Bitcoin Setting Up Major Bear Trap, According to On-Chain Analyst Will Clemente

Popular on-chain analyst Will Clemente is eyeing several key indicators that suggest a potential bear trap for Bitcoin could play out in the near future.

In a new edition of the weekly Blockware Intelligence Newsletter, Clemente looks at derivatives data to see whether traders are overly bullish or extremely bearish on BTC.

“We were cautious leading into the flush two weeks ago but reset the metric back to the lowest level since May earlier this year. Still overall in a healthy area, but have started to see a bit of [open interest] build-up since the flush.

Don’t think these are aggressive longs because aggregated funding has been muted and even flipped negative on Tuesday.”

Source: Blockware Intelligence

Open interest is the total number of active derivative contracts held by traders. Market participants use the data as an indicator of sentiment and trader bias. According to Clemente, derivatives data shows that traders are not placing aggressive long positions, reducing the possibility of another market correction via a long squeeze, similar to what happened on December 4th.

Clemente also adds that he’s seeing a divergence between the illiquid supply shock ratio, which compares the movement of coins from liquid (weak hands) entities to illiquid (strong hands) entities, and price.

“Would be pretty funny to me if this bullish divergence plays out like the last two.

Just watching price action to confirm that it is playing out. Patience is key.”

Source: Will Clemente/Twitter

According to Clemente, the data that he’s seeing from on-chain metrics and derivatives markets suggests that Bitcoin could be placing a major bear trap.

“The last time I called for a major Bitcoin short squeeze was on July 23rd, the day before we squeezed off the summer lows.

We are currently not there YET, but the setup is becoming more likely [in my opinion].”

While Clemente is looking at the possibility of a Bitcoin rally, he also says that the 30-day moving average of the spent output profit ratio (SOPR) indicates that market participants are currently nursing losses.

“The 1 threshold (black line) serves as the median between a state of profit and loss. When below, market participants are realizing losses in aggregate. When above, market participants are realizing profits in aggregate.

In 2017, BTC didn’t break below the 1 threshold on 30DMA of SOPR once, and once below, continually got rejected off each underside retest of 1.”

Source: Will Clemente/Blockware Intelligence Newsletter

Clemente says he’ll remain cautious on BTC until the SOPR moves above 1 to indicate that market participants are in profits.

At time of writing, Bitcoin is up 1.07%, priced at $47,502.

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COC#3: Squeezed Supply, Shorts and Bitcoin Lemonade

Cycling On-Chain #3: Lemonade

Dilution-proof, August 1, 2021

Cycling On-Chain is a monthly column that uses on-chain and price-related data to better understand recent market movements and estimate where we are in bitcoin’s larger market cycle. After providing a broader look back and forward in the first edition, and discussing how Bitcoin has entered the geopolitical stage in the second edition, we’ll now take a look at the current, ongoing supply squeeze that recently led to a short squeeze in the bitcoin market that drove prices up steeply.

The last three months have been pretty rough for bitcoin from a price perspective. You could make a good case that, fundamentally, things have never looked better. But a period of over-leveraged speculation and (mostly irrational) fear in the markets have left their mark — particularly on the newer market entrants. Those times might be scary but are actually where the wheat is separated from the chaff or, in bitcoin terms, the weak hands are shaken out and the bitcoin ends up in strong hands. These HODLers of last resort don’t budge when price drops a double-digit percentage, but rather see it as an opportunity.

When life gives you melons, make lemonade – Elbert Hubbard, 1915

Lemonade. That is what this third Cycling On-Chain is all about. Times have been tough, but there are currently all kinds of squeezing going on that ensure that much of the available bitcoin supply will end up in strong hands in preparation for the next micro-, meso- or macro-cycle.

Squeezing Supply

A supply shock, sometimes also called a supply squeeze, is an event where the supply of a product or commodity that is actively being traded on the market changes and causes a price move. In Bitcoin, the halving events that occur every 210,000 blocks (roughly every four years) are the most famous supply shocks. During a halving the new supply issuance via the block rewards that miners receive when creating a new block is halved, triggering a large price increase in the subsequent year that is known as Bitcoin’s four-year cycle.

Bitcoin’s halvings are programmed into the software, but a supply shock can also occur when previously illiquid supply becomes liquid or vice versa. It is therefore interesting to assess to what extent supply is in the hands of entities that are or are not selling.

Using the data in the Bitcoin blockchain, it is possible to look at the ages of all the unspent transaction outputs (UTXOs) that have ever existed. Glassnode analyzed these “coin ages” and found that roughly 155 days is a historic cut-off point when the probability of a UTXO being spent becomes very low. Based on this, they created metrics for the short-term holder (STH) and long-term holder (LTH) supply.

Figure 1: Bitcoin price (black), circulating supply (blue), short-term holder supply (red) and long-term holder supply (green) (source)

Figure 1: Bitcoin price (black), circulating supply (blue), short-term holder supply (red) and long-term holder supply (green) (source)

As is evident, the STH and LTH supply fluctuate over time. An easier way to view the historical data is to divide the LTH supply by the circulating supply, which then represents the portion of the circulating supply that is estimated to be in the hands of LTH.

This Long-Term Holder Supply Ratio is displayed in the green line in Figure 2. The green color overlays represent periods in which the LTH Supply Ratio rises, which usually occurs during market downturns where price (black line) decreases or bottoms. The red color overlay shows the opposite: LTH Supply Ratio usually decreases when price rises, illustrating that long-term holders tend to sell against market strength and accumulate during market weakness. Long-term bitcoin holders are therefore usually seen as “smart money.” Being able to follow their economic behavior via the blockchain may hold valuable information about the state of the bitcoin market.

Figure 2: Bitcoin Long-Term Holder (LTH) Supply Ratio (green) and price (black) over time (source)

Figure 2: Bitcoin Long-Term Holder (LTH) Supply Ratio (green) and price (black) over time (source)

The LTH Supply Ratio also allows us to compare how current values for the portion of the total supply that is held by long-term holders compares to historical values. Figure 3 illustrates that the lowest LTH Supply Ratio reached during this latest $65,000 market top was not as low as those reached during previous market cycle tops. Of course it does not have to reach these levels, but shows that if $65,000 does end up being a larger macro market cycle top, it was characterized by lower LTH sell pressure than previous market cycle tops.

