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Kimchi premium hits 11% — Is Bitcoin now in a 2017-esque retail stage of the cycle?

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The price of Bitcoin (BTC) is continuing to range between $56,000 and $60,000, as the so-called “Kimchi premium” is surging to yearly highs.

Kimchi premium forms when Bitcoin is trading at a higher price in South Korea over other major markets like the United States.

In 2017, the Kimchi premium surpassed 20%, causing Bitcoin to trade at around $24,000 in South Korea while it topped at nearly $20,000 in the U.S.

Korea Premium Index. Source: CryptoQuant.com

Last week, on March 29, this premium resurfaced, hovering at 6%, which has since climbed to around 11%.

Kimchi premium is at 11%, is this bad for Bitcoin?

The last time the Kimchi premium rose to an all-time high, the Bitcoin market topped and saw a violent correction almost immediately afterward. 

Although the premium suggests that the South Korean cryptocurrency market is showing signs of getting overheated, it is not high enough to mark a top. 

Ki Young Ju, the CEO of CryptoQuant, said that the premium is worrisome, but the fundamentals of Bitcoin look strong. 

The difference between this time and 2017, however, is that South Korea only accounts for 1.7% of the global Bitcoin market’s trading volume.

As such, Ki explained that even if the South Korean market sees a pullback as a result of the rising premium, it would not have as big of an impact it had in 2017. He noted:

“$BTC fundamentals still look good, but the Korean bubble is worrisome to me. Shitcoins prices are skyrocketing, and Korean crypto trading volume has surpassed the national stock exchange (KOSPI). Even if the bubble collapses, the impact is unlikely to be significant since it’s just 1.7%”

More importantly, unlike 2017, the ongoing Bitcoin rally has been led by institutions and high-net-worth investors, as demonstrated by the huge outflows from Coinbase.

But, one reason why many analysts are concerned about the overcrowded cryptocurreny exchange market in South Korea is that there is significant interest in newly-emerging crypto assets.

Instead of Bitcoin and Ether (ETH), cryptocurrencies with the highest volume on Bithumb, as an example, often are new altcoins that have been in existence for a couple of months.

High-net-worth investors are continuing to buy

Less than a week ago on March 29,  Ki emphasized that shorting Bitcoin is not the ideal trade as Coinbase Pro is seeing large outflows.

Bitcoin Coinbase Pro outflow. Source: CryptoQuant.com

Outflows from top exchanges typically suggest that institutional investors are buying Bitcoin and moving their holdings to self-hosted wallets.

Ki said at the time:

“Punting a short on $BTC now looks not a good idea. Less likely to go below 52k as institutions might have bought $BTC at that level.”

Since then, Bitcoin has rallied by around 5% and has seen a relatively stable uptrend, possibly due to the U.S. dollar showing renewed signs of weakness.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/kimchi-premium-hits-11-is-bitcoin-now-in-a-2017-esque-retail-stage-of-the-cycle

Blockchain

$420M in leveraged long traders liquidated after XRP rallies to $1.96

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XRP holders couldn’t have asked for a better year as the cryptocurrency rallied almost 800% and flirted with a $2 level in the early hours of April 14. 

In addition to achieving its highest level since January 2018, this robust price increase signals that investors are not worried about the ongoing SEC “unregistered securities offering” dispute.

However, just 6 hours after rallying to $1.96, XRP price crashed by more than 20%. During an interview, DCG Group CEO Barry Silbert said it would be risky for exchanges and companies in the United States to relist XRP ahead of receiving the SEC’s blessing. These remarks may have contributed to the unprecedented $420 million long liquidations on derivatives exchanges today.

XRP price in USDT at Binance. Source: TradingView

Over the past couple of weeks, the primary catalysts for XRP’s rally have been victories in Ripple’s legal battles. Lawyers representing Ripple were granted access to internal SEC discussions regarding cryptocurrencies, and more recently, a court denied the disclosure of two Ripple executives’ financial records, including CEO Brad Garlinghouse.

Considering the recent rally, pinpointing a single reason for the price correction will likely be inaccurate. Nevertheless, the impressive $420 million long liquidations past 24-hours exceed those of Feb. 1 when XRP price crashed by 46% in two hours.

XRP futures aggregate liquidations. Source: Bybt

The only logical reason behind this staggering liquidation is excessive leverage used by buyers. To confirm such a thesis, one must analyze the perpetual contracts funding rate. To balance their risks, exchanges will charge either longs or shorts depending on how much leverage each side is demanding.

