Market Wrap: Bitcoin Stabilizes as Traders Prepare for Taproot Upgrade

Analysts expect further upside despite short-term price swings.

Nov 11, 2021 at 9:23 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 12, 2021 at 11:01 p.m. UTC

Bitcoin (BTC) is stabilizing after yesterday’s pullback from an all-time high near $68,950. Analysts continue to expect further upside for cryptocurrencies despite short-term price swings.

“Volatile price moves are always around the corner,” Nicholas Cawley, an analyst at DailyFX, wrote in an email to CoinDesk. “Longer-term traders in BTC and [ether] ETH may use this recent sell-off to build their positions as sentiment going forward remains positive,” Cawley wrote.

Other analysts pointed to the upcoming Bitcoin blockchain Taproot upgrade as a bullish event for BTC’s price.

“The Taproot upgrade will likely be activated by the end of this week or early next week,” crypto trading firm QCP Capital wrote in a Telegram announcement. “This is the largest upgrade since SegWit in 2017 and will improve a whole string of key functions,” QCP wrote. The firm is holding onto long BTC positions into the network upgrade event.

Latest prices

  • Bitcoin (BTC): $65,845, -1.66%
  • Ether (ETH): $4,737, +2.07%
  • S&P 500: $4,649, +0.05%
  • Gold: $1,863, +0.77%
  • 10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.57%

Meanwhile, at Coinbase, the exchange’s trading desk continues to have higher volumes. “Although this behavior is quite common each time we approach [cryptocurrency] record highs, the current rally feels less mania driven and more supported by fundamentals, such as the Taproot upgrade, and genuine demand from investors,” the exchange wrote in a newsletter to institutional clients this week.

SHIB continues to dominate Coinbase exchange volume market share at 18.16%, while ETH and BTC are at 12.7% and 10.85%, respectively.

Bitcoin long liquidations

Approximately $64 million of long BTC positions were liquidated within two hours of bitcoin’s all-time price high near $69,000 on Wednesday, according to data compiled by Glassnode.

As traders began to take some profits, BTC’s price dropped toward the $63,000 price level. The sell-off appeared to be fueled by a reduction in leveraged positions.

Bitcoin long liquidations (Glassnode)

Ether bullish option activity

Options traders are overwhelmingly bullish on ether after the cryptocurrency reached an all-time price high around $4,800 on Wednesday. The chart below shows the largest amount of open interest at the $5,000 ETH strike price, followed by $10,000 and $15,000.

Some analysts maintain high price targets for ether this year. “We continue to expect ETH to outperform and to reach our price target of $10,500,” FundStrat, a global advisory firm, wrote in a newsletter this week.

Open interest is the total amount of outstanding contracts that have not been settled. Call options provide the holder with the right to buy the underlying asset at a predetermined price until a defined expiration date. Currently, ETH call options significantly outweigh put options (a bearish position providing the right to sell) across higher expiries.

Ether open interest (Skew)

Altcoin roundup

  • More firms embrace the metaverse: A report by Morgan Stanley described the metