk about the price of Bitcoin reaching $50,000, St. Louis Fed President James “Jim” Bullard said BTC is more like gold than currency—not that that matters. “For Fed policy, it’s going to be a dollar economy as far as the eye can see and a dollar global economy really as far as the eye can see,” he said. “And whether the gold price goes up or down or the Bitcoin price goes up or down doesn’t really affect that.”

The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 Federal Reserve banks, whose presidents help inform the monetary policy of the US central banking system. Bullard has been in that role since 2008, and he was reappointed for another five-year term in January. In 2014, The Economist ranked him as the 7th-most-influential economist in the world. 

The reason Bullard can ignore Bitcoin for monetary policy, he suggested, is because the Fed’s been ignoring another popular store of value for half a century. “The gold price has moved up and down since the 70s and 80s, and that hasn’t affected Fed policy as far as I can tell,” he said.

As much as Bullard sees Bitcoin as a gold competitor, he doesn’t seem threatened by it because its price volatility makes it less desirable as a means of exchange.


“There’s already currency competition globally…They have to meet all the same restrictions that all of us do that try to run a currency regime,” he said. “You have to have stability about future supply, and you have to have stable value against other goods and against other currencies. And private currencies aren’t doing that.”

Thus, he quipped, “This is just part of the normal currency competition that has been going on for centuries.” And the dollar, in his view, will come out on top.

Bullard isn’t wrong about the current state of Bitcoin price volatility. Last month, with the price at around $32,000, volatility was at its highest level since March 2020—when its price had just plummeted to $4,000. The price has since spiked to $50,000.

But historic volatility does not necessarily equate to permanent volatility. Last week, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee argued that, if electric car maker Tesla begins accepting Bitcoin (as it plans to do) and doesn’t convert the asset immediately into dollars (as it said it might), “we will start to break out of the fiat system.”

Bullard isn’t buying it, at least not yet. Investors, in his view, don’t want a store of value or a means of exchange. They want both. 

“Investors want a safe haven,” he said. “They want a stable store of value. And then they want to conduct their investments in that currency. It’d be very hard to get a private currency—that’s really more like gold—to play that role, so I don’t think that that’s where we’re going to see any changes in the future.”


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Marscoin is Mooning: It’s Up 1000% After Elon Musk Shoutout

In brief

  • Earlier today, Elon Musk tweeted about a potential “MarsCoin.”
  • It turns out there already is a MarsCoin.
  • The price is now up over 1000%.

Get ready for little green coins.

Elon Musk—tech don, internet troll, Grimes inamorato—may have mastered the art of the crypto pump: after tweeting about a  “MarsCoin” earlier today, the price of the real Marscoin has shot up over 1000%.

This tweet was part of a thread about Dogecoin, the “meme coin” that was developed as a joke in 2013, but has since become a semi-legitimate asset, thanks in large part to Musk’s advocacy. Changpeng Zhao, the head of the crypto exchange Binance, jumped in to suggest that if Musk were to launch a cryptocurrency, it ought to be called MarsCoin.

But it turns out there already is a Marscoin—$MARS, a project that was developed in 2014. And after trading beneath $0.20 for years, you could say the price is officially mooning: it rocketed to an all-time high of $2.50 earlier today, and settled back down to $1.02 around press time.

The team behind Marscoin shares a common goal with Musk: to fund the first human settlement on Mars. A brief explainer proposes that people mine Marscoin here on Earth, first, and then when the tech is developed, “a copy of the blockchain could be transferred to Mars.” 

There’s even a picture of Musk on the site, though the FAQ page reveals he isn’t actually affiliated with the project.

Musk tweeted something similar about Marscoin in December, but it didn’t appear to affect the price, which continued to hold steady at around $0.17. That was then, this is now, when Muskmania—like Bitcoin and Dogecoin—is hitting an all-time high.

If today’s Marscoin pump feels familiar, that’s because Musk does this all the time—spikes in the price of Bitcoin and Dogecoin have been linked to Musk’s tweets and memes.

Whether there’s a future for blockchain-based payments systems on Mars, Marscoin bagholders are already seeing significant returns here on Earth.


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Trader Who Called Last Week’s Altcoin Meltdown Is Now Bullish on Two Crypto Assets

A trader who accurately called the altcoin meltdown last week is looking at two crypto assets that he says could see serious gains in the coming weeks.

The pseudonymous trader Smart Contracter says he’s keeping a close watch on REN as he’s bullish on both the USD and the BTC pairs.

The trader believes that REN/USD is done correcting and it is now gearing up for a new all-time high above $1.20.

“Last dip before the moon, load up, you’ve been warned.”

Source: Smart Contracter/Twitter

As for the REN/BTC pair, Smart Contracter believes that it is ready to ignite the next leg up and potentially generate returns of 130%.

“I think REN/BTC might be finally fucking ready. Clear impulsive 5 waves up on daily, ABC down, perfect 0.618 tap.”

Source: Smart Contracter/Twitter

The popular crypto analyst relies on the Elliott Wave theory, a technical analysis technique suggesting that the behavior of market participants can manifest in recurring waves.

The trader is watching SushiSwap (SUSHI) as well as he believes a new all-time high will lead to further gains.

“Oof what a daily candle, new ath achieved already. $25 looks like a given now.”

Source: Smart Contracter/Twitter

The trader is also keeping tabs on SUSHI/BTC. In a new Nugget’s News with Alex Saunders, Smart Contracter says the pair has more gas left in the tank even after its ascent of over 344% this year.

“If we were going to assume a wave four is in, like SUSHI, for instance, I think we’re going to move to a new high here and put in a final high. We go another five waves up to a new high and then we have a massive big fucking, bullshit sessions.”

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Cult Toy Brand Superplastic Launches NFT Collection on Nifty Gateway

Basketball players, pop singers and now high-end vinyl toys – lots of different groups are trying out non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Ethereum as a new way to monetize.

Superplastic is a company that makes artistic vinyl toys for the collectibles market. It’s debuting two new figures on the Winklevoss-owned Nifty Gateway, from Guggimon and Janky, two artists with strong Instagram followings. 

We might be seeing fresh interest from the non-crypto world because of the sector’s growth. released its 2020 report on NFT data for 2020, finding over 220,000 active wallets in the space and counting 31,504 sellers and 74,529 buyers for the year. The data site captured $251 million in NFT trade volume.

Obviously, mainstream appeal should grow the sector further, and aiming to attract celebrities has always been part of Nifty Gateway’s strategy. Beyond social media’s newly famous, the mainstream stars are starting to get interested as well. Recently, both Lindsay Lohan and Grimes, the pop star and mother of Elon Musk’s latest child, have announced token offerings. 

It might be tough to compete with analog celebrities for mindshare, but Superplastic has the advantage of a dedicated following of people who like to speculate on aesthetic goods. 

Odds are some number of those fans will be persuaded to check out this whole digital art with provable provenance thing. Let’s just hope the company has a plan for preparing its followers to understand what gas fees are. 

Each artist will auction one NFT each: “Electric Scream Dream” by Janky and “Well, That Was Fucking Weird!” by Guggimon. There will also be six SuperKranky figures designed together by both artists.This isn’t the first foray of a toy company into crypto or NFTs. In fact, CryptoKaiju has offered analog toys whose ownership corresponds with an ERC-721 token on Ethereum for a while now. Superplastic has no plans to connect these digital offerings with a real-world toy.



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Elon Musk Drops Further Hints About “Marscoin”

Key Takeaways

  • Elon Musk has discussed the possibility of creating his own cryptocurrency, “Marscoin.”
  • The coin would supposedly be used to buy up large amounts of Dogecoin and drive up its value.
  • However, discussions appear to be largely in jest.

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Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX fame has hinted that he could develop a cryptocurrency, though the possibility remains uncertain.

Musk Proposes Marscoin

On Feb. 14, Musk expressed a desire to buy large amounts of Dogecoin to drive up its value. Alternately, he said, he could pay Dogecoin investors to void their accounts.

A day later, Mansour Shahrokh of Knight Chadwick Limited suggested that Musk should create his own cryptocurrency in order to accomplish the task. “You wouldn’t need to pay [U.S. dollars] to make … dogecoin holders richer than they already are,” Shahrokh observed.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao suggested calling the cryptocurrency Marscoin. Musk replied: “There will definitely be a Marscoin.”

Those comments are presumably in reference to earlier discussions on Twitter, in which commenters suggested that Elon Musk should create a crypto for SpaceX’s Mars missions, which are expected to begin in 2024.

Of course, the idea proposed today has nothing to do with Mars. It is related to a possible purchase of Dogecoin, which implies that Musk’s confirmation is less than serious.

Is It Feasible?

Though the strategy described above appears to be in jest, the idea is not entirely unthinkable.

Tesla recently purchased $1.5 billion of Bitcoin, which suggests that Musk or his enterprises could afford a significant part of Dogecoin’s $6.5 billion market cap. Likewise, buying and burning those coins in a void account would drive up the value of Dogecoin.

