Market Wrap: Bitcoin, Ether Near Record Prices as Crypto Market Celebrates Coinbase’s First Trading Day

Also, 98 cryptocurrencies are now valued at more than $1 billion each.

Apr 14, 2021 at 8:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:40 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin trading on Coinbase.

  • Bitcoin (BTC) trading around $62,174.12 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Slipping 1.38% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Bitcoin’s 24-hour range: $61,400.28-$64,829.14 (CoinDesk 20)
  • BTC trades between its 10-hour and 50-hour averages on the hourly chart, a sideways signal for market technicians.

Fundamentals seem to be taking the back seat to the hype of the moment; Coinbase’s direct listing today on Nasdaq looks like the one thing that is driving up the whole crypto market. Nonetheless, there are indeed fundamental factors at play as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies trade near all-time highs. 

Bitcoin, the No. 1 cryptocurrency by market capitalization, rose to near $65,000 during early trading hours in the U.S. on Wednesday, hours before Coinbase shares began trading on the Nasdaq.

Spot trading volume on eight crypto exchanges tracked by CoinDesk, although slightly lower than a day ago, continued to show increased activity and was near $4 billion at press time.

While it may seem like Coinbase’s Nasdaq listing has been pumping prices in bitcoin and other cryptos, Mati Greenspan, founder and CEO of Quantum Economics, views it the other way around. According to him, Coinbase timed the listing with bitcoin bull’s run. “Coinbase isn’t pumping bitcoin. Bitcoin is pumping Coinbase,” he said in his newsletter Wednesday.

At press time, 98 cryptocurrencies on Messari are worth more than $1 billion – the number was 100 during early trading hours in the U.S. on Wednesday.

Coinbase’s direct listing “is timely,” wrote Philip Gradwell, chief economist at blockchain data firm Chainalysis, in his newsletter on April 14. “The market has radically changed in the last six months with the entry of new, often very large, institutional investors, who have paid high prices for their cryptocurrency.”

Indeed, despite the hype, bitcoin’s market fundamentals may give a more meaningful explanation on why bitcoin’s price has continued to triumph.

More than 2 million BTC have changed hands on the blockchain at prices above $50,000, according to Gradwell, while about 608,000 BTC were acquired at prices at or above $57,000.

“It demonstrates the level of investment in cryptocurrency: those 2.3 million at or above $50,000 for bitcoin cost $125 billion,” Gradwell wrote. “Such levels of investment require large companies that can face the scrutiny of the public market.”

At the same time, the so-called coin years destroyed (CYD) metric tracked by Glassnode also indicates that bitcoin long-term holders (“HODLers”) are still in the accumulation phase, providing further bullish support to the price.

Ether and altcoins

Ether trading on Kraken.

  • Ether (ETH) trading around $2,334.94 as of 20:00 UTC (4 p.m. ET). Climbing 1.49% over the previous 24 hours.
  • Ether’s 24-hour range: $2,268.57-$2,399.61 (CoinDesk 20)
  • Ether trades between its 10-hour and 50-hour averages on the hourly chart, a sideways signal for market technicians.

Ether, along with many other alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins), also logged more gains on Wednesday.

Besides ether, which is the No. 2 cryptocurrency by market capitalization, one of the most staggering growth spurts was seen with dogecoin (DOGE), the beloved meme cryptocurrency that was created back in 2013.

As a result, dogecoin now has a market capitalization of more than $16 billion, surpassing that of bitcoin cash (BCH) and chainlink (LINK), per Messari data.

Dogecoin’s sudden price surge also came with escalating trading activity: data from CoinGecko also shows that dogecoin is the No. 5 most traded token of the day, only behind tether (USDT), bitcoin, ether and XRP.

Other digital assets on the CoinDesk 20 are mostly lower on Wednesday. Notable winners as of 20:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET): 

Notable losers:

Other markets

Equities:

  • Asia’s Nikkei 225 closed in the red 0.44%.
  • The FTSE 100 in Europe was up by 0.71%.
  • The S&P 500 in the United States closed in the red 0.41%.

Commodities:

  • Crude oil (WTI): +4.55% to $62.92/barrel.
  • Gold: -0.51% to $1,736.58/ounce.

Treasurys:

  • The 10-year U.S. Treasury bond yield climbed Wednesday to 1.629%.

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

DISCLOSURE

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