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Market Wrap: Bitcoin Stuck Near $56K, Ether Faces Short-Term Sell Pressure

Prices settled in the mid-$50,000 range for the most of Tuesday.

Mar 16, 2021 at 8:29 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:27 p.m. UTC
What to know
  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $55,736.37 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Sliding 1.73% over the previous 24 hours. 
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $53,350.37-$56,988.34 (CoinDesk 20)
  • BTC trades between its 10-hour and 50-hour averages on the hourly chart, a sideways signal for market technicians.

Bitcoin trading on Coinbase.

Bitcoin traded in a narrowed range as Monday's sell-off appeared to subside and prices settled in the mid-$50,000 range for the most of Tuesday. 

Monday’s decline resulted in some $1.6 billion in derivatives bets being liquidated, second only to the record level that took place on Feb. 22, according to Norwegian blockchain analytics firm Arcane Research.

“But on Feb. 22, the relative price decline in bitcoin was larger than on this Monday.” Arcane wrote Tuesday in its weekly newsletter. “The extreme liquidation levels this Monday then suggests that this time around even more traders applied higher degrees of leverage in their trades.”

Bitcoin found strong support at $54,000, blockchain data shows.

Glassnode’s UTXO Realized Price Distribution (URPD), which charts bitcoins based on the price at which they were last moved, indicates that 865,000 BTC were moved around the $54,000 to $58,000 range as of March 15, according to Arcane.

At the same time, the all-time high price above $61,000 reached on Saturday appears to have alleviated some chart-following analysts' concerns the market might be forming a “double top.”

Double tops are an extremely bearish price chart pattern. After bitcoin pushed out new all-time highs in January and February, traders fretted over the possibility of a double top then, too, according to Annabelle Huang, partner at Hong Kong-based market maker Amber Group.

“The weekend breakthrough has lifted some of those pressures,” Huang said.

Ether seeks support below $1,300, fails to reach a new high

Ether (ETH) was down Tuesday, trading around $1,784.90 and sliding 0.28% in 24 hours as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET).

“Ether is currently struggling to push higher,” Arcane Research wrote. “Investors are getting impatient as the second-largest cryptocurrency hasn’t been able to surpass its all-time high from Feb. 20, while bitcoin has continued to new highs.”

Ether’s spot trading volume also has been flat, according to data from eight major spot crypto exchanges CoinDesk tracks.

The trading volume was nearly $3 billion on Feb. 20, when ether broke above $2,000 for the first time, followed by several volatile days with daily trading volume as high as around $5.4 billion. Yet, when ether was trying to eke out a new all-time high on March 13, trading volume was only about $1.6 billion.

By using the DeMarker Indicator, a charting tool that’s used to measure the demand of the underlying asset, ether “is flashing a short-term ‘sell’ signal,” said Katie Stockton, a technical analyst for Fairlead Strategies.

“A two-week consolidation phase appears likely, at the minimum,” Stockton said. And the “recent volatility has left the first key support for ether back below $1,300, dictating extra attention to risk management.”

Cardano, meanwhile, which aspires to rival Ethereum as a “smart-contract” blockchain, saw a double-digit percentage gain in the past 24 hours after the cryptocurrency exchangeCoinbase Pro announced that it would support trading in the token.

Other markets

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

Notable losers:

Equities:

  • Asia’s Nikkei 225 closed in the green 0.52%.
  • The FTSE 100 in Europe closed up 0.80%.
  • The S&P 500 in the United States was down by 0.16%.

Commodities:

  • Oil was down 1.10%. Price per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude: $64.67.
  • Gold was in the green 0.03% and at $1731.40 as of press time.

Treasurys:

  • The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield climbed Tuesday jumping to 1.618%.

The CoinDesk 20: The Assets That Matter Most to the Market

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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