XRP perpetual futures 8-hour funding rate. Source: Bybt

The chart above shows that the 8-hour funding rate is surpassing 0.25%, which is equivalent to 5.4% per week. Although this is excessive, buyers will withstand these fees during strong price rallies. For example, the current upward price move lasted for almost three weeks, and prior to that another took place in early February.

Blaming the liquidations exclusively on leverage seems a bit extreme, although it certainly played its part in amplifying today’s correction.

Moreover, the record growth in XRP futures open interest was accompanied by a hike in the volume at spot exchanges. As a result, the eventual impact from more significant liquidations should have been absorbed by the increased liquidity.

Cascading liquidations will always take place in volatile markets. Thus investors should focus on how long it takes until the price recovers from it.

Fundamentally, a 10% or 20% intraday drop should not be interpreted differently. The correction depends on how many bids were previously stacked at exchange orderbooks and is not directly related to investors’ bullish or bearish sentiment.

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.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/420m-in-leveraged-long-traders-liquidated-after-xrp-rallies-to-1-96

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Garry Tan’s 2013 investment of $300K in Coinbase is now worth $2.4B

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Garry Tan, a prominent angel investor and the founder of Initialized Capital, was one of the first investors to provide seed funding to Coinbase eight years ago. 

Less than a decade later, and after today’s highly anticipated Nasdaq listing for Coinbase’s COIN stock, Tan’s 2013 investment of $300,000 into Coinbase is now worth $2.4 billion.

Coinbase debuted on the Nasdaq on April 14 at $381 per share, making it one of the most hyped listings in the U.S. stock market of the year.

How did $300,000 become $2.4 billion?

In 2013, when Tan invested in Coinbase, it was unclear whether Bitcoin would be recognized as a global asset and an established store of value.

At the time, there were not many reputable exchanges, and the few that existed were often hacked. Tan’s investment took place before the monumental Mt. Gox hack that saw billions of dollars worth of BTC stolen.

Even after launch, Coinbase was not always in an uptrend. According to Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, from 2014 to 2017 the company faced numerous hardships. 

Ehrsam said:

“Over time, crypto grew, and so did the company. A simple #Bitcoin wallet evolved into individual and institutional products to support a blossoming cryptoeconomy. 2 nerds who met on the internet (yes, @brian_armstrong and I met on @reddit ) turned into a company of 1000+. There was serious hardship. In the 3 years between 2014 and 2017, the outside world thought crypto was dead. Over a third of employees left. Yet crypto kept building. @ethereum came on the scene and showed that crypto native applications were possible, opening up a whole new world of possibilities.”

Even if the listing fails to impress, Coinbase has alluring financials

Coinbase is the first publicly listed major cryptocurrency exchange in the U.S. stock market and its availability on Nasdaq now provides mainstream investors with exposure to the crypto sector. Even if the listing fails to impress on day one, the company still has strong financials and user metrics.

Coinbase made $1 billion in the last quarter and has more users than every financial institution in the U.S. apart from JPMorgan, making it a highly compelling trade for investors in the traditional financial market.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/garry-tan-s-2013-investment-of-300k-in-coinbase-is-now-worth-2-4b

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German software developer donated $1.2M in ‘undeserved’ Bitcoin to political party

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A German national who reportedly sees his Bitcoin profits as “undeserved wealth” has donated more than $1 million to the country’s green political party.

According to Hamburg-based news outlet Die Zeit, Moritz Schmidt, a software developer from the northeastern town of Greifswald, has sent one million euro — roughly $1.2 million — to Germany’s green party, known as The Greens or Alliance 90. A party spokesperson said Schmidt had made significant gains during the Bitcoin (BTC) bull run but wanted to contribute to causes related to environmental and climate protection rather than HODLing his crypto.

“The donor has made it clear to us that he sees these profits as undeserved wealth that he does not claim for himself, but wants to use socially, for something that corresponds to his convictions,” said the Greens spokesperson. “In the meantime he sees the Bitcoin system critically, among other things against the background that the necessary arithmetic operations consume huge amounts of electricity.”

Records for the Greens show that Schmidt’s donation is the biggest the party has received this year, with the next highest contribution at 500,000 euro, or roughly $600,000. The funds will reportedly be used for the party’s federal election campaign and the state election campaigns in 2021.

The software developer is not alone in seemingly hoping the crypto industry will become greener. Many have criticized Bitcoin mining for its impact on the environment, with some estimates indicating the network consumes more energy than the entire country of Argentina. However, Mike Colyer, CEO of crypto mining firm Foundry Digital, said this week that he believes mining Bitcoin could eventually help the transition to a “world where 100% of our energy is produced from renewables.”

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/german-software-developer-donated-1-2m-in-undeserved-bitcoin-to-political-party

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