First Mover: Bitcoin’s Plunge to $31K Shows How Bullish Market Had Become

Bitcoin (BTC) suffered its biggest pullback in four months, tumbling 9% after a seven-day winning streak that took prices to a new all-time high of $34,347 on Sunday. 

“Bitcoin is having a much-needed reset,” Matthew Dibb, co-founder, and COO of Stack Funds, told CoinDesk.

Some analysts saw signs that cryptocurrency traders might be rotating out of bitcoin into digital-market alternatives like ether (ETH) and litecoin (LTC). Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, rocketed 27% on Sunday and hit a 35-month high above $1,150 early Monday. Litecoin, the fourth-largest cryptocurrency, was changing hands at its highest since April 2018.

In traditional markets, European indexes rose on the first trading day of the year, buoyed by encouraging signs of a manufacturing recovery, and U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open. Gold strengthened 1.9% to $1,935 an ounce.   

Market Moves

Cryptocurrency markets so far in 2021 have been looking a lot like they did in 2020: Prices are up. 

After quadrupling last year, bitcoin has gained about 7% in the first few days of January. That’s nearly half the gains that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index mustered over the entirety of 2020.   

Ether, the second-biggest cryptocurrency by market value, soared 26% on Sunday alone, pushing past the $1,000 mark for the first time since February 2018. The digital asset’s price rose nearly five-fold last year. 

And even with last month’s 67% plunge in prices for what had been the third-biggest digital asset, XRP (XRP), the crypto industry’s total market capitalization has more than doubled in the past two months to about $883 billion. 

“At the current trajectory, we can estimate that we’ll easily break the $1 trillion mark within the next few months,” Mati Greenspan, founder of the foreign-exchange and cryptocurrency analysis Quantum Economics, wrote last week. 

For context, recall that it was big news in traditional markets when the outstanding amount of U.S. “leveraged loans” – those made to companies with junk-grade credit ratings – grew to about $500 billion in late 2010, and then doubled to $1 trillion by early 2018.

Bitcoin’s total market capitalization has more than doubled in just a couple months to nearly $900 billion.

Source: CoinMarketCap

Such rapid (and frankly astounding) growth in digital-asset markets should theoretically send any responsible financial journalist scrambling to round up experts who might speak to the growing risks.

But aside from the usual warnings that cryptocurrencies are volatile and prone to unexpected and punishing price corrections, analysts and traders say it’s likely that institutional adoption of bitcoin, ether and an array of other digital tokens is just beginning. 

And that prices are far more likely at this point to keep rising than to suddenly reverse, absent any major surprises akin to last year’s pandemic, which sent stocks swinging wildly, from American Airlines to Zoom.  

Jim Bianco, a widely-followed Wall Street veteran who now heads Bianco Research, tweeted on Jan. 2 that bitcoin “makes Tesla look like it is standing still,” referring to the electric carmaker’s stock price.  

First Mover has previously discussed that as bitcoin enters uncharted territory, investors reading price-chart patterns – a widely followed practice among crypto traders known as “technical analysis” – have fewer signposts to key off. 

Just a month ago, when the cryptocurrency was changing hands around $19,000, Kraken Intelligence, a research unit of the digital-asset exchange Kraken, published results of a survey noting that clients expect an average price of $36,602 in 2021. Were such predictions to prove on target, bitcoin’s biggest gains for the year would already be in the books. 

But well-respected pros in both digital-asset markets and on Wall Street have recently bandied about price predictions from $50,000 to $400,000.  

The truth is nobody knows where prices are heading, just as nobody can say for sure that the 2021 economy will be any brighter than the bleak 2020 that just ended. Or how much additional money the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world might have to create to finance stimulus measures and prop up financial markets.    

What seems clear is that, for now anyway, “there is little sign that the rally is over,” as Matt Blom, head of sales and trading for the cryptocurrency firm Diginex, put it Sunday in his daily newsletter. 

“Bitcoin has started the year exactly as it ended the last – bid,” Blom wrote.  

– Bradley Keoun

Bitcoin Watch

Funding rates have climbed on bitcoin perpetual swaps, a sign of elevated demand for leverage on long bets.

Source: Glassnode

Bitcoin pulled back sharply early Monday in a move typical to bull market correction.

Prices fell from $33,000 to $28,000 before bouncing back to $30,000. The sharp correction has erased the rally from $29,000 to over $34,000 in the previous three days. 

A correction appeared to be in the offing, with the perpetual-swap funding rate – a proxy for the cost of maintaining a long position in the derivatives market – reaching an 11-month high of 0.137% early today. An elevated funding rate can signal excessive bullish leverage and often yields pullbacks similar to the one seen in late November. Even with Monday’s price drop, the funding rate has declined only slightly to 0.122%.

According to trader and analyst Michaël van de Poppe, bitcoin came under pressure as the spread between EUR/USDT (euro’s tether-denominated exchange) and the EUR/USD spot rate normalized. EUR/USDT had jumped to 1.33 on Saturday – a 9% premium to the EUR/USD spot rate of 1.23 seen on Friday, according to the data provider TradingView. 

“That possibly pushed bitcoin’s tether-denominated price higher,” Poppe said, adding that the premium began normalizing early Monday. Tether (USDT) is a the biggest dollar-linked stablecoin by amount outstanding. 

Investors expect the cryptocurrency to trade volatile over the next four weeks. That’s evident from the rise in the one-month implied volatility to near 100%, the highest level since March 2020, according to data provider Skew. 

Analysts, however, expect bitcoin dips to be short-lived. “Our thesis remains extremely bullish, with a target of $40,000 by February,” Matthew Dibb, co-founder, and COO of Stack Funds, told CoinDesk.

What’s Hot

DeVere Group CEO Nigel Green sold half of bitcoin holdings over the holidays, says he plans to “re-buy in the dips” (CoinDesk) 

Bitcoin options now go to $200K after recent surge (CoinDesk) 

Bitcoin mining company Riot Blockchain passes $1B in market capitalization (CoinDesk) 

Bitcoin worth $1B leaves Coinbase as institutions ‘FOMO’ buy, analyst says (CoinDesk) 

Scaramucci’s SkyBridge has already invested $182M in bitcoin (CoinDesk) 

Dogecoin doubles after adult-film star tweets that she’s holding the “memecoin” token (CoinDesk)

Bitcoin prices in 2020: Here’s what happened (CoinDesk) 


The latest on the economy and traditional finance

Japanese government considers state of emergency for Tokyo area (Reuters) 

From stocks to emerging markets, investors bet the “everything” rally will continue (WSJ) 

How the Fed’s $120-billion-a-month bond-buying program stifles lending (WSJ) 

Trump, on tape, presses official in U.S. state of Georgia to “find” him votes (AP) 

SPACs, also known as blank-check companies, raised a record of more than $80B in 2020, six times the amount in 2019 (WSJ)  

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First Mover: As Markets Turn Ugly, Bitcoiners Thank Secular Trend

Bitcoin was lower for a second day, retreating following an eight-day streak of gains that was the longest since June 2019. 

“A period of consolidation could be beneficial,” Simon Peters, an analyst for the trading platform eToro, wrote early Monday in an email, “allowing things to stabilize and cool down.”

In traditional markets, European shares fell the most since June as an apparent mutant strain of the coronavirus in the U.K. led the Netherlands, Belgium and France to impose border closures. U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open, even after U.S. lawmakers agreed on a new $900B stimulus deal. Crude oil fell nearly 6%. Gold weakened 0.6% to $1,870.67 an ounce. 

Market Moves

(Editor’s note: This is the sixth and final installment of First Mover’s recap of how the bitcoin market evolved over the course of 2020 and what it means for the future. Today we cover the period from October through December, when big investors and Wall Street firms suddenly started touting bitcoin as a hedge against central-bank money-printing, causing prices to double and reach a new all-time high.) 

