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Key metrics show this week’s $4B Bitcoin options expiry favors bulls

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Over the past two weeks, Bitcoin price appears to have lost momentum and some analysts are suggesting that bears will be in control for the foreseeable future.

Taking a look at derivatives market data provides a clearer picture of what is happening on the institutional side and how the moves of larger players may impact the spot markets.

After peaking at $10.6 billion on Jan. 14, the open interest on Bitcoin (BTC) scaled back to $8.4 billion. The Jan. 29 monthly expiry continues to stand apart, totaling 47% of the options in play.

Although a $4 billion expiry could be significant, one must consider that these options are split among calls (neutral-to-bullish) and the more bearish put options. Furthermore, having an opportunity to buy BTC for $52,000 on Jan. 29 might have made sense a couple of weeks ago, but not so much right now.

BTC options aggregate open interest. Source: Bybt.com

As the data above depicts, Deribit exchange remains the absolute leader with an 83% market share. Nevertheless, to understand how eventful this expiry could be, one must adjust data and compare both calls and put options near the current $32,000 BTC level.

It’s too early to panic

Most exchanges offer monthly expiries and some also hold weekly options for short-term contracts. Dec. 25, 2020, had the largest expiry on record as $2.4 billion worth of option contracts expired. This figure represented 31% of all open interest and showed how options are usually spread throughout the year.

Aggregate BTC options open interest by expiry. Source: bybt.com

Data from Bybt.com shows that Jan. 29 expiry calendar accounts for 107,000 BTC. This expiry date represents 45% of the aggregate options market open interest.

It is worth noting that not every option will trade at expiry as some of those strikes now sound unreasonable, especially considering there are less than five days left.

BTC Jan. 29 aggregate options open interest by strike. Source: bybt.com

As Bitcoin marked its new $42,000 all-time high, some ultra bullish call options were traded but as BTC price adjusted, those short-term options became worthless.

Currently, over 68% of Jan. 29 call options at $40,000 and above should be disregarded for calculation. The same can be said for the bearish put options at $25,000 and below. These represent 76% of the open interest.

This data leaves an estimated $745 million worth of call options below $40,000 for the aggregate options expiry on Jan. 29. Meanwhile, the more bearish put options above $25,000 amount to $300 million. Therefore, the adjusted Jan. 29 open interest stands at $1.05 billion while holding a 0.40 put-to-call ratio.

Skew shows market makers are unwilling to take upside risk

Analyzing open interest provides data from trades that have already passed, whereas the skew indicator monitors options in real-time. This gauge is even more relevant as BTC was trading below $23,500 just thirty days ago. Therefore, the open interest near that level does not indicate bearishness.

When analyzing options, the 30% to 20% delta skew is the single most relevant gauge. This indicator compares call (buy) and put (sell) options side-by-side.

A 10% delta skew indicates that call options are trading at a slight premium to the more bearish/neutral put options. On the other hand, a negative skew translates to a higher cost of downside protection and is a signal that traders are bearish.

Deribit Bitcoin options 30-20% delta skew. Source: genesisvolatility.io

According to the data shown above, the last time some bearish sentiment emerged was Jan. 10, when the Bitcoin price crashed by 15%. This move was followed by an extreme 30% to 20% delta skew as optimism reached 49, a level unseen over the previous past 12 months.

Whenever this indicator passes 20, it reflects fear of potential price upside from market makers and professionals, and is considered bullish. On the other hand, the current 0 to 10 range that held since Jan. 20 is deemed neutral.

While a $4 billion options expiry might be worrisome, nearly 74% of the options are already deemed worthless. Regarding the Jan. 29 expiry, bulls remain mainly in control due to its much larger adjusted open interest.

Bears are reasonably comfortable at $32,000

Jan. 29 BTC aggregate options open interest per strike. Source: Bybt.com

Despite bulls having an overall advantage, the more bearish put options dominate expiries between $33,000 and $35,000. Nevertheless, this 1,200 BTC contract advantage is more than offset by the 1,950 BTC contract imbalance favoring the call options from $28,000 to $32,000.

