Market Wrap: Bitcoin Continues Choppy in High $40Ks Amid Market Indecision

Bitcoin bulls struggle to pare the weekend's losses despite a strong start on Monday.

AccessTimeIconMar 2, 2021 at 10:03 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:20 p.m. UTC
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  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $47,700 as of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET) slipping 1.83% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $50,213 to $47,118.
  • Following a correction over the weekend, bitcoin struggles to regain upward momentum as market indecision lingers.
Bitcoin trading on Coinbase since Feb. 22.
Bitcoin trading on Coinbase since Feb. 22.

Bitcoin slid 5%, struggling to maintain momentum after a big rally on Monday to start off the month.

As of 21:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET), bitcoin was changing hands just above $47,000 on Coinbase. The largest cryptocurrency is still well off its all-time high price above $58,000 reached late last month. 

A combination of factors could have spooked some cryptocurrency traders, leading to last week’s 21% sell-off, the biggest for a seven-day stretch since March 2020. 

  • Grayscale Bitcoin Trust’s (GBTC) premium to its underlying asset flipped negative for the first time in years last week shortly before the market dipped, potentially signaling investors exiting the market.
  • Goldman Sachs announced plans to restart its cryptocurrency trading desk, which some traders speculated could be bearish for the market simply because of the timing of Goldman’s initial launch of the desk at the market’s peak in 2017.
  • Leading stablecoin issuer Tether was threatened with a 500 BTC ransom note to be paid to prevent the public release of supposed documents between Tether and its bank, Deltec.

But there’s also been a steady stream of bullish news:

  • Cboe BZX Exchange filed to list shares of VanEck’s bitcoin ETF, kicking off the regulatory review process for an exchange-traded fund listing in the US.
  • Goldman Sachs restarting its cryptocurrency trading desk is not bullish to many traders who see it as merely another indicator that more institutional traders and investors are showing interest in digital asset markets.
  • Corporate buyers aren’t finished investing either, with bitcoin-laden MicroStrategy topping off its latest $1 billion investment with another $15 million purchase.
  • Citigroup released a 108-page report about the cryptocurrency industry in which it said bitcoin is at a “tipping point” amid surging retail and institutional interest.
  • PayPal is said to be in talks to acquire Curv, a cryptocurrency custody business, in a move that could position the payments giant to dive further into the crypto market. 
  • Large bitcoin outflows from Coinbase continue. Another 12,000 BTC left Coinbase on Tuesday. Although there are many blind spots in Bitcoin blockchain data, these large outflows have recently coincided with investments from institutional or corporate investors. 

Speaking to Cboe’s filing, EQUOS head of sales and trading Matt Blom told CoinDesk, “This by no means ensures the floodgates will open, but it is a huge step towards allowing the investing public easy access to the performance of our favorite asset.” As regulators consider the listing, “there will be a long line of competitors to the VanEck bitcoin ETF hoping that the winds of change are officially here,” Blom said.

The bottom line: The market is quiet as it struggles to find direction. Bitcoin has gained 60% year to date. Ether (ETH) has doubled over the same period but today the crypto is down -3.87%.

Other markets

Digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are down Tuesday. Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):

One notable loser:


  • Asia’s Nikkei 225 closed the day up nearly 700 points at 29,663.
  • The FTSE 100 in Europe gained less than half a percent, reaching 6,632.
  • The S&P 500 in the United States dipped 0.8% to 3,870.


  • Oil dropped 1%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $59.61.
  • Gold was in the green by 0.56% at $1,734 as of press time.

Treasury bond:

  • The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield climbed Tuesday to 14.15, in the red 2.14%.


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