Bitcoin proponents have tried myriad strategies over the cryptocurrency’s 11-year history to pitch it to prospective buyers.

Satoshi Nakamoto, the cryptocurrency’s inventor, designed bitcoin to be a peer-to-peer electronic payments system outside the control of any person, company or government. For a while, some cryptocurrency analysts positioned bitcoin as a “safe haven” asset that would hold its value in times of deep economic dislocation and market turmoil. That proposition was dashed in March, when the initial global spread of the coronavirus sent global markets reeling, and bitcoin plunged 25% over the course of the month. 

What ultimately proved to be bitcoin’s breakthrough was big investors’ adoption of the cryptocurrency’s potential use as a hedge against central-bank money printing and the debasement of the dollar. The thesis derives from the hard-coded limits on bitcoin’s supply, as programmed into the underlying blockchain network; unlike government currencies that can be issued subjectively and at will by central bankers, only 21 million bitcoins can ever be created.

As of early October, bitcoin prices were trading around $10,800, up 50% on the year. It was already an impressive gain, especially during a year when the global economy had suffered the worst contraction since the Great Depression. U.S. stocks were up 4%. 

Despite the outperformance, bitcoin analysts were still bullish. The blockchain network was growing, brokers cited continuing interest from buyers, positive-looking patterns were forming in price charts, options markets were hinting at further gains, the dollar was weakening in foreign-exchange markets, and there were few signs that governments and central banks would curtail the seemingly endless flow of stimulus money anytime soon. 

Yet as of early October, few traders were betting that prices would more than double over the next three months, blowing past $20,000 to a new all-time high. 

As of early October, a negative “skew” in the bitcoin options market suggested that traders were expecting further gains.

Source: Skew.

And then, almost as if a gate were opened, big corporations and money managers started to pile into bitcoin, accompanied by a flurry of recommendations from once-skeptical Wall Street analysts. 

MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor shifted at least $425 million of his company’s corporate treasury into bitcoin. Square, the payments company, said it would put some $50 million, or 1% of its assets, into the cryptocurrency. PayPal, another payments company, announced it would allow 346 million customers to hold bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and to use the digital assets to shop at the 26 million merchants on its network. 

“It’s the sheer scale of PayPal’s reach that is attracting the headlines,” Jason Deane, an analyst for the foreign-exchange and cryptocurrency analysis firm Quantum Economics, wrote in a report in late October. “This could well go down in history as a watershed moment, the point at which bitcoin goes properly mainstream.” 

Analysts with JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO Jamie Dimon had famously called bitcoin a “fraud” in 2017, wrote that the cryptocurrency had “considerable” price upside. “Even a modest crowding out of gold as an alternative currency over the longer term would imply doubling or tripling of the bitcoin price from here,” they wrote.

Additional endorsements would flow over the coming months from the hedge-fund legend Stanley Druckenmiller, money managers SkyBridge Capital and AllianceBernstein, brokerage firm BTIG and life-insurance company MassMutual. Wells Fargo, the big U.S. bank, published a 2021 investment outlook with a full page discussing bitcoin’s big gains, even though executives said customers weren’t allowed to buy it in their accounts due to regulatory uncertainty. 

“I think cryptocurrency’s here to stay,” Rick Rieder, chief investment officer for the big mutual-fund company BlackRock, told CNBC on Nov. 20. 

Joe Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential election reinforced investors’ belief that government stimulus money would continue for the foreseeable future, since the candidate had pledged to push for at least $5 trillion of new spending initiatives from education to housing, health care and infrastructure. 

In December, the Federal Reserve adopted “qualitative” guidance for its $120-billion-a-month of asset purchases – a form of monetary stimulus that relies on money printing. The move gave policy makers additional flexibility to continue the program as long as they deemed fit. 

Prices for bitcoin shot past $20,000 on Dec. 16, setting a new price record, and within days had surpassed $23,000. As of late Sunday, the cryptocurrency was changing hands at $23,642. 

