Market Wrap: Bitcoin Jumps Past $9,400 Despite Weak July Volumes

A short rally popped bitcoin's price to $9.4K during what’s been a month of sluggish volumes.

Jul 8, 2020 at 8:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:28 a.m. UTC

Weaker bitcoin trading volumes aren’t stopping its price from going up.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $9,444 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET), gaining 2% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $9,202-$9,474.
  • BTC above 10-day and 50-day moving average, a bullish signal for market technicians, trading volumes on Wednesday are higher than Tuesday.

Bitcoin trading on Coinbase since July 6.

“Bitcoin became oversold from a short-term perspective last week for the first time since mid-March,” said Katie Stockton, an analyst at Fairlead Strategies. “This seems to be giving way to an uptick in short-term momentum, which has been weak since late May,” she added. 

The jump past $9,400 Wednesday came during a time of lower spot trading activity. Volumes have dipped since May on spot exchanges like Coinbase after a month of excitement due to bitcoin’s halving, its drop in programmed new supply. The average daily volume over the past three months on Coinbase, for example, is $133 million. In July so far, the daily average has been just $68 million, a 48% drop. 

Trading on spot exchange Coinbase the past three months.

Lower volumes are affecting the over-the-counter market for larger trades as well, said Henrik Kugelberg, a Sweden-based block trader who focuses primarily on bitcoin. “It’s been a very stagnant market for a while now, both for me and my sources,” he said. 

Bitcoin surpassing the $9,400 level Wednesday doesn’t have Josh Rager convinced a bull run is on the way. Rager, a trader and adviser for crypto brokerage app LVL, wants to see a price jump higher before changing his sentiment. “Until we close above $9,700, I'm not going to be overly bullish in the short term,” he told CoinDesk. 

Bitcoin’s price in 2020.

Still, it’s important to put bitcoin’s weak volume and potential price uncertainty in perspective, as it has appreciated 30% in 2020, noted Karl Samsen, director of strategy for crypto merchant services firm Global Digital Assets. “I think we’ve seen glimmers of BTC’s macro use case as a hedge but we’re still waiting for the big moment,” he said. 

Balancer making moves

The second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, ether (ETH), was up Wednesday, trading around $248 and climbing 4% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET). 

Singapore-based quantitative trading firm QCP Capital, in a note to investors Wednesday, said the crypto market’s “alt-season [is] heating up and the DeFi train [is] rolling on.” In 2019, total decentralized exchange, or DEX, volume was $1 billion. DEXs are already over $5 billion so far in 2020, according to data from aggregator Dune Analytics. The leading DEXs are Uniswap, Curve and Balancer, with total DEX volume at $58 million over the most recent 24 hours. 

Decentralized Exchange market share.

Total value locked in Balancer is now at $159 million according to DeFi Pulse, making it the highest ranked for a DEX. Balancer’s system locks the crypto value in a smart contract as liquidity for traders to swap Ethereum-based tokens on the platform. It balances the types of tokens based on trader demand, hence the name Balancer.  

Dollar value of cryptocurrency locked in Balancer.

The value locked generates a return based on Balancer’s DEX trading fees, and keeps growing despite a $500,000 exploit hack that occurred on the platform in June. “Balancer has really shot off, even with the hack,” said Andrew Tu of Efficient Frontier, a crypto quantitative trading firm. 

Other markets

Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are flashing green Wednesday. Notable winners as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET): 

  • dogecoin (DOGE) + 61%
  • cardano (ADA) + 15%
  • qtum (ATUM) + 13%

Equities:

Commodities:

  • Oil is up 1%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude:  $40.85
  • Gold surpassed $1,800 Wednesday, up 0.79% at $1,809 per ounce

Treasurys:

  • U.S. Treasury bonds were all in the green Wednesday. Yields, which move in the opposite direction as price, were up most on the 10-year, in the green 2.6%.

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