Figure 3: Bitcoin Long-Term Holder (LTH) Supply Ratio (green) and price (black) over time (source)

Figure 3: Bitcoin Long-Term Holder (LTH) Supply Ratio (green) and price (black) over time (source)

Since the Bitcoin blockchain is a public ledger, it is also possible to forensically assess to what extent unspent transactions come from or move to certain types of entities, such as exchange wallets. While this is unfortunate from a privacy perspective (make sure to check out @BitcoinQ_A’s privacy guide to learn how to optimally deal with this yourself), it allows Glassnode to improve upon the STH and LTH supply metric.

Using a proprietary algorithm to apply clustering based on forensic analysis of Bitcoin’s UTXO set, they created metrics for the illiquid, liquid and highly liquid supply. For the remainder of this column, the latter two are combined as “liquid supply” to keep the analysis simple.

Figure 4: The bitcoin price (black), circulating supply (blue), illiquid supply (green) and sum of the liquid and highly liquid supply (red) (source)

Figure 4: The bitcoin price (black), circulating supply (blue), illiquid supply (green) and sum of the liquid and highly liquid supply (red) (source)

If you compare the original STH and LTH supply (Figure 1) with this illiquid and liquid supply chart (Figure 4), you’ll see that the changes in the latter are much more nuanced. This is likely the result of the applied clustering, as young UTXOs can still be held by illiquid entities with little to no history of selling.

Therefore, it is more helpful to look at the monthly net changes within these metrics, which is what Glassnode offers in their “Illiquid Supply Change” and “Liquid Supply Change” metrics. Figure 5 displays the illiquid supply change over time. The large amount of previously illiquid supply that became liquid around early May is clearly visible here, as well as the illiquid supply increases that have returned since the May 19 capitulation event.

Figure 5: The monthly (30-day) net change of bitcoin supply held by illiquid entities (source)

Figure 5: The monthly (30-day) net change of bitcoin supply held by illiquid entities (source)

Because the bitcoin supply is increasing by every block and these increases are changing over time due to the halving-based supply issuance schedule, these values cannot be accurately compared to historical values. After all, a 200,000 bitcoin illiquid supply decrease was much more impactful when there were only 2 million bitcoin circulating (10% of the total) than it would be when there are 20 million coins circulating (1%).

This problem can be solved by dividing the illiquid supply by the circulating supply, creating a metric called the circulating supply-adjusted illiquid supply changes,” which is displayed in Figure 6. During the early years, the illiquid supply increased massively, a lot of which was likely related to coins being forgotten about or lost, as well as some of the early HODLers stacking sats before that became a thing. The relative illiquid supply decrease seen during the recent market downturn was the largest since the 2017 market cycle top, which was preceded by two more similar episodes during that bull run. The current illiquid supply increase is also the largest since mid-2017, before that cycle reached its final blow-off top.

Figure 6: The bitcoin price (black) and 30-day illiquid supply changes (green), adjusted for bitcoin's circulating supply (source)

Figure 6: The bitcoin price (black) and 30-day illiquid supply changes (green), adjusted for bitcoin’s circulating supply (source)

Recently, Will Clemente and Willy Woo introduced the “illiquid supply ratio,” a metric that is calculated by dividing Glassnode’s illiquid supply by liquid and highly liquid supplies. An alternative version that is best labeled as “illiquid supply percentage” can be calculated by dividing the illiquid supply by bitcoin’s circulating supply. The latter metric therefore represents the portion of the circulating supply that is currently labelled as illiquid by Glassnode. Likewise, the liquid supply percentage can be calculated by dividing the liquid supply by the circulating supply, representing the inverse of the illiquid supply. Both metrics are displayed in Figure 7.

Figure 7: The bitcoin price (black), circulating supply (blue), illiquid (green) and liquid supply (red) percentages (source)

Figure 7: The bitcoin price (black), circulating supply (blue), illiquid (green) and liquid supply (red) percentages (source)

Next we’ll zoom in on the illiquid supply ratio percentage, which is visualized in figure 8. After Bitcoin’s genesis almost all of the bitcoin supply was considered illiquid, as network participants were CPU mining on laptops and desktops and mostly just toying around with the new software. When bitcoin started getting a market price and saw some early adoption as a neo-money, a larger portion of the supply started to become liquid, as these coins could now actually be spent. During the earlier years miners also may have been selling their newly mined bitcoin to cover overhead costs — especially after the introduction of GPU mining and later ASIC mining.

Figure 8 also shows that after each Bitcoin halving (vertical black striped lines), the rate of contraction in the illiquid supply slows — even turning into a positive growth rate immediately after the last two halvings. More simply put: as the bitcoin supply issuance declines and it becomes scarcer, its holders appear to become less and less inclined to part with their bitcoin. Will the low 70% illiquid supply ratio percentage that we saw during the previous bear market be the lowest ones that will ever be reached in Bitcoin’s existence?

Figure 8: The bitcoin price (black) and illiquid supply ratio (green) over time (source)

Figure 8: The bitcoin price (black) and illiquid supply ratio (green) over time (source)

Figure 9 shows this same illiquid supply ratio percentage, but zooms in on the last year. Since the start of July, the illiquid supply ratio percentage increased drastically, as coins were being scooped off the market at a discount by holders with a history of being strong hands. Current illiquid supply ratio percentage values haven’t been seen since the bitcoin price was hovering just below all-time highs at around $55,000. This short-term trend suggests that the recent dump is now over and a new supply squeeze may be underway.

Figure 9: The bitcoin price (black) and illiquid supply ratio (green) over time (source)

Figure 9: The bitcoin price (black) and illiquid supply ratio (green) over time (source)

Squeezing Shorts

The supply wasn’t the only thing being squeezed recently. Since the May 19 capitulation event, the bitcoin price has been in a downward consolidation and market sentiment was predominantly bearish. Bitcoin Twitter was actually so salty that you could mine salt by scrolling through the responses under the tweet of any on-chain analyst. This was also noticeable in the funding rates of bitcoin perpetual futures contracts that were mostly negative since then, which means that shorting bitcoin was so popular that you would basically need to pay a premium to go short. The increasing open interest since the May 19 capitulation while funding stayed negative further substantiates this.