“Bitcoin has graduated from ‘digital assets playground’ to ‘mainstream global investment,’” Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer for the cryptocurrency firm Arca Funds, wrote Saturday in a column for CoinDesk. “Investors now have the knowledge and means to buy bitcoin themselves, and we are seeing it in real-time, which happened quicker than we anticipated.”

Bitcoin’s cumulative year-to-date gains, versus the S&P 500 and gold

Source: CoinDesk Research

What comes next? Analysts are still bullish. 

Dan Morehead, CEO for the cryptocurrency-focused money manager Pantera, recently cited a formula that projects a price of $115,000 by next August. Scott Minerd, chief investment officer for the Wall Street firm Guggenheim, predicted bitcoin could go to $400,000. 

The cryptocurrency investment firm NYDIG published an analysis arguing that the Bitcoin network’s growth could justify prices in the range of $51,611 to $118,544 in five years. Kraken Intelligence, a research unit of the digital-asset exchange Kraken, published results of a survey noting that clients expect an average bitcoin price of $36,602 in 2021.

Even the Kraken customers’ comparatively modest prediction would represent a 55% gain from current price levels. That could mean bitcoin outperforms again in 2021, with Wall Street analysts on average predicting a 9% return for U.S. stocks next year. 

A once-in-a-generation calamity like the coronavirus was bound to create extreme gyrations in global markets, with some assets proving big winners and some losing big. (Remember The Big Short?) 

The final few months of 2020 validated some investors’ bets that the economy wouldn’t return to its former strength anytime soon, and that trillions of dollars of fiscal and monetary stimulus, from governments and central banks around the world, would be needed on an ongoing basis to nurse any recovery. 

In hindsight, bitcoin was the biggest winner from that trade.

“The current macroeconomic environment is set up perfectly for an asset that blends the benefits of technology and gold,” the U.K. money manager Ruffer Investment said in a recent portfolio update, after confirming a bitcoin purchase worth more than $745 million. “Negative interest rates, extreme monetary policy, ballooning public debt, dissatisfaction with governments – all provide powerful tailwinds.”

Bitcoin marketers couldn’t ask for a more compelling selling point. As if this year’s 225% year-to-date price gains weren’t compelling enough. 

– Bradley Keoun

Bitcoin Watch

(Editor’s Note: CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole, who writes Bitcoin Watch, is off this week.) 

Token Watch

The Graph (GRT): Indexing protocol’s digital token quintuples in price following launch last week of main network, with new listings on crypto exchanges Binance, Coinbase, Kucoin, OKEx and Kraken.  

Dogecoin (DOGE): Meme token spikes 20% to highest price since July after Tesla’s Elon Musk tweets about it to his 40M followers. 

Bitcoin cash (BCH): Also-ran cryptocurrency jumps to $380, highest since February, is now up 58% year-to-date. 

What’s Hot

U.S. Treasury Department proposes long-dreaded plan to make crypto exchanges identify personal wallets (CoinDesk) 

Slowing of Grayscale bitcoin fund inflows could prompt price correction, JPMorgan says (CoinDesk) 

Global head of equity strategy for Wall Street brokerage firm Jefferies initiates 5% long-only asset allocation for U.S. dollar-based pension funds, while cutting gold’s share to 45% from 50% (CoinDesk)  

Ruffer Investment used Coinbase to execute $745M bitcoin buy (CoinDesk) 

Decentralized stock trading (in Airbnb, Tesla, Amazon, Google shares) launches on DeFi platform Injective Protocol, using Band Protocol’s oracle technology (CoinDesk) 

Blockchain data suggest more institutions are buying bitcoin over-the-counter (CoinDesk) 

How two of Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s top lieutenants got in screaming matches and then both exited in rapid succession (Excerpt from Jeff Roberts’s “Kings of Crypto,” published on CoinDesk website) 

Goldman Sachs reportedly wins mandate to lead Coinbase IPO preparations (Reuters)

