Higher spot volumes Wednesday â€“ and record volumes for the past month â€“ are helping push bitcoin higher. Meanwhile, ether options for December pass 550,000 ETH.
- Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $17,688 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Gaining 0.17% over the previous 24 hours.
- Bitcoinâ€™s 24-hour range: $17,571-$18,474 (CoinDesk 20)
- BTC below its 10-day moving average but above the 50-day, a sideways signal for market technicians.
Bitcoin made gains for the third straight day this week, going as high as $18,474 according to CoinDesk 20 data. The price slipped, however, to $17,688 as of press time.Â
Read More: Bitcoin Indicator Suggests Bull Market Is Still in Early Phase
The last time bitcoin was in this range occurred way back in December 2017. â€œIn general, the market sentiment is still very bullish,â€ said Andrew Tu, an executive at quant firm Efficient Frontier. â€œIt is possible that we range between $17,500 and $18,300 for a bit. However, it seems likely in the coming days that we break the $18,300 resistance.â€Â
Constantin Kogan, a partner at Wave Financial, points to a $18,690-$18,950 â€œresistanceâ€ area where exchange books have a number of sell orders piled up, though he expects bitcoin to push above that soon. â€œIâ€™m bullish, personally,â€ he told CoinDesk.Â
Volumes were much higher than normal Wednesday, with major spot USD/BTC over $1.6 billion as of press time, surpassing this past monthâ€™s Nov. 5 high.Â
â€œWeâ€™ve had a strong run up from $13,200, which was only a couple of weeks ago, and I think itâ€™s now gunning for the all time high,â€ noted Rupert Douglas, head of institutional sales for crypto brokerage Koine. However, Douglasâ€™ outlook mirrors Sir Isaac Newtonâ€™s famous dictum that what goes up must come back down. â€œAt some stage weâ€™re going to see a flush down to $13,000. The trend is up but it wonâ€™t be without volatility,â€ said Douglas.
The bitcoin derivatives market, which was nascent in the last major bull run, continues to see open interest rise. Bitcoin options on major venues, for example, are at over $4 billion as of press time, the highest they have ever been and a sign some smart money is looking to hedge away any risks volatility may â€“ or may not â€“ bring.Â
â€œTodayâ€™s active options market â€“ which was nonexistent back in 2017 â€“ is keeping any meteoric rises in check,â€ said Micah Erstling, a trader at firm GSR.Â
Nevertheless, Erstling sees more money piling in because of cryptoâ€™s eye-popping performance so far in 2020. â€œSeasoned investors are finding it increasingly hard to argue with bitcoinâ€™s performance â€“ over 133% year-to-date, and up 100% over the last year.â€
Ether options traders bet on 2.0
The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ether (ETH),Â was down Wednesday, trading around $472 and slipping 2% in 24 hours as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).
Read More: Ethereum Classic Gets DeFi Treatment With Wrapped ETC
The amount of open ether options for December expiration has surpassed 550,000 ETH, worth more than $260 million as of press time.
Traders are likely taking bets about the future of Ethereumâ€™s technical roadmap to â€œ2.0â€, an ambitious effort to insert staking and higher efficiency while porting over its native asset, ether.Â Â
â€œOur theory is that this open interest pattern in ETH was strictly due to traders positioning themselves for an ETH 2.0 phase 0 launch, or yet another delay,â€ said Greg Magadini, chief executive officer of options data aggregator Genesis Volatility. â€œEven while BTC options had open concentrated in different expiration months, ETH consistently had open interest concentrated in December.â€
Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are mixed Wednesday, mostly red. Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):
- orchid (OXT) + 18.5%
- ethereum classic (ETC) + 5%
- kyber network (KNC) – 5.5%
- cosmos (ATOM) – 5.3%
- 0x (ZRX) – 5.1%
Read More: Zcash Undergoes First Halving as Major Upgrade Drops â€˜Founders Rewardâ€™
- The Nikkei 225 ended the day in the red 1.1% as Japanese auto exports, a key economic indicator, did better than expected but still declined for October.
- The FTSE 100 in Europe closed in the green 0.31% as investors were mixed on the rising number of coronavirus cases versus positive vaccination developments.
- In the United States the S&P fell 1.2% as daily coronavirus infection rates rising 30% week over week had investors hitting the sell button.
- Oil was up 0.69%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $41.64.
- Gold was in the red 0.51% and at $1,869 as of press time.
- The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield climbed Wednesday jumping to 0.870 and in the green 1.5%.