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Market Wrap: Bitcoin Hits $40K Again While Ether Volume Is Erupting This Year

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After closing out last week at over $40,000 on Sunday, bitcoin hit that price again Thursday while traders are pushing ether volumes to new liquidity levels.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $39,318 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Gaining 8.5% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $36,125-$40,066  (CoinDesk 20)
  • BTC above the 10-hour and 50-hour moving averages on the hourly chart, a bullish signal for market technicians.

Bitcoin trading on Bitstamp since Jan. 11.
Source: TradingView

Bitcoin’s price was back to bull mode Thursday, steadily climbing to as high as $40,066, according to CoinDesk 20 data. It’s a reversal from this week’s bearish-to-sideways action, with the world’s oldest cryptocurrency at $39,318 as of press time.

Read More: Bitcoin Bounces, Options Market Sees 20% Chance of $50K at Month’s End

“Bitcoin passing $40,000 was seen by many as inevitable, and reaching this level is just the continuation of a trend of smart money continuing to buy even as traders with less conviction shake out during sell-offs,” Guy Hirsch, managing director for U.S. at multi-asset brokerage eToro, told CoinDesk. The last time bitcoin was over $40,000 in the spot markets was Sunday, Jan. 10, prior to a precipitous fall opening the week.

Bitcoin’s historical price the past week.
Source: CoinDesk 20

“Institutions are still buying up BTC in huge quantities,” said cryptocurrency over-the-counter trader Alessandro Andreotti. “I think this rally can continue as before, but it’s too early to call.”

In the derivatives market, funding rates are still in positive territory, signalling that leveraged traders are more than willing to pay up to pile more margin on long plays, according to data aggregator Skew.

BTC swaps funding on major derivatives venues.
Source: Skew

“High volatility is having little impact on risk appetite,” noted Denis Vinokourov, head of research at crypto brokerage Bequant. “Recent success in these opportunistic and somewhat ambitious market bets is also likely driving herd-like behavior.” 

Indeed, volatility is high in the bitcoin market: The cryptocurrency’s 30-day realized volatility was at over 89% Wednesday, the highest it has been since April 17, 2020, when that metric was at 92% in the early days of coronavirus-induced turmoil across all markets.

Bitcoin’s 30-day volatility the past year.
(Shuai Hao/CoinDesk Research)
Source: CoinDesk Research

Analysts don’t expect volatility in the cryptocurrency market to abate, which can actually be good for traders but can be horrendous for long-term investor balance sheets, particularly institutional funds with limited partners to whom they must answer. 

“People need to understand that bitcoin is a hyper-asset with a built-in steam engine that is explosive up and down,” noted over-the-counter crypto trader Henrik Kugelberg. “With all the money printing and the sad developing spread of COVID-19 throughout the world, widespread agonizing economic hardship and a few more factors spell advantage to bitcoin.”

Chad Steinglass, head of trading for digital assets capital markets firm CrossTower, agrees gyrations in crypto will continue. “I believe that the trend of bull runs briefly interrupted by short duration profit taking dips will continue for the foreseeable future.”

Ether volume bonanza so far in 2021

Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was up Thursday, trading around $1,210 and climbing 8.5% in 24 hours as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).

In 2020, ether volumes on the eight major CoinDesk 20 spot exchanges averaged $231 million per day. In 2021 so far, those volumes are up almost twelvefold, averaging $2.7 billion per day.

Ether volumes on major spot exchanges the past year.
(Shuai Hao/CoinDesk Research)
Source: CryptoCompare

Brian Mosoff, chief executive officer of investment firm Ether Capital, noted decentralized finance, or DeFi, as a spark leading to volumes beginning to rise in 2020. For 2021, Mosoff cites the ongoing bull run and new derivatives tools coming online for traders. 

Read More: Paxos Makes Fresh Push for DeFi Market With New Oracle Integration

“Although 2020 ended in a bull market, the first half of the year saw the ETH prices average just a couple hundred dollars and a lack of positive sentiment due to the prolonged bear market and then COVID-19,”  Mosoff said. ”Adding fuel to the fire, 2021 has kicked off with the continuation of the crypto bull and the pending launch of the CME futures and institutions waking up to the narrative around Ethereum’s value proposition.”

Other markets

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

Notable losers:

Read More: Sci-Hub Leaves Handshake Blockchain After 2 Days, Citing Centralization 

Commodities:

  • Oil was up 1.4%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $53.59.
  • Gold was in the green 0.12% and at $1,847 as of press time.

Treasurys:

  • The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield climbed Thursday jumping to 1.126 and in the green 3.6%.

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

Disclosure

Source: https://www.coindesk.com/market-wrap-bitcoin-hits-40k-ether-volume-erupts

Blockchain

PayPal in Talks To Buy Crypto Storage Startup Curv for Around $500 Million, Reports

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PayPal could be in talks to buy a cryptocurrency startup focused on providing security solutions for cryptocurrency custody.

According to diferent reports, PayPal is interested in acquiring Curv, and the talks between the two companies’ teams are an open secret in the global tech scene – though perhaps no longer a secret considering how quickly it is spreading despite the cautious stance taken by both companies.

Local sources argue that the cost of the deal would be in the range of $500 million. This amount would exceed the expectations of Curv’s development team, which hoped to rake in between $200 million and $300 million from the company’s sale.

What is Curv and Why Does it Matter?