These circumstances lined up to be ideal for a short squeeze to occur. A short squeeze happens when a relatively large portion of the futures market is going short with inappropriate risk management and a sudden price increase causes the collateral under these positions to become insufficient, triggering exchanges to liquidate these positions. This is particularly troublesome if a large portion of the open positions are naked shorts, which means that they use a different form of collateral to borrow the asset they’re shorting against. In the case of bitcoin, when fiat currencies or stablecoins are used as collateral for a short position that is then liquidated, the fiat or stablecoin collateral is used to buy the bitcoin that is needed to pay off the debt, which actually drives its price up further.

This is exactly what happened over the last two weeks. Figure 10 illustrates that since the May 19 capitulation event, price declined (black) while open interest (blue) increased, as funding remained negative (light green). When price resiliently bounced off the recent $30,000 lows, open interest actually increased further at increasingly negative funding, showing that the bears were basically doubling down. However, the bitcoin price just kept surging, liquidating a large number of these naked shorts, creating an over $10,000 price move over the course of about a week.

Figure 10: The bitcoin price (black), perpetual futures funding (light green), perpetual futures open interest (blue) and short liquidations (red) (source)

Figure 10: The bitcoin price (black), perpetual futures funding (light green), perpetual futures open interest (blue) and short liquidations (red) (source)

Squeezing Out The Weak Hands

During this recent bounce off the lows, the Average Spent Output Lifespan (ASOL) per entity on the network remained low, which means that the coins that moved on the bitcoin blockchain throughout this period were mostly relatively young. The Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) per entity on the network did increase though, illustrating that the coins that were moved did so at a profit. This combination of trends is visualized in figure 11 and suggests that younger market entrants that were sitting on underwater positions might have jumped on this opportunity to sell some of their positions at a profit. This is once again an example of coins moving from weak-handed entities with low conviction to strong-handed new owners.

Figure 11: Entity-adjusted Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) and Average Spent Output Lifespan (ASOL) over time (source)

Figure 11: Entity-adjusted Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) and Average Spent Output Lifespan (ASOL) over time (source)

When using terms like “smart money” and “weak hands,” we tend to consider institutional players to be the former and retail investors to be the latter, but this is not necessarily the case. Figure 12 displays the bitcoin supply that is held by entities with balances up to 1,000 bitcoin and shows that entities with balances of up to 1 bitcoin have been rigorously stacking sats throughout this entire bull run and never had a significant selloff. Entities with a balance between 1 and 100 bitcoin were selling portions of their stack since bitcoin broke its prior $20,000 all-time high until the May 19 capitulation event. But these smaller entities have been accumulating again since then. Entities with a balance of 100 to 1,000 bitcoin were mostly stacking when the bitcoin price neared its recent all-time high and have mostly sat on their positions ever since.

Figure 12: Bitcoin supply held by each entity tier, up to 1,000 bitcoin (source)

Figure 12: Bitcoin supply held by each entity tier, up to 1,000 bitcoin (source)

By definition, whenever there are buyers there are also sellers. On average, entities with balances up to 100 bitcoin were accumulating throughout the recent market downturn. They were therefore slowly depleting the highly liquid supply that was actively being traded on the markets, as we already saw in the illiquid supply changes. Since this last bounce off the $30,000 lows, almost 112,000 bitcoin have been withdrawn from exchanges (Figure 13), adding fuel to the fire that we may be in the midst of another supply squeeze.

Figure 13: Bitcoin balances on exchanges (source)

Figure 13: Bitcoin balances on exchanges (source)

A Not-So-Sour Sentiment

The recent market turnaround seems to have had a noticeable impact on the market sentiment as well. In an informal monthly market sentiment poll, respondents were very clearly bullish on all timeframes, as can be seen in figure 14.

Figure 14: Bitcoin market sentiment poll, ending on July 31, 2021 (source)

Figure 14: Bitcoin market sentiment poll, ending on July 31, 2021 (source)

These poll results appear to align with the Fear & Greed Index that scrapes multiple social media platforms and algorithmically assesses the sentiment in bitcoin-related posts. Throughout the recent downwards price consolidation it consistently signaled very high levels of fear and anxiety, but has now actually flipped to greed for the first time in a while (Figure 15).

Figure 15: The Crypto Fear & Greed Index (source)

Figure 15: The Crypto Fear & Greed Index (source)

During the last few months, an often-heard criticism of on-chain analysis was that it does not predict the future. While this is true, increased insight into what is happening under the hood of the system certainly helps us understand how the bitcoin market functions. Relatively unexpected events such as Elon Musk or Tesla suddenly speaking negatively on Bitcoin or China suddenly cracking down hard against it can impact the market at any point. However, these types of events occur during each four-year halving cycle, so zooming out and looking at the larger picture may be helpful in navigating the larger trends.

Several models have been developed to do so and use statistical approaches to predict the global direction of where the bitcoin price is headed, such as the S2F and S2FX models. Other indexes extrapolate price increases throughout previous halving cycles over the current period. Each of these approaches have their own methodological limitations, but together they provide a nice overview of where price may be heading if history either repeats or rhymes (Figure 16). On average, the bitcoin price was following those anticipated courses nicely throughout the current halving cycle, but has dipped below most of these models during the recent market downturn. Will this cycle end up being the one that breaks down several of these models to the downside or will the apparent ongoing supply squeeze drive up this cycle’s price in line with its predecessors?

Figure 16: The Bitcoin Halving Cycle Roadmap (2020-2024)

Figure 16: The Bitcoin Halving Cycle Roadmap (2020-2024)

Previous editions of Cycling On-Chain:

Disclaimer: This column was written for educational, informational and entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as investment advice.

This is a guest post by Dilution-proof. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.


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Bitcoin Price Surges On Massive Short Squeeze

The bitcoin price surged to $40,000 on Sunday, but what was the reason for the move and why was it so explosive?