“Bitcoin in portfolios represents more than a new recipe. It represents the need for a new recipe,” CoinDesk Research Director Noelle Acheson writes in weekly column (CoinDesk Opinion) 


The latest on the economy and traditional finance

U.S. lawmakers set to vote on $900B coronavirus-stimulus bill, including $600 checks for individuals, $300-a-week supplemental jobless benefit, $284B for Paycheck Protection Program (forgivable loans for companies), $15B to reinstate payroll reimbursements for airlines and $1B for airline contractors; when coupled with $1.4T bill to fund government operations, cost of total package is $2.3T (Bloomberg) 

Debate over Federal Reserve’s emergency-lending powers is unresolved, after Republican lawmaker insisted on provision barring U.S. central bank from restarting some programs set to Dec. 31, then deleted language that would have prevented “similar” programs from being launched (Bloomberg)  

Manhattan’s historic Chrysler Building still eerily empty (Bloomberg Businessweek)  

Federal Reserve affirms banks’ Countercyclical Capital Buffer (CCyB) should be set at zero, after November report found that “vulnerabilities” in money markets were “substantially” mitigated by the U.S. central bank’s own emergency-lending facilities (Federal Reserve) 

Fed allows banks to resume share buybacks (CNBC) 

Wall Street strategists see U.S. stocks gaining 9% in 2021 (CNBC) 

Yellen pressed to back strong dollar in reversal of Trump-era tone (Bloomberg)

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First Mover: Bitcoin Rally Stalls as ‘DeFi Summer’ Proves Endless

Bitcoin (BTC) was little changed after climbing for six straight days, though prices appeared unable to hold fresh highs above $23K.

“The market has paused for a bit to consolidate,” Joe DiPasquale, CEO of the cryptocurrency hedge fund BitBull Capital, told First Mover in an email. “This is normal behavior after major surges as market participants take profits and await the next big move up or down.”

In traditional markets, European stocks fluctuated as Brexit talks stalled. U.S. stock futures were steady as lawmakers worked to complete a pandemic-relief deal. Gold weakened 0.3% to $1,880 an ounce. 

Market Moves

(Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment of First Mover’s recap of how the bitcoin market evolved over the course of 2020 and what it means for the future. Today we cover the period from June through September, when an explosion in innovation in the fast-growing cryptocurrency subsector of decentralized finance, or DeFi, diverted eyeballs – and capital – away from bitcoin.) 

At the end of May, bitcoin prices were sitting on a 35% year-to-date gain, following a series of wild market gyrations during an undeniably tumultuous and horrific year. With the coronavirus-racked U.S. economy suffering its worst contraction since the Great Depression, not even the bulls were in a mind to complain; the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of U.S. stocks was down more than 6%. 

But then, suddenly, the bitcoin market went cold. And that’s when the summer of DeFi began. 

Decentralized finance (“DeFi”) is a subsector of the digital-asset industry where entrepreneurs are building semi-autonomous lending and trading systems atop decentralized networks, primarily the Ethereum blockchain. The goal is to create alternatives to the big banks and trading firms that are centrally managed by human executives and boards of directors in places like New York, London and Tokyo. The idea is that the distributed, computer-based versions of crucial financial-system infrastructure should be fairer and more efficient to use than their old-world counterparts.

The first sign of the DeFi frenzy arrived in mid-June, when the autonomous lending platform Compound, started in 2017, released its proprietary COMP tokens for public trading in digital-asset markets. At the time, users had socked some $163 million of collateral into the project in exchange for loans. But what got everyone’s attention was a flurry of trading in the tokens that suddenly gave Compound a market capitalization of nearly $785 million. 

Compound’s outsize market cap, relative to the total value locked in the protocol, “may signal the rally went too far,” The Defiant, a newsletter tracking the DeFi sector, wrote on June 16. 

Even Compound’s 35-year-old founder Robert Leshner, acknowledged the hysteria: “Because the asset was so new, there was a bit of a speculative fervor,” Leshner told CoinDesk in an interview. 