However, creating a cryptocurrency would likely cause regulatory trouble for Musk. Even if Musk did not carry out an ICO and created a coin that derives its value from his own fame, doing so would likely attract unwanted attention from regulators such as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ultimately, it seems unlikely that Musk will undertake the idea in practice—though it is also unlikely that this is the end of his cryptocurrency endeavors.

At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

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NYDIG Files For Bitcoin ETF Approval

Bitcoin-focused financial services firm New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) filed for approval to offer a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) today.

An ETF is seen as one of the easiest ways of bringing bitcoin exposure to the masses, as it would be accessible through the stock market and legacy brokerage accounts. Currently, with no approved ETF on the market, retail investors using legacy brokerage accounts are constrained to bitcoin trusts like Grayscale’s GBTC. Investment in bitcoin-focused companies is also a route to indirect bitcoin exposure, but an ETF would offer direct exposure to BTC without the need to pay trust premiums or invest in third-party companies.

Per the filing, NYDIG hopes to list the ETF on the New York Stock Exchange. The bitcoin tied to the product would be custodied with the NYDIG Trust Company and its initial authorized participant — an organization with the right to create and redeem shares of an ETF — is investment giant Morgan Stanley. NYDIG Bitcoin Trust, as the product would be called, would pay NYDIG Asset Management a fee of 0.5 percent per year.

The filing also included information about the bitcoin market, offering a high-level overview of how the Bitcoin protocol and network operate and making the claim that the bitcoin on-chain are fungible. 

“Units of bitcoin are treated as fungible,” the filing reads. This is noteworthy, as the case of bitcoin fungibility has been questioned many times by critics of Bitcoin’s open ledger. 

The filing also dives into the Lightning Network, explaining the development around another one of Bitcoin’s oft-criticized shortcomings: scalability.

See Also

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants cryptocurrencies to be regulated under existing rules for electronic transactions.

“Development of the Bitcoin source code has increasingly focused on modifications of the Bitcoin protocol to enhance speed and scalability,” per the filing. “[The Lightning Network] enables increased transaction throughput and reduces the computational burden on the Bitcoin network. The Lightning Network is currently a subject of ongoing research and development and does not yet have material adoption as of January 2021.”

The filing came shortly after Purpose Investment announced the approval of its own bitcoin ETF by Canadian regulators, making it the first firm cleared to offer such a product in North America. Many firms have attempted to receive approval for a bitcoin ETF from the SEC and many have been rejected.

NYDIG is a subsidiary of Stone Ridge Asset Management, which has more than $10 billion in assets under management and announced its own $115 million bitcoin investment late last year.


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MicroStrategy Plans to Raise $600M to Buy More Bitcoin, Again

MicroStrategy announced in a press release on February 16 that it intends to launch a private offering of $600 million convertible senior notes for qualified institutional investors. The company said that the notes will be convertible into cash, or shares of the company’s class A common stock or even the two. Most importantly, MicroStrategy intends to “use the net proceeds from the sale of the notes to acquire additional bitcoins.”

MicroStrategy’s Investment in Bitcoin Had Paid Off

Bitcoin is gaining more traction with the ongoing investments of large traditional institutions. Lately, more companies are beginning to embrace cryptocurrency and are looking for ways to not miss out on the frenzy. But MicroStrategy is ahead of the curve, being one of the early firms to acknowledge BTC as a store of value and reliable investment.

This is the second time the public company tried to raise funds to pump its BTC bags. Last December, the Saylor-led company had filed a $400-million senior convertible note offering.

For many months, the firm has shown its support for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It has also been pitching Bitcoin to 1,400 public companies. 

Since 2020, the company started investing heavily in the largest digital currency, cleverly buying almost every substantial dip. In February, the firm acquired 295 bitcoin, worth about $10 million, to their existing stash. Right now, the firm is one of the largest holders of bitcoin in the world with more than 71,079 Bitcoin, worth over $3.4 billion, in their custody. 

Interest in Bitcoin Will Drive Price Higher

Now that other companies like Tesla and Square have made a similar move to invest in Bitcoin, the asset has experienced an explosive surge. The aggregated investments of MicroStrategy and other companies in Bitcoin are one of the most powerful driving forces which propelled BTC to hit an ATH of $50,700. Thanks to these large companies and institutional investors, more credence has been given to the cryptocurrency and the space in general.

Microstrategy is not the only company to have invested in crypto; the interest of other traditional firms has no doubt added more weight to the value of bitcoin. Apple Pay also recently provided Bitcoin as a payment option for its users. To achieve this purpose, the app incorporated a top payment platform, BitPay.

As of now, analysts have predicted a general bullish trend for bitcoin in the near-term, although the new rise was quite shortlived.