The below is a recent edition of the Deep Dive, Bitcoin Magazine‘s premium markets newsletter. To be among the first to receive these insights and other on-chain bitcoin market analysis straight to your inbox, subscribe now.

The short squeeze finally arrived.

Late Sunday evening, the bitcoin price started to run and absolutely exploded higher, touching $40,000 on certain exchanges and hitting an unbelievable $48,000 on the Binance Perpetual Swap BTC/USDT contract. 

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What was the reason for the move, and why was it so explosive?

Let’s break it down.

The first thing to understand is how derivatives work and how certain types of derivatives can affect the market.

In last Friday’s edition of the Daily Dive, we covered the structural changes that had occurred in the bitcoin derivatives market since May. Specifically, the increasing prevalence of stablecoin margined derivatives. To quickly recap some of the important points from Friday’s report, there are two type of derivative contracts (broadly speaking): ones that use stablecoins as margin and ones that use crypto, or in this case specifically, bitcoin as collateral.

It is advantageous to use stablecoins to long bitcoin instead of bitcoin itself because if bitcoin draws down while you are leveraged long, not only does your position take a hit but the value of the collateral you are using falls in tandem. This is a large reason that the May 19 sell off was so extreme.

In The Daily Dive #024 A Dichotomy Emerges, we covered the divergence between the spot market accumulation taking place and the increasingly bearish sentiment and trading occurring via the derivatives markets, as funding was persistently negative for much of the past three months.

“Derivative and futures traders are bearish. Bitcoin stackers and hodlers are bullish. An explosive dichotomy in the market is beginning to emerge.” 

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Specifically, bearish bets occurring on Binance using stablecoins as collateral had been occurring in increasing numbers over the past three months.

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Leading up to May, traders were increasingly using bitcoin as collateral to long bitcoin. This can be seen in the chart below which shows the proportion of crypto/stablecoin margined futures contracts.

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This short squeeze is the opposite. Traders were increasingly shorting bitcoin using stablecoins as collateral (i.e. shorting bitcoin via futures without having the underlying bitcoin).

However, slowly but surely, accumulation by sat stackers ate away at the free float supply, which eventually gave way to a short squeeze.

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Bitcoin Bulls Might Trigger a Short-Squeeze Based on the $3K Intraday Gain

After nosediving below the psychological level of $30K on July 20, Bitcoin (BTC) gained momentum and rose to the $32,100 level during intraday trading. 

This momentum was partly triggered by Elon Musk’s disclosure during the B-Word virtual event held on July 21 that SpaceX aerospace manufacturer had invested its treasury reserves in BTC and Tesla was likely to begin accepting BTC payment again. 

As a result, Bitcoin’s price has risen by $3K from lows of $29K to the current $32K level.

On-chain data provider Dilution-proof acknowledged:

“Bitcoin just had a +$3k intraday move, but the futures markets remain short. This will likely go down as a great setup for a short-squeeze by the bulls, or as an important bear clampdown of a relief rally. Either way, looks like we’ll be seeing some volatility over the next week.”


A short-squeeze is an unusual condition that triggers rapidly rising prices in a tradable asset. 

The CIO at Moskovski Capital, Lex Moskovski, echoed these sentiments. He explained:

“Bitcoin is going to burn bears with a nice short squeeze at some point. Their only bastion of hope is the Fed tapering out.”

BTC whales have been buying the fear

According to on-chain analyst Will Clemente:

“Whales have been buying the fear. They’ve now added +96,044 BTC to their holdings in the last 3 weeks.”



Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) have engulfed the Bitcoin market ever since the leading cryptocurrency plummeted from an all-time high (ATH) price of $64.8k recorded in mid-April. This has been partly caused by intensified crypto mining crackdown by Chinese authorities and previous Elon Musk comments about Bitcoin’s environmental effects. 

Market analyst Michael van de Poppe believes that all is good as long as Bitcoin sustains above $31k. Therefore, time will tell whether the short-squeeze will be triggered in the BTC market. 

Image source: Shutterstock


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Ethereum Spikes to New ATH Following Massive Short Squeeze

Ethereum (ETH), the world’s second-largest digital currency by market capitalization has been seeing a good upside in growth over the past few days, as retail interest, evident by growing transaction volumes has stirred a run in price.

The growth was has been further complemented by the run in the price of the cryptocurrency to a new All-time High (ATH) of $3,523.59 according to data pulled from CoinMarketCap.

While the overall sentiment surrounding Ethereum can be adjudged as bullish, the current run in price was notably fueled by the unprecedented liquidations of about $375 million was recorded across all derivatives exchange. The short squeeze which forced the short sellers to buy back their positions pushed Ether’s price up in response to an overbloated demand. The liquidations emerged as a cap to the weeklong run in the price of the cryptocurrency with over 35% gains in the trailing seven-day period.

Additionally, the growth strides of Ethereum can also be attributed to the continuous buyups by institutional asset managers as highlighted by CoinShares. According to the report, published weekly, liquidity inflows into Ethereum made by OTC trading Desks, renowned ETPs, Mutual Trusts, and other institutional-grade products came in at $30.2 million, bringing the total inflow to $13.9 billion.

Ethereum did not earn its reputation as an asset for institutional buyers the way Bitcoin has been branded, however, the burgeoning price of Bitcoin has pushed many investors with brewing interest in the space to switch to Ethereum.

The outlook of Ethereum and its rally to levels above $3,500 was also impacted by the growing interest in ETH 2.0 per the total deposits being recorded. The anticipated EIP 1559 upgrade, as well as the outpacing strides of the coin, has rekindled the bullish sentiments upon which it is riding at this time. 

Many have speculated that Ethereum will flip Bitcoin in valuation in the future, while observers anticipate how that turns out, Ethereum’s current utility as a DeFi backbone will also contribute to tilting investors toward the coin. 

Image source: Shutterstock


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Epic Ethereum Short Squeeze Pushes Rally To New ATH

For the last few days, Ethereum has been adding incredible returns for investors. According to CoinMarketCap, on Monday, ETH added over 16% pushing the coin to a new record of slightly over $3,450. At the time of writing, the coin was trading at around $3,470, a gain of 9.43% over the last 24 hours.

