Bitcoin (BTC) futures open interest just had its most extensive daily reduction in five months. Yesterday’s 11% drop move caused more liquidations than May 9 when BTC plunged 12.5% to $8,600.
BTC futures open interest in USD terms. Source: Skew
Skew data shows total open interest down by $653 million, reaching $4 billion on Sept. 3. That figure includes perpetual (inverse swaps) and futures with set expiry on OKEx, CME, Binance, and remaining derivatives exchanges.
Yesterday’s move was the largest daily drop since the horrendous $1 billion cascading liquidation on March 13 caused a 50% drop in Bitcoin price. That same day marked the worst sell-off of the Dow Jones Industrial Average since 1987, a 10% drop.
The drastic correction might not have been such a record negative for stock markets, but the Nasdaq Composite tumbled 5%, led by Apple (AAPL -8%), Salesforce (CRM -7.8%), and Microsoft (MSF -6.2%).
Apple (AAPL) shares slid 8% on Sept. 3, causing its market capitalization to recede by $180 billion. This was the most extensive daily loss for a single company. By comparison, currently Bitcoin’s market capitalization stands at $194 billion.
The iPhone maker is currently valued at slightly over $2 trillion. Such an impressive figure could acquire the entire altcoin market, paying a 1.300% premium to the current $140 billion altcoin market capitalization.
The futures premium temporarily vanished
Futures markets tend to trade at a slight premium to regular spot exchanges. This is not something exclusive of cryptocurrencies markets, but rather a derivatives effect. By postponing the financial settlement for a trade, sellers usually demand more money.
This futures contracts premium indicator is known as basis and it usually ranges between a 5% to 15% annualized rate. Whenever the premium is positive, the market is characterized as in contango. On the other hand, a zero to negative future contracts premium is unusual and indicates bearish sentiment.
BTC 3-month futures annualized basis. Source: Skew
The above chart shows how significant yesterday’s brief sub-$10K drop was on futures markets. Such a negative premium situation, known as backwardation, was last seen four months ago on May 10. Back then, Bitcoin (BTC) quickly recovered over the following three days, causing the basis indicator to regain positive territory.
The current 4% annualized basis can’t be deemed bearish, although undeniably not bullish as the 10% level from three days ago.
Short-term options are back to bearish levels
Bitcoin option markets are also susceptible to significant price changes. Similar to the futures market, the recent BTC dip caused major risk aversion movements. Market makers often increase spreads during periods of volatility, thus, what happens on the following day is most telling.
The 25% delta skew indicator compares similar call (buy) and put (sell) options side-by-side. The indicator will turn negative when put options premium is higher than similar-risk call options. Such negative skew translates to a higher cost of downside protection, indicating bullishness.
The opposite holds when market makers are bearish, causing the 25% delta skew indicator to gain positive ground.
BTC options 25% delta skew. Source: Skew
Although numbers are different depending on how far those options expiry is, short-term ones usually display a more considerable impact. Yesterday’s sharp Bitcoin (BTC) drop caused the 1-month 25% delta skew to rise above 10%. As the above chart shows, ranges from -10% (slightly bullish) to +10% (somewhat bearish) are usual.
It seems premature to conclude that options markets are displaying bearish sentiment, especially when analyzing longer-term options. Nevertheless, large traders and market makers seem to be risk-averse right now, at least for pricing downside protection options.
Bitcoin derivatives remain healthy
Despite the Bitcoin futures open interest drop, it’s aggregate notional value of $4 billion remains higher than two or three months ago. The same can be said by the current futures 4% premium (basis), which is far from bearish backwardation levels.
One should keep in mind that cryptocurrencies markets are incredibly volatile, and negative stock market swings also impact investors. No further evidence is needed after the two most largest BTC futures liquidation events happening on the exact same day of historical stock market crashes.
Those events prove that even uncorrelated markets may eventually reach peaks and valleys at similar times regardless of their different drivers. The current global macroeconomic scenario seems to be the most dominant force driving risk assets, including Bitcoin.
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.
Ethereum Co-Founder Anthony Di Iorio Bets Big on the Future of Cardano and Polkadot
Anthony Di Iorio, a Canadian entrepreneur and the co-founder of leading smart contract platform Ethereum, said that he believes in the potential of Cardano (ADA) and Polkadot (DOT).
In an interview with crypto proponent Anthony Pompliano, Di Iorio, who is also the CEO and founder of Canadian blockchain startup Decentral and crypto wallet Jaxx, revealed that he has a diversified investment portfolio featuring several top projects, including Cardano and Polkadot.
A Big Fan of Cardano and Polkadot
“Now I’ve kind of fallen back to just simplicity. I’m in a number of different projects, but the majority of my stuff is in the top projects. I’m a big fan of Polkadot, I’m a big fan of Cardano.”
Di Iorio went on to narrate why he was so sure of the future of these two projects. He had joined the Ethereum development team earlier in 2012 when he met Vitalik Buterin at a Bitcoin conference.
He has formed strong relationships with other co-founders of Ethereum, including Vitalik Buterin, Cardano’s founder Charles Hoskinson, and Polkadot’s current CEO Gavin Wood.
Di Iorio admitted that while he worked with these men, he knew that they were goal-oriented and would help push these projects further.
“Big fan of Charles, let’s say that. You know, taking some different approaches in the way that they’re doing things, much more on the academic side of what he’s done and bringing stuff forward. Real big fan of Gavin Wood… Knowing those guys from the days back at Ethereum – and knowing their drive and knowing their competitiveness and their smarts – I was able to see those projects for the last few years and know that they were gonna get to where they’ve gotten up to.”