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Market Wrap: Bitcoin Remains Around $48.5K Amid Flat Trading Activity

Bitcoin faced choppy markets for most of Tuesday after briefly trading above $50,000 for the first time during early U.S. trading hours. With some remaining bullish, other analysts and traders warned about near-term price correction.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around 48,810.95 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Gaining 0.39% over the previous 24 hours. 
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $47,088.84-$50,584.85 (CoinDesk 20)
  • BTC between its 10-hour and 50-hour averages on the hourly chart, a sideway signal for market technicians.

Bitcoin trading on Bitstamp since Feb. 13.

Source: TradingView

Bitcoin volumes on major crypto exchanges since January.

Source: CoinDesk, CryptoCompare

Bitcoin’s trading volumes on the eight leading crypto exchanges tracked by the CoinDesk 20 remained flat on Tuesday, at roughly half of where it was on Monday on Feb. 8. Meanwhile, data from Glassnode shows that bitcoin’s balance on exchanges continues to drop, a bullish sign taken by some analysts.

Bitcoin balance on all exchanges.

Source: Glassnode

“We are at all-time-highs territory [and] the market still has to make up its mind” about next resistance or supporting levels, Alessandro Andreotti, bitcoin over-the-counter broker, told CoinDesk. “My opinion is that new highs [are coming] in the short term.”

This is happening as retail investors are showing growing interest in the derivatives market. 

According to Arcane Research, March futures bitcoin contracts on the retail-focused platforms currently have an annualized premium rate averaging 44.16%. That outpaces those on the institution-driven CME, which shows an average of 24.39%.

“There continues to be net inflows into crypto, particularly into futures,” Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of crypto derivatives exchange FTX, told CoinDesk. “[And] people inside crypto continue to be particularly bullish.”

Others, however, warn about near-term price correction, especially if there is a lack of fresh catalysts on top of Tesla’s $1.5 billion bitcoin purchase that was announced last week.

“The market has gone parabolic since breaking through $20,000 and technical studies are warning of the need for a healthy pullback in the days and weeks ahead to allow for severely stretched readings to unwind and normalize,” said Joel Kruger, cryptocurrency strategist at institution-focused crypto exchange LMAX Digital.

“The $50,000 price level is now relatively high for retail investors, and it is not easy for them to chase after,” Simons Chen, executive director of investment and trading at Hong Kong-based crypto lender Babel Finance, told CoinDesk. He added there was little chance retail investors will be able to push bitcoin’s price above the current record high price in the short-term period.

On its Telegram channel, Singapore-based QCP Capital also expressed a tempered view on the short-term price movement, saying that, historically, bitcoin’s price trended lower in March due to seasonality. 

“The longer bitcoin stalls here without a fresh catalyst, the more we will be looking for a longer lasting downside into March. As we’ve highlighted before, the March downside seasonality followed by April upside seasonality is the strongest and most consistent seasonal pattern in bitcoin,” QCP Capital wrote. “It’s still too early now for us but into [the end of February,] if volumes drop further, we will be looking for some downside protection [at the end of March.]”

One possible spur for the markets, as CoinDesk reported, is that business intelligence firm MicroStrategy is preparing to purchase more bitcoin. As well, Los Angeles-based privately held investment firm Wedbush Securities said that bitcoin could expect more corporate ownership and adoption after Tesla’s bitcoin investment, meaning that the “fresh catalyst” QCP mentioned could still be imminent.

Ether moves little as DeFi sees small drop amid flash loan attacks

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ether (ETH) was down Tuesday, trading around $1,754.31 and down 4.07% in 24 hours as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).

Ether’s price has mostly stuck below $1,800 on Tuesday. This has led ether futures traders to close their positions, as what gains they’re able to eke out were eaten by the funding cost they pay for their contract, according to Vishal Shah, an options trader and founder of derivatives exchange Alpha5.

“People are now in the habit of expecting prices to climb as if it’s a foregone conclusion,” Shah said. At the same time, the decentralized finance (DeFi) sector, which is mostly based on the Ethereum blockchain, continues to grow. However, one wrinkle occurred over the past weekend when a flash loan exploit on Cream Finance and Alpha Finance caused a loss of funds totaling $37.6 million and resulting in a slight decline of the total value locked in DeFi.

Other markets

Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are mostly in red Tuesday. Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET): 

Notable losers:


  • Oil was up 1.23%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $60.20.
  • Gold was in the red 1/27% and at $1794.97 as of press time.


  • The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield climbed Tuesday jumping to 1.294%.

The CoinDesk 20: The Assets That Matter Most to the Market



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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 26,637.14 1.59%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,592.86 1.83%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 64.74 0.31%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 208.48 2.28%