Ethereum Short Squeeze Is Responsible For The Rally

A short squeeze refers to when short-sell orders in the futures market are liquidated in a short period of time. When the shorts are liquidated, short-sellers will have to buy back their positions. This automatically causes buyer demand to increase in the market.

Hence, the number of shorts rapidly declines, and long contracts or buy orders begin to dominate the market.

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In the case of Ethereum, the last 24 hours has seen all-time high short liquidations across all derivative exchanges. According to cryptoanalysis firm, CryptoQuant, the cryptocurrency liquidations reached about $55 million in exit leveraged long positions causing the price to surge to a new record high.

As a result of the increased volatility, Ethereum (ETH) saw its market capitalization spike to almost $400 billion. Notably, its daily average traded volume stood at approximately $72.7 billion according to metrics provided by CoinGecko.

According to the chart, higher support is required to keep the bears at bay and allow bulls to focus on price levels above $3,500 and $4,000, respectively. The Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD) suggests that Ethereum is firmly in the bulls’ hands.

Related article | $150 Million In  Short Squeeze Liquidated As Bitcoin Scales Above $53,000

Ethereum Continues To Enjoy Acceptance

Ethereum, the second-largest digital asset by market capitalization, has earned a warm welcome from institutional investors, owing to its massive DeFi supremacy. Coincidentally, Ethereum began to eat away at Bitcoin’s market share, with the latter having about 44.6 percent against 16.7% for ETH. The average amount of ETH gas is 39 gwei.

After a two-week period of consolidation, the cryptocurrency bulls were re-energized by a surge in the price of Ethereum. The cryptocurrency market, however, is in a super-cycle. According to Dan Held, a prominent cryptocurrency analyst, and will continue to rise in the coming months.

“Money printers go Brrrr…Bitcoin was planted during the 2008 financial crisis as an antidote to bad central banking policy, but it has grown during a macro bull run (largely no recessions or depressions from 2008 – 2020),” Held noted.

He further added that:

“With Bitcoin’s current 4-year microcycles coinciding with the longer macro ~10-year cycles, that puts Bitcoin in a potential Supercycle. This is similar to Ray Dalio’s observation of short and long-term debt cycles but on an accelerated timeline.”

For most decentralized financial networks, the Ethereum ecosystem is considered a pioneer in the smart contract market. DeFi networks, such as Uniswap DEX, is based on the Ethereum ecosystem and manages the majority of daily cryptocurrency transactions.

“Thousands of developers are building applications that recreate traditional financial products in decentralized ways on top of Ethereum, and as more and more users pour in to interact with these apps, they require ETH (ether) to conduct any transaction,” said Sergey Nazarov, co-founder of smart contract company Chainlink.

“Second, there seems to be growing institutional interest in the public Ethereum blockchain, as stakeholders play around with ways to leverage the public network,” he added.

It’s also interesting to note that Ethereum’s co-founder, Vitalik Buterin, has made it the list of the world’s youngest cryptocurrency billionaires. The 27-year-old programmer’s crypto holding soared to higher levels as Ethereum price hit new record highs.

With a balance of over 333,520.81+ in his public Ether wallet, Buterin valued crossed the billion dollars when this cryptocurrency reached $3,000. Store at address 0xAb5801a7D398351b8bE11C439e05C5B3259aeC9B since September 8, 2015, Buterin’s lowest value in USD terms stood at $0,12 on November 19 of that year and stands at $1,044,090,315.14 today, according to Etherscan data.

Related article | Ethereum Rally Extends Above $3,400, Why Dips Remain Attractive

Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from and CryptoQuant.


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$150 Million In  Short Squeeze Liquidated As Bitcoin Scales Above $53,000

On Monday, Bitcoin surged above $53,000. At 13:15 GMT, the coin was exchanging hands at $53,324, a 7.07% increase over the last 24 hours.

However, about $150 million worth of shorts were liquidated within a few hours as bulls returned to take a firm grip over the market. The cryptocurrency rose from $47,000 to over $53,000 as the short squeeze occurred following a fall to the bear market late last week.

Other cryptocurrencies like ETH, BNB, also experienced short squeeze as they rose by around 15%. As Bitcoin recovered by 12% within a single day, it appears the futures market is completely reset.

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Bitcoin Short Squeeze Is Bullish

A short squeeze refers to when short-sell orders in the futures market are liquidated in a short period of time. When the shorts are liquidated, short sellers will have to buy back their positions. This automatically causes buyer demand to increase in the market.

Hence, the number of shorts rapidly declines, and long contracts or buy orders begin to dominate the market.

Related article | Cuban Expects Number of Bitcoin Hodlers to Double, But Ban Fears Still Linger

In the case of Bitcoin in the last 24 hours, despite BTC’s strong rally back up, the funding rate has remained relatively low. According to, the funding rate across major exchanges for Bitcoin is below 0.01%, which is below the neutral rate.

At the current rate, there are still more longs in the futures market, which could push the price to go higher.

Lex Moskovski, the CIO at Moskovski Capital, said:

“~$150M of #Bitcoin shorts liquidated on this brief move up. Nothing smells better than roasted bears in the morning.”

Sentiment From Traders Show Bullish Expectations

In the near term, many traders are optimistic that the $55,000 price level is an important one to reclaim for the chance of Bitcoin reaching its previous ATH.

Johnny, a cryptocurrency derivatives trader, said:

“Swept the lows and now we have a very strong bounce. We are not out of the woods yet. Reclaim $55,500 and than we can talk about new ATH. For now, play it level by level. Strong reaction so far.”

Another trader, Adnan Van Dal, noted that if the price of BTC doesn’t drop until the US market opens, the chance of the price going higher is highly probable. He wrote on Twitter:

“If $BTC can make it to the US open (EUR am Man shrugging) think cud be ok for a bit. Durable goods orders at open, actual data’s been good, SPX near ATH post useful Friday profit taking & started firm. Think helps – coincident SPX / $BTC weakness a thing this year. TSLA wildcard later tho.”

As it stands, it appears that the bulls are back. The bears’ grip on the market has been short-lived. Currently, the price is aiming for a recovery above $55,000 and the likelihood that the benchmark cryptocurrency will hit a new all-time high soon cannot be ignored.