Not Getting Lost in DeFi
Despite all the recent hype about DeFi, Di lorio pointed out that he is keeping his investments simple and investing in larger projects.
“Most of my stuff is in the top few things, Ether, Bitcoin, Cardano, Polkadot. I like Cosmos as well. And there’s a few others, but I’m not getting lost in all the DeFi stuff. I just think there’s not enough time, not enough energy. It’s a full-time gig to be running a lot of that stuff and keeping on top of stuff, so I’ve simplified my life quite a bit over the past few years.”
Featured image courtesy of Business Insider
What you should know if your bank is exposed to Bitcoin
On one hand, El Salvador recently became the first nation to officially declare Bitcoin as its legal tender, and on the other, several nations have recently opined that their indigenous banks face a ‘threat’ from the world’s largest crypto-asset. Nevertheless, the rise in the adoption of cryptocurrencies has been accompanied by regulators taking the fast-growing market seriously.
Banks will now face “the toughest” capital requirements for their holdings in Bitcoin and other crypto-assets under global regulators’ plans to brush off the insecurity offered by the “volatile” crypto-market.
Using money laundering, reputational challenges, and massive price swings as the base of their proposal, the Basel Committee on Banking and Supervision is in the news after it explicitly stated that the banking industry faced “increased risks” and “financial stability concerns” from crypto-assets.
Accordingly, they have now placed Bitcoin in the “highest risk” category. The aforementioned committee comprises a host of nations and global institutions as its members.
The Basel Committee isn’t alone, however, with a Bank of International Settlements exec recently commenting that El Salvador’s Bitcoin policy is an “interesting experiment.”
*BITCOIN PUT IN HIGHEST RISK CATEGORY IN BANK CAPITAL PROPOSAL
— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) June 10, 2021
What’s more, the panel proposed a 1250% risk weight be applied to a bank’s exposure to Bitcoin and certain other cryptocurrencies. Bloomberg’s estimates highlighted,
“In practice that means a bank may need to hold a dollar in capital for each dollar worth of Bitcoin, based on an 8% minimum capital requirement.”
However, stablecoins and other tokens tied to real-world assets are set for lower capital requirements. The report further highlighted,
“The capital will be sufficient to absorb a full write-off of the crypto asset exposures without exposing depositors and other senior creditors of the banks to a loss.”
The proposal did not specify any specific timeline, and hence, the implementation of these rules can take a couple of years. The proposal is, however, open to public comment before it comes into effect. It should also be noted that the committee said that the initial policies were “likely to change” several times as the market “evolves.”
Even though banks like HSBC have been cautious about stepping into crypto-trading, a few big names, like Standard Chartered Plc have announced their entry into the space.
As for Bitcoin, it fell by over 3.7% in the last 24 hours to trade at $35,418 at press time.
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Why Amp is the Best Altcoin You’ve Never Heard Of
Crypto Summer Pt. 2
I work with a crypto wizard.
Yesterday the wizard gave me a piece of advice: “Hey man, your fly is down.” After that, he told me to look into Amp, otherwise known as Crypto-Square.
Through this ERC-20 token, retailers can accept Bitcoin, Litecoin or Ethereum without having to wait 10 minutes or more for the network. Today Nordstrom, Lowes, Baskin Robbins, GameStop, Ulta Beauty, Office Depot, AMC Theaters, and Petco are just some of the stores that support Amp.
That’s right, you can go to these retailers and use Flexa’s SPEDN app (pronounced spend) to easily buy things with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
And if that wasn’t enough, Coinbase just listed Amp yesterday. Coinbase-approved altcoins often skyrocket in price as 56 million users are nothing to scoff at.
Here’s everything else you should know about this project.
There’s only one thing that Flexa and ConsenSys created Amp to do: Act as collateral. Amp guarantees that real-world transactions go through instantaneously due to collateralization.
Flexa, the company that created Amp, is the puppet master attempting to make cryptocurrency the new global financial system. They initially launched a Flexa token years ago, but ditched it for Amp and a close partnership with ConsenSys.
“The new Amp token demonstrates Flexa’s unrelenting commitment to DeFi and to building new technologies that will democratize access to payments for people all over the world,” Tyler Spalding, CEO of Flexa wrote in a blogpost.
Flexa eventually wants to use Amp to guarantee home purchases, loan distributions, and fiat exchanges.
Can you guess it? Go ahead — on three…
Oh, sorry I got excited.
Staking on Amp is just like providing to a liquidity pool on Uniswap or any other DeFi protocol. I just imagine a giant Uncle Sam poster pointing at you saying “we need your tokens.”
This is another reason why Amp works. It follows the old Army adage “K.I.S.S.” or Keep it Simple Stupid. In the past few months, Amp is one of the only altcoins I feel like I can explain to my mother. That’s a good thing.
Three words should make you very bullish about an altcoin: ‘Real-World Use’
Many altcoins over-engineer their projects to death and bog their white papers down with technical mumbo jumbo to make you think their team is smarter than you. Amp is not one of these projects. It keeps it simple, stupid.
Moreover, Amp is the leading technology making it possible for retailers to exchange cryptocurrencies. It’s so ahead of the pack that dozens of businesses are already using it.
It’s a no-brainer 10x, in my opinion.
Amp is trading at $0.06 at the time of publishing with a market cap of $2.59B (for reference the market cap of Ethereum is $276 B)
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