Bitcoin continues to slide while ether has a larger share of the crypto market than it has had in years.
- Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $10,726 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Slipping 6.1% over the previous 24 hours.
- Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $10,468-$11,474
- BTC below its 10-day and 50-day moving averages, a bearish signal for market technicians.
Bitcoin continues its downward trend Thursday, with prices descending as low as $10,468 on spot exchanges such as Coinbase. While it has recovered a bit, traders selling for profits has certainly been the theme right now.
“This is similar to what we’ve seen as bitcoin approached the $10,000 and $11,000 levels, where profit-taking occurred on a few different occasions,” said John Kramer, a trader at crypto over-the-counter firm GSR. “Many investors will see this as an opportunity to buy the dip.”
Just like Wednesday, leveraged liquidations played a role in exacerbating bitcoin’s price drop. However, Thursday’s wipeout of long traders on derivatives exchange BitMEX was a bit higher, with $10 million in hourly liquidations topping Wednesday’s $9 million hourly spree, the equivalent of a margin call in crypto parlance.
“Some people who were buying in over $11,500 in BTC with leverage suddenly got stopped out when we moved back down towards $11,100,” said Chris Thomas, head of digital assets for Swissquote Bank.
Thomas suspects bitcoin’s price will not reach new 2020 highs in the near term, despite testing that level as recently as Tuesday when the price hit $12,085. “I think we trade in the $11,000-$12,000 range for a while,” he said.
In equities, while the major Asian Nikkei 225 index was buoyed by expectations new leadership in Japan will continue economic stimulus policies put in place by outgoing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, stocks in Europe and particularly in the U.S. are awash in red – as it is in most of the crypto ecosystem Thursday.
- Asia’s Nikkei 225 ended the day in Tokyo climbing 0.94%, boosted by gains in the chemical and metals sectors.
- Europe’s FTSE 100 slipped 1.5% as concerns about further job losses on the continent soured investor sentiment.
- The United States’ S&P 500 dropped 4.1% as tech stocks took a tumble, including Apple falling 7.2% and Microsoft down 6.7%.
GSR’s Kramer views the equities markets with some trepidation, and has concerns about the performance of traditional finance for the balance of 2020. “Stock valuations remain overinflated in the eyes of many observers, and economic uncertainty persists,” he said. “A crypto drop like this won’t deter the majority of investors who have a longer-term investment thesis.”
Ether dominance dominates
The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ether (ETH), was down Thursday, trading around $402 and slipping 7.6% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).
But while the price is down, ether’s dominance of the broader crypto market hit a 2020 high of over 14% Wednesday. Although dipping a bit Thursday, the last time ether’s share was at these levels was back in August 2018.
“A large number of useful projects on the Ethereum blockchain contribute to ether dominance growth,” said Azamat Malaev, co-founder of HodlTree, a decentralized lending protocol. However, scaling is an issue that could cause ether’s share to wane, Malaev added. “To maintain this trend, Ethereum urgently need to scale the network. For ordinary users, transactions are already very expensive”
Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are mostly in the red Thursday. Notable winners as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):
Notable losers as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):
- Oil is down 0.67%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $41.29.
- Gold was in the red 0.61% and at $1,930 as of press time.
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- U.S. Treasury bond yields all slipped Thursday. Yields, which move in the opposite direction as price, were down most on the two-year, in the red 2.8%.