It was just the beginning. Two days later, according to the website DeFi Market Cap, the project’s value had reached $2 billion – twice the amount that venture-capital investors consider the threshold for a “unicorn,” a privately held startup with a value of at least $1 billion.

“DeFi is hitting its stride and the space will continue to accelerate,” the research firm Delphi Digital wrote in a report. 

And bitcoin? Suddenly an afterthought. 

“It’s surprising to see bitcoin be so boring given everything happening both within and outside the crypto industry,” the digital-asset analysis firm Messari wrote in its daily email to subscribers. 

In mid-July Messari published a chart showing the Ethereum blockchain’s daily settlement value surging to about $2.5 billion, surpassing bitcoin’s. 

Chart of daily settlement value on the Ethereum vs. Bitcoin blockchains, as of July 21.

Source: Messari

Suddenly prices were soaring for not just ether, the Ethereum blockchain’s native cryptocurrency, but for a veritable parade of tokens associated with hitherto little-known DeFi projects like Aave, Chainlink, Curve and good-luck-explaining-this-to-your-friends outliers like Yam and Spaghetti.

Traditional investment analysts and Wall Street Journal columnists were now asserting matter-of-factly that U.S. stocks were merely being propped up by the Federal Reserve’s $3 trillion of money-printing. So the DeFi explosion raised the question among crypto-industry analysts began wondering whether digital-asset markets had become the new home of capitalism. 

“Every derivatives trader that was looking for incremental yield and levered returns has been besotted by the magnitude of moves in DeFi,” Viashl Shah, founder of derivatives exchange Alpha5, told CoinDesk at the time. “So, naturally, cost of capital dictates at least some attention that way.”

Big cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance started rolling out DeFi-related offerings to supplement their bitcoin-denominated trading operations., a just-invented protocol designed to steer users toward the highest-yielding DeFi projects, saw prices for its YFI token jump 8-fold in August alone.  

The headlines just kept getting zanier and more incomprehensible, and even old crypto pros could barely keep up. A decentralized project called SushiSwap mounted what was described as a “vampire mining attack” to suck some $800 million of liquidity from another decentralized trading protocol called Uniswap, as reported at the time by CoinDesk’s Brady Dale.

Weeks later, Uniswap made a surprise delivery of its UNI tokens to anyone who had ever used the platform, worth at least $1,200 in market value – prompting some witty commentators to call  it “stimulus for Ethereum users,” since it was the same amount as the coronavirus aid checks mailed out earlier in the year by the U.S. Treasury Department. Seemingly out of nowhere, and without the usual hype and press coverage that comes with a big initial public stock offering, Uniswap had a $5 billion valuation. 

Among digital-asset traders, bitcoin looked to be on the defensive, described as a “pet rock,” since so little of the fast-paced DeFi development was taking place on its blockchain. Some bitcoin traders started converting their holdings into freshly minted digital tokens so that the “tokenized” versions of the cryptocurrency could be deposited on DeFi protocols in exchange for juicy interest rates. 

Total collateral locked into DeFi protocols has surged from less than $1 billion at the start of 2020 to more than $15 billion now.

Source: DeFi Pulse

Yet in hindsight, the summer of DeFi galvanized bitcoin’s appeal on a variety of fronts.

For one, it reinforced the reality that while bitcoin was the oldest and biggest cryptocurrency, it was hardly the most interesting. The digital-asset industry and market infrastructure had matured to the point that the competition looked genuine; rival projects were proving capable of fast-paced innovation, disruption and growth.       

“In 2020, DeFi put in place the building blocks for an entirely new financial system: payments, lending, asset issuance, and exchange,” Messari’s Ryan Selkis wrote on Dec. 15. 

The bullish twist was that bitcoin, as the first purchase for many cryptocurrency buyers, might be the gateway to a far-more lucrative industry than previously imagined. 