Curv has developed an encryption technology based on multi-party computation that secures digital assets and enables the secure transfer Store and any digital asset management on any blockchain. Its platform makes it possible for a Wallet to generate private keys at different points simultaneously, distributing them between the cloud and the client, eliminating possibilities of single points of failure.

Considering the services Curv provides, it stands to reason that an acquisition would be beneficial to PayPal. It would allow it to evolve and likely increase security and user confidence in its crypto services.

It could even allow PayPal to have a native cryptocurrency custody solution, reducing costs in the long run.

So far, no company has given public statements acknowledging or rejecting the news.

Paypal’s Interest in Crypto Grows Every day

PayPal’s interest in cryptocurrencies has only grown as institutional investment, regulatory clarity, and, of course, the price of digital assets increase.

Months after the March 2020 crash, PayPal announced a partnership with Paxos to provide its customers with exposure to the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

The idea was to enable some cryptocurrency operations in a secure, easy, and legal way. The initiative was a massive success for PayPal, and the price of Bitcoin rose to new all-time highs. A study conducted by Mizuho Securities found that by the en of 2020, one fifth of all PayPal users had some exposure to Bitcoin and 65% of PayPal users were interested in crypto.

Dan Schulman, CEO of Paypal said on an official press release, that the use of digital currencies was inevitable, and governments need to hit the gas pedal and adapt their policies to the innovations of the modern era:

“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly”

Subsequently, reports leaked that PayPal was attempting to acquire BitGo; however, the talks never came to fruition.

If PayPal buys Curv, the quality of cryptocurrency-related services could increase considerably, not only helping to appreciate the value of the company’s stock but proving the validity of PayPal’s strategy of investing in cryptocurrency goods and services rather than buying cryptocurrencies for speculation or storing value.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/paypal-to-buy-crypto-storage-startup-curv/

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Blockchain

Polygon-based QuickSwap’s TVL grows by $75M in two weeks

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Polygon-based DEX QuickSwap hasattracted more than $105 million in worth of liquidity since the start of 2021.

The Uniswap clone began the year with only $300,000 worth of assets locked in its protocol, with more than three quarters of the exchange’s total value locked being added in the past fortnight.

QuickSwap is currently the leading second-layer decentralized exchange by daily volume with $38.5 million worth of trades over the past 24 hours. The second-largest L2 DEX by volume is Loopring with $8.4 million, followed by ZKSwap with $2.5 million.

QuickSwap’s governance token, QUICK, surged from under $1 per token to $557 in three months, and currently represents nearly 20% of the protocol’s total liquidity. Other popular tokens on the exchange include Wrapped Ether, USD Coin, maUSDC, and Wrapped Matic.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, QuickSwap founder Nick Mudge attributed the exchange’s recent success to the user’s that Aavegotchi brought to Polygon after launching its NFT staking game on Jan. 21.

With more than 80 tokens driving more than $23 million in daily trade volume, Mudge believes QuickSwap is a cornerstone of Polygon’s nascent DeFi ecosystem, predicting the two will grow symbiotically:

“QuickSwap is the center of the Polygon DeFi ecosystem and will grow as the ecosystem grows. QuickSwap and its liquidity mining incentives were a solution to move the users to Polygon and give them a Uniswap experience with very low gas fees.”

Polygon, a scaling solution allowing projects to create Ethereum-compatible blockchains, has benefited from the crippling gas fees that have recently made many Ethereum-powered DeFi protocols too expensive for casual users.

MATIC, the native crypto of Polygon, has posted meteoric gains this year, rising 1,135% from $0.0182 to $0.2249 over 2021 so far.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/polygon-based-quickswap-s-tvl-grows-by-75m-in-two-weeks

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Blockchain

TA: Bitcoin Turns Attractive Above $50K, Why BTC Could Rally To $55K

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Bitcoin price extended its rise and cleared the $50,000 resistance against the US Dollar. BTC is now consolidating gains and it is likely to climb further above $52,000.

  • Bitcoin is trading in a positive zone above the $50,000 and $50,500 support levels.
  • The price is now trading well above $51,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a major bullish trend line forming with support near $49,800 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could extend its rally once it clears $52,000 and $52,500 in the near term.

Bitcoin Price is Gaining Momentum

After a close above the $48,000 resistance, bitcoin was able to gain strength above the main $50,000 resistance. BTC even cleared the $51,500 level and spiked above the $52,000 level.

It traded to a new monthly high near $52,650 and settled well above the 100 hourly simple moving average. It is now trading in a positive zone above the $50,000 and $50,500 support levels. There was a minor correction recently below the $51,000 level.

The price traded below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $47,102 swing low to $52,648 high. However, the bulls were active near the $50,000 and $49,500 levels.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

There is also a major bullish trend line forming with support near $49,800 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Bitcoin also remained well above the 50% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $47,102 swing low to $52,648 high.

It is now trading above $51,000 and testing a connecting bearish trend line at $51,500. A clear break above the trend line resistance could open the doors for a move towards the $52,500 and $53,200 levels. The next key resistance sits near the $55,000 level.

Fresh Dip in BTC?

If bitcoin fails to continue higher above the $52,000 and $52,500 resistance levels, there could be a minor decline. The first key support on the downside is near the $50,500 level.

The next major support is near the $50,000 level and the trend line. If there is a downside break below the trend line support, the price could test the $48,000 support and the 100 hourly SMA.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is now gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now well above the 50 level.

Major Support Levels – $50,500, followed by $50,000.

Major Resistance Levels – $51,500, $52,000 and $53,200.

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/btc/bitcoin-btc-could-rally-55k/

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