To conclude, as things currently stand, bulls seem in total control of Friday’s expiry, although incentives between $28,000 to $35,000 are reasonably balanced. Overall there’s not much to gain from either side to create additional volatility ahead of Jan. 29.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/key-metrics-show-this-week-s-4b-bitcoin-options-expiry-favors-bulls

Blockchain

Coinbase Decentralization Claim Draws Fury From its Customers

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In a blog post on Feb. 25 titled “Coinbase is a decentralized company, with no headquarters”, CEO Brian Armstrong stated that the firm has moved to a ‘remote first environment’.

No HQ = Decentralized?

He added that 52% of their employees have joined the company in a ‘post-office world’ and 95% of them have the option to work from home. Originally based in San Francisco, many company employees have dispersed across the globe since the beginning of 2020.

“It has helped us attract top talent. One of the best parts about being a decentralized company is that we can hire more of the best people.”

This does not make the company decentralized in crypto terms, as the respondents to the tweet pointed out.

Despite being one of the largest fiat to crypto onramps in the world, Coinbase has garnered a reputation for terrible customer service, higher than industry average fees, and questionable reliability when markets are volatile.

Coinbase Customers Lash Out

The barrage of comments came thick and fast and took aim at everything from customer support to the now predictable service outages during large crypto asset price movements.

“Also you have zero customer support (automated copy paste emails do not count), I guess you can call that decentralised too.”

Another Coinbase customer claimed that he had lost almost a thousand dollars in trading fees with just an $8,000 investment.

Someone else questioned the suspension of XRP stating that the company is still very centralized in the United States. Another disgruntled user stated;

“Coinbase [has come] a long way since 2011 in [the] crypto world. Unfortunately, [its] reputation [has become] tarnished due to unacceptable level of customer service and ignoring your most valuable asset – [the] customer.”

The majority of the complaints were regarding unanswered email and customer support inquiries though there were plenty of mentions of the frequent service outages;

“No headquarters. No customer service. No service at all when the market moves… Good for you coinbase.”

One respondent pointed out it was just a ploy to use a popular word at the moment just like the last bull run when companies added blockchain to their names.

At the time of writing, around 12 hours after the blog post was published, there were too many replies to read, and the vast majority of them were negative. It appears that Coinbase, which still has a number of whale investors, has also decentralized itself from its customers.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/coinbase-decentralization-claim-draws-fury-from-its-customers/

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What Bitcoin price levels will invalidate the short-term bearish scenario?

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The price of Bitcoin (BTC) is continuing to range between $48,000 and $51,000, unable to break out of the $51,600 resistance level.

If Bitcoin struggles to surpass the $51,600 resistance area in the near term, technical analysts say the probability of a correction rises.

BTC/USDT 4-hour price chart (Binance). Source: TradingView

$51,600 is the key level to watch

According to Josh Olszewicz, a cryptocurrency trader and technical analyst, the $51,600 level is currently acting as a strong resistance level.

For Bitcoin to retest the all-time high at $58,000 and initiate a potential rally towards $62,000, it needs to cleanly move past $51,600, he explained. 

Hence, a rally beyond $51,600 is the clear invalidation point for any short-term bearish scenario for Bitcoin.

The failure to break out in the near term could result in a bearish test of lower support areas, found at around $42,000. He said:

“If 4h breaks down, be prepared for some uber bearish calls to start popping at 36.7k meanwhile, I’ll be bidding the daily Kijun at 42k. Alternatively, if $BTC breaks above 4h Cloud at 51.6k, I like ATH retest at 58k, R3 yearly pivot test at 62k, macro PF diag test at 70k, R4 yearly pivot test at 80K. Seasonality suggests we go neutral/sideways through March and then reach for those higher targets in Q2.”