Related article | Bitcoin Makes Comeback, Here’s Why $53.5K Holds The Key

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DeFi Operations Need to Be Open for Regulation, Says SEC Commissioner

Hester Pierce is on the frontline, advocating for an allowance for legal clarity within the DeFi space and maintaining freedom for it to experiment. In her opinion, this will create a better chance for DeFi to compete fair and square with centralized finance.

DeFi Will Pose A Challenge in Regulation

Hester aired her thoughts at a George Washington University Law School event targeting regulation and the digital economy during the ‘Atomic Trading’ speech.

Earlier this year, she mentioned that the SEC would be taking a hands-on approach when dealing with DeFi. 

The DeFi space has been fast-growing, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Following suit as other sectors within the crypto space gained increased interest from both retail and institutional investors, DeFi is currently swinging at $35.58B of TVL within its platforms.

Nonetheless, this popularity has created a chance for more foul players to join the game. DeFi and Uniswap scams have been on the rise, leading to significant losses by unsuspecting investors. 

The SEC, among other regulators, believes that the lack of regulations within decentralized finance is the root of all scams. Furthermore, they agree that a well-monitored environment is key to achieving crypto mass adoption.

However, Pierce commented that the decentralized and ambiguous nature of DeFi would pose a significant challenge in the sector’s regulation. At the time, she explained that a regulator’s role would depend on what was to be regulated; in that case, there were many gray areas involved.

An Insistent SEC

Referencing the latest issue they faced after GameStop’s stocks shorting; Pierce explained the tough decisions they have to make in different financial situations. 

At the same time, she expressed DeFi to be an excellent way to test their regulation capabilities in shielding both investors and markets.

Pierce also recognized the advantages that DeFi holds over centralized finance, including democracy, open-source platforms, easier access, faster transactions, technological resilience, and more.

Additionally, she sees the technological advancements within the DeFi space as a breakthrough for the regulatory challenges. That way, the technology will open doors to finding the solution for DeFi regulation. 

Robinhood’s Transaction Settlement

The SEC commissioner recognized Robinhood’s bold move of limiting the trade execution times. Vlad Tenev, Robinhood’s founder, and Citadel Securities founder Ken Griffin took a witness testimony approach pursuing real-time transaction settlements. 

The move comes after the retail traders on the platform experienced a two-day settlement issue due to an influx in GameStop’s stock trading. However, the DTC Settlement Services advises that the ecosystem isn’t ready for immediate settlements. 

Instead, the settlement is currently working in conjunction with asset managers, brokers, and regulators to venture into half a day settlement time. 

Going by the “crypto mom’s” sentiments on Robinhood, fast transaction processing is entirely possible in the crypto space, making it a starting point for finding tools to regulate the digital economy.

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wNews: Reddit Communities and The Future of Bitcoin

Key Takeaways

  • A band of cunning Redditors successfully crushed Wall Street short bettors and made global headlines all week. 
  • Bitcoin and Ethereum had a tumultuous week, especially after Elon Musk subtly endorsed the leading cryptocurrency.
  • This week’s crypto to-do list offers readers a new way to bring BTC to Ethereum.

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This week’s edition of wNews unpacks how Redditors managed to bankrupt a hedge fund and inflict serious losses to others. 

The mechanics of a Robinhood-fueled short squeeze has made headlines globally. And while many crypto enthusiasts are calling for a paradigm shift, finance may just be experiencing the growing pains of Internet-scale communities. Only time will tell. 

Bitcoin and Ethereum traded sideways for most of the week, at least until the world’s richest man decided to endorse BTC on Friday. 

Finally, weekend hobbyists can learn the ropes of one of the most interesting projects in crypto. Badger DAO is bringing Bitcoin to Ethereum, with a twist. 

All that and more, below.

Occupy Wall Street 2.0

So, let’s talk about what seems to be the only story in finance these days: The WallStreetBets revolution. 

It has all the makings of a great story. There are elements of David and Goliath, Robinhood, populist revolution, and sheer mass boredom. Indeed, the narrative is eternal; this edition is just steeped in financial jargon. 

This week’s column will create a timeline of events, unpack the two dominant narratives, and, most importantly, reveal how the crypto industry will likely benefit. 

But, first, a quick explainer on the mechanics behind the GameStop (GME) short squeeze.

The Big Short (Squeeze)

In laymen’s terms, shorting a stock means you borrow an asset with the expectation that the asset will drop in value. Then you sell that borrowed asset on the open market, repurchase it with your profits once the asset drops, then return the loaned asset and keep the difference.

Here’s a quick theoretical example. 

Stock A is trading at $10, but Kaye thinks it’s going to crash soon. So, she borrows the stock from a brokerage and quickly sells it for $10. Don’t forget, Kaye still needs to return the borrowed stock to the broker eventually. 

The price then drops to $5 because Kaye is an excellent market guru. She then quickly repurchases the stock at that price using the $10 she made from her earlier sell, returns the stock to the broker, and keeps the extra $5. 

Remember, she borrowed the stock, not the value of the stock at that time. 

As a side note, when an investor asks their broker to short a stock, the broker is essentially just asking another investor who holds the stock to lend it out. Sometimes this arrangement is buried in the fine print, however. 

Now, let’s unpack what happens when the stock doesn’t do what it’s expected. 

Kaye has just sold the stock for $10, expecting it to plummet eventually. Instead, though, the stock rises to $12, and she still needs to repay that stock loan. She has two choices: She can either repurchase the stock and take the $2 loss and return the loan, or she can wait and see if the stock eventually falls to a point where she makes a profit. 

The latter option is perilous because there is no limit to how high a stock can rise. This means that Kaye’s losses could also be unlimited. 

Here’s how this is related to GameStop. 

Back in September 2019, a character named r/DeepF*ckingValue (name adjusted for press) began posting about GME on Reddit and his prayer bets on the stock. At that time, the company was also doing quite well, but the stock was underperforming relative to its health. 

Josh Gross has an excellent thread on this undiscovered backstory. 

Gross began digging into these posts and soon discovered an “insane” level of short interest (i.e., hedge funds like Kaye from above) banking on the fall of GameStop. These funds were, in fact, borrowing more shares than were actively being traded. 