The DeFi frenzy also sharpened many investors’ focus on what might be bitcoin’s most-compelling use case – as a tool for hedging against central-bank money printing.

As the rest of the year would demonstrate, that “digital gold” narrative would prove enticing enough to big Wall Street firms and money managers to send bitcoin prices to a new all-time high. A pet rock, but apparently pretty cute. 

– Bradley Keoun

Bitcoin Watch

Chart shows number of bitcoin whale entities at record highs.

Source: Glassnode

Bitcoin was consolidating in the range of $22,300 to $21,500 on Friday. Bulls look to be taking a hiatus, having engineered a rally of more than $4,500 to a record price of $23,370 in the past two days. 

The recent rally above $20,000 is accompanied by an increase in bitcoin “whales” – large investors with an ability to influence market trends. 

As of Thursday, the population of whale entities – clusters of addresses held by a single network participant holding at least 1,000 BTC – was 2,001, the highest on record, according to data source Glassnode. The previous lifetime high of 1,992 was recorded on Dec. 4. 

The number of whale entities has gone up by 16% this year, while bitcoin’s price has rallied by 220%. 

The data validate the popular argument that increased participation by big investors has propelled bitcoin higher. High-net-worth individuals are increasingly considering bitcoin a hedge against inflation, according to Willy Woo, an on-chain analyst and the author of The Bitcoin Forecast newsletter.

The rally looks sustainable as it is backed by strong hands. There seems to be a consensus in the market that 2021 could bring more significant gains. To cater to the bullish sentiment, Deribit, the world’s largest crypto options exchange by trading volumes and open interest, has listed call options at the $100,000 strike price expiring on Sept. 24, 2021.

– Omkar Godbole

Also read: Deribit’s New Options Allow Bitcoin Traders to Bet on Rally to $100K

Token Watch

Ether (ETH): More than $1B staked on Ethereum 2.0.

Compound (COMP): Token prices surge as new white paper outlines plans for blockchain to accomodate central bank digital currencies. 

What’s Hot

Coinbase files preliminary documents for initial public offering with U.S. securities regulators (CoinDesk) 

DeFi collateral locked hits all-time high of $16B (CoinDesk) 

Deribit’s new options allow bitcoin traders to bet on rally to $100K (CoinDesk) 

Uncharted territory: How technical analysts are trading bitcoin at all-time highs (CoinDesk)

Bitcoin chatter on Twitter nears highest level in 3 years amid price surge (CoinDesk)

Goldman Sachs analysts write that bitcoin isn’t a threat to gold’s status as “currency of last resort” (Business Insider)  

Private stablecoins could eventually be used as reserve currencies, IMF says (CoinDesk)

Swedish bitcoin exchange Safello raises 11M krona ($1.3M) to cover costs of planned stock-exchange listing in 2021 (CoinDesk) 

“People in China prefer to trust someone they know or someone they can interact directly with, whereas people in the U.S. tend to trust brands,” Multicoin Capital’s Mable Jiang writes in op-ed (CoinDesk Opinion)  

Bitcoin is “more religion than solution to any problem,” billionaire investor Marc Cuban says (Forbes) 

Stablecoins might be the “next battleground in the rapidly escalating war between the public blockchain industry and nation states,” Castle Island’s Nic Carter writes in op-ed (CoinDesk Opinion) 

Green smoothie, snapper fish burger bought in Bahamian health-food cafe with new central-bank digital currency “Sand Dollar” (Reuters)  


The latest on the economy and traditional finance

Federal Reserve emergency-lending programs become sticking point in U.S. stimulus-bill negotiations (Bloomberg) 

Weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rise, hit highest level since early September (CNBC)

Coca-Cola to cut 2,200 jobs globally (Reuters) 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says bipartisan stimulus deal is “close at hand” (CNBC) 

Robinhood pays SEC $65M to settle allegations it misled customers (CoinDesk)

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 27,028.24 0.64%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 1,890.15 0.84%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 95.18 0.46%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 114.47 0.11%