The $42,000 support area is a key level because it marks the top of the previous rally. On Jan. 8, the price of Bitcoin peaked at $42,085 on Binance, seeing a steep correction afterwards.

Bitcoin dropping to $42,000 to retest the previous top as a support area would not be necessarily bearish beyond the short term, however. 

Whale clusters show similar levels of support

Moreover, analysts at Whalemap noted large inflows to whale wallets at $48,500 and $46,500, which they say should provide BTC with some support. 

“The current situation looks similar to the one we had at 29K,” they explained. What’s more, the $46,532 level may now be “the new $29,000,” which held as support during the previous correction in January before the rally continued. They added: 

The $55,400 is an important level to keep an eye on as well. Getting back above it will be a good sign

Whale cluster levels. Source: Twitter/@whale_map

The most compelling argument for a short-term Bitcoin drop

Bitcoin tends to seek liquidity after a prolonged consolidation, which means it can drop down to fill buy orders at lower support areas that can ultimately fuel a new rally.

A pseudonymous trader known as “Salsa Tekila” echoed this sentiment. He said that there is a big support area at $41,000, followed by resistance at $54,000. He wrote:

“My current take on $BTC mid term: 1) Support around $41K. 2) Resistance around $54K. Depending on context, I might trigger swings around those two vicinities. Likely just scalp until then, unless major events come to fruition.”

Bitcoin tested the $44,800 support level in the past 72 hours, but it was not enough to propel BTC above $51,600.

This trend could cause the price of Bitcoin to drop back to the $44,800 level or to a lower support level, at $42,000.

The ideal scenario would be for Bitcoin to hold onto the $44,800 support area if it drops again, stabilize it as a macro support level, and move back up.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/what-bitcoin-price-levels-will-invalidate-the-short-term-bear-scenario

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Nvidia supply shortage won’t stop $50M Q1 crypto miner sales, says CFO

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Nvidia’s ongoing supply problems won’t stop the company from selling $50 million worth of its new CMP chip range in the first quarter of 2021, the company’s chief financial officer Colette Kress forecasted on Feb. 24.

Nvidia failed to meet demand from its core gaming customer base in 2020, and the trend looks set to continue into 2021. Added demand from a horde of cryptocurrency enthusiasts keen to direct Nvidia’s new RTX 30 series GPU to Ether (ETH) mining initially appeared to pile pressure on the company.

But the firm’s CFO expects the recently announced Cryptocurrency Mining Processor product line to hit $50 million in sales in the first quarter of the year. The CMP range is designed specifically for Ether mining, and its introduction was part of an attempt to allocate more units of its RTX 30 range to gamers.

Despite supply problems, Nvidia hit record revenues of $5 billion in the last quarter of 2020, while its stock price soared to all-time highs. This is a near-exact repeat of the market conditions present in 2018, when increased demand amid supply shortages pushed the stock price to the highest level in its history up to that time.

On Wednesday, United States President Joe Biden signed an executive order to address the shortage of semiconductors and microchips. A critical review will investigate the country’s failing supply lines, which have been shown to rely too much on Chinese manufacturing, highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chip shortage boosted the value of the PHLX Semiconductor Index, which tracks the value of chip-related stocks, with the index gaining 70% in the past 12 months.

JPMorgan analyst Harlan Sur expects the pump to continue, even though the supply shortage won’t be corrected for some time. 

Sur recently told MarketWatch, “We believe semi companies are shipping 10% to 30% BELOW current demand levels and it will take at least 3-4 quarters for supply to catch up with demand and then another 1-2 quarters for inventories at customers/distribution channels to be replenished back to normal levels.” 

Sur said the previous quarter was the first in which every chip maker JPMorgan tracked actually exceeded forecasted earnings.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/nvidia-supply-shortage-won-t-stop-50m-q1-crypto-miner-sales-says-cfo

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