They did this because they were convinced that GameStop’s bankruptcy was inevitable, so they went all-in with max leverage.

Source: Twitter

r/DeepF*ckingValue doesn’t start looking like a genius until Michael Burry, the key figure from the 2008 financial crisis, joined them and began buying boatloads of GME. 

The price then slowly began to rise as people joined the trade. “And then more people,” wrote Gross. 

The short bettors saw this and quickly bought more shares to cover their positions. This, in turn, puts even more buying pressure on GME, lifting the price even higher. Funds thus need to buy more cover. Thus pushing prices higher. And so on.

Soon, this reached a pitch once a subreddit of millions of users, r/wallstreetbets, caught on to the game. Then Elon Musk and Chamath Palihapitiya joined in, adding fuel to the flames. 

This is a short squeeze, albeit of epic proportions.

Soon, Melvin Capital, the largest short bettor on GameStop, crumbled. They even earned a $2.75 billion bailout to help close their positions. 

And Then There Were Two

Two narratives have since emerged from this debacle. 

The first is the story of the little guy against the big bad Wall Streeters. The average joe versus the establishment and so on. This narrative is currently capturing hearts and minds around the world. Some compare the events to a renewed Occupy Wall Street, others to the Capitol riots at the beginning of the month. 

“I think that the narrative is romantic, and will likely stick as a kind of justice, a Robinhood type of arrangement,” Thomas Kuhn, an analyst at Quantum Economics, told Crypto Briefing.

Assuming that the GameStop short squeeze is a revolution, it also assumes that an ideology drove the events. And though there have been samples of ideology, one must realize that personal greed, stimulus checks, and the sheer boredom of lockdown are far more logical conclusions. 

Jamie Powell of The Financial Times wrote

“So what is going on? The simple answer is: people have found a way to get rich quick, and are doing so. Nothing more, nothing less.”

What’s more, these Redditors likely didn’t operate alone. Surely, various funds and trading desks saw the same trade and joined en masse. Kuhn added that: 

“The reality is probably more complex, where, for example, on Robinhood, the free trading app has been selling its order flow to Citadel, where perhaps High-Frequency Trading also participated in this.”

It’s difficult to call these events a clear-cut paradigm shift. 

Instead, a more accurate description would be that greed, when scaled to the size of the Internet, looks an awful lot like ideology. 

When so many micro forces are performing a singular, cohesive task, onlookers will have difficulty seeing each component. Thus, what was probably just a bunch of millennials trying to make a quick buck on a trading app, now looks like the French Revolution. 

However, that doesn’t mean that these same millennials aren’t perfectly primed for a coup of sorts. Just so long as they get rich along the way. 

Market Action: Bitcoin (BTC)

Bitcoin’s price has maintained a horizontal range for the past couple of weeks. Before the next big move, the consolidation phase has primarily held within the range of $33,900 and $30,700. 

Bulls attempted a breakout above the range on Monday; however, they failed at highs of $34,900. 

The bears also had a go on Wednesday, causing a strong pullback below $30,000. Fear in the market rose to levels not seen in this bull market. 

BTC/USD 4-hour chart on Coinbase. Source: Trading View 
BTC/USD 4-hour chart on Coinbase. Source: Trading View 

Supported by Ray Dalio’s comment from last night and Elon Musk’s status update on Twitter, which now only says “Bitcoin,” the price of the cryptocurrency shot up 15% to highs of $38,077.  

Bitcoin’s Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) is a robust on-chain indicator for gauging long-to-medium term market sentiments. The SOPR shot up significantly last week to levels not seen since the 2017 top. 

The metric, nevertheless, touched the pivot value of 1 after Wednesday’s correction. In an uptrend, the market rejects values below 1 and vice-versa. 

The ratio has started to pick-up again, suggesting strong hands.  

Bitcoin SOPR ratio. Source: Glassnode
Bitcoin SOPR ratio. Source: Glassnode

Bitcoin’s peak price of $42,000 is the most critical resistance, beyond the all-time high market’s bullish expectations will rise considerably. 

SIMETRI’s lead Bitcoin analyst, Nathan Batchelor, confirmed the same: 

“If BTC reaches $42,000 then a massive inverted head and shoulders pattern will form, which points to $55,000. Additionally, bears failed to closed the daily candle under a large broadening ascending wedge earlier this week, signaling bulls appetite to test higher. Again, this pattern points to $55,000 as an upcoming target.”

Market Action: Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum’s native token ETH logged a new all-time high of $1,477 on Monday. The surge blindsided the market’s focus towards ETH. However, buyers failed to push it higher. 

ETH has since followed Bitcoin’s price action, plunging 9.29% on Wednesday and increasing by 4.8% this morning. 

ETH/USD daily price chart on Coinbase. Source: Trading View 
ETH/USD daily price chart on Coinbase. Source: Trading View 

The daily ETH chart is textbook bullish, forming an ascending triangle pattern with higher lows and horizontal resistance. ETH seems to have a clear pass above $1,390 and a high probability of bullish confirmation above the peak value of $1,480. 

The support levels for Ethereum are at $1,200 and $1,040.

Still, the funding rates for the top two cryptocurrencies on derivatives exchanges are surging, which is a negative signal. 

A funding rate of 0.1% every eight hours on derivatives exchange amounts to more than 100% annual percentage rate (APR). Such high rates make shorting a lucrative option. 

The last updated funding rate on Binance, for example, is 0.2% for BTC and 0.19% for ETH. 

Bitcoin and Ethereum funding rates on exchanges. Source: View Base  
Bitcoin and Ethereum funding rates on exchanges. Source: View Base  

While traders and investors are getting comfortable with the new hyperactive regime, risk management and avoiding over-leveraging has become more important than ever.

Crypto To-Do List: Bring Bitcoin to DeFi

Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) have been a major talking point in the crypto space since 2016, with varying degrees of success. 

To date, DAOs have typically run on the Ethereum blockchain. The earliest and best-known DAO was launched in April 2016, less than a year into Ethereum’s lifetime. A vulnerability in the code enabled some users to steal the DAO’s funds, however, and a controversial decision was reached to hard fork Ethereum. It’s what led to the creation of Ethereum Classic. 

Though the idea of launching a DAO during Ethereum’s infancy was arguably short-sighted, the blockchain has seen significant development since then. The driving narrative is undoubtedly DeFi, with almost $28 billion locked in protocols such as Aave and Uniswap. 

NFTs are also booming. But less attention is paid to DAOs, despite their huge promise. 

One of the most promising DAOs on Ethereum is BadgerDAO. Its aim is to usher in Bitcoin as collateral across other blockchains. 

Ownership of BadgerDAO is shared, and there are several ways to participate in the project. 

BadgerDAO’s products are focused on Bitcoin. One of them is called Sett, a DeFi aggregator that takes inspiration from Andre Cronje’s venerated Yearn.Finance vaults.

Sett offers DeFi users strategies for optimizing yield on tokenized Bitcoin. It currently uses the following strategies: 

  • Curve_sbtc_lp tokens: Compounding strategy
  • Curve_renbtc_lp tokens: Compounding strategy
  • Curve_tbtc_lp tokens: Compounding strategy
  • Badger <> wBTC Uniswap LP: Compounding Strategy
  • Badger: Stake Badger and earn Badger

Sett can be used to earn BADGER, BadgerDAO’s native token. Besides a 10% supply for the founders, which will be released on a slow emission schedule, BADGER has been allocated for the community only. This encompasses liquidity mining, developer mining, the DAO treasury, Gitcoin owners, and the token airdrop. 

Rewards are paid based on how long users stake the funds for. Similar to Bitcoin, the supply is hard-capped at 21 million. The funds will be used to govern the DAO. 

BadgerDAO’s second product is called DIGG, a synthetic Bitcoin that runs on Ethereum with an elastic supply. 

The supply adjusts across all holders according to the value of DIGG relative to BTC. Users’ wallet balance increases when DIGG increases in price and decreases when the price of the token does. 

BadgerDAO says DIGG is intended to create a non-custodial version of BTC that relies on elastic parameters. 

DIGG has a supply of 6,250. It was recently airdropped to users who bootstrapped the DAO. 

Though it’s early days for BadgerDAO, it’s an interesting project that’s helping the growth of Bitcoin on Ethereum. There’s already over $1 billion locked inside the DAO. As demand for collateralized Bitcoin grows, this could well increase in the future. 

For anyone familiar with popular tokenized Bitcoin options like WBTC and RENBTC, joining the BadgerDAO could be a nice opportunity to earn yield while joining one of the first functional iterations of a DAO on Ethereum.

However, it goes without saying that many of these protocols are nascent and could fall to bugs or hacks at any time. Proceed with caution at all times. 

That’s all for this week’s edition of wNews, readers. Stay tuned for next week’s dispatch.

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GameStop’s Short Squeeze Is Far More Than Just Retail Noise

Key Takeaways

  • The GameStop short squeeze caused a 140% surge in GME’s price since yesterday.
  • Redditors, popular Twitter accounts, and online media all contributed to the pump, and demise of short orders to the tune of $5 billion.
  • The episode is a sign of a broader paradigm shift in a world economy post COVID-19.

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Mainstream media has written off GameStop’s (GME) short-squeeze as a win for small guys against Wall Street. Nevertheless, the incident hints at an underlying macro shift in global economics in which Bitcoin and crypto markets become much more relevant.

Historical Short Squeeze of GameStop

A short-squeeze is a rare event that causes an avalanche movement in an asset’s price, usually opposite to the dominant position. In 2019, for instance, Bitcoin surged from $4,000 to highs near $14,000 when sentiments were at extreme lows, and short orders were chased to complete exhaustion.

In GameStop’s case, American hedge fund Melvin Capital held the largest short position on the company’s stock, GME.

The hedge fund got out of the position yesterday afternoon, according to a CNBC report. At 2:30 pm ET on Tuesday, GME was changing hands at close to $125.

Consequently, when the asset management firm closed its position, the markets witnessed a “short squeeze” in real-time.

The wheels for the event were set in motion months ago, however. Redditors have been relentlessly trying to orchestrate a short squeeze, targeting the low value, dying GameStop stock.

So, when Melvin Capital and other short positions finally gave in, the price continued to rise to $145 at closing time.

Closing up short positions implies buying the same quantity of longs, thus causing a surge as the effect of large scale buying unfolds.

The final settlement of the trade takes one to two days. After the execution, the order goes through clearing, which presents the profit and loss statement. The entire process unfolds in stages, causing massive post and pre-market price swings in levered assets.

The pre-market peak price of GME this morning was $365.

game stop market
GameStop Pre-Market Prices on Jan. 27. Source: Market Watch

The hype reached a peak yesterday. Elon Musk caused a price stir with yet another tweet on the subject. Bitcoin bull and VC investor Chamath Palihapitiya shared his call option position to support the movement.

Essentially, hedge funds and retail traders placed small, low-risk call options and margin trades, which overwhelmed GME’s price.

With over 140% gain since yesterday closing, GameStops’ market surged to a peak of nearly $25 billion this morning—a 20x rise since the beginning of the month.

Final Words

Usually, whales are the ones that corner retail traders and force widespread liquidations. That’s part of why the GameStop event is such an unusual one. Still, this hasn’t been exclusively retail dominated.

Besides retail buyers and spot holders, there may be other large players in the background who contributed to the movement, reaping tremendous benefits from it.

Nevertheless, aside from the superfluous noise of retail traders winning, such drastic moves are usually a tell for something more ominous.

In April last year, the futures market for oil collapsed with prices in the negative. Tesla’s short players lost close to $40 billion in 2020 with the blindsided gain in the electric vehicle manufacturer’s share price.

The global market has entered into an “irrational exuberance” phase where an unprecedented amount of money supply backs internet communities.

Like the company’s earnings or even future projections, the deviation from fundamentals positions non-correlated assets like Bitcoin at a prime spot. However, the uncertainty and volatility in the markets may make matters worse for many crypto investors.

Crypto Briefing will assess the real repercussions and possible consequences to the crypto market in this Friday’s edition of wNews.

Disclosure: The author held Bitcoin at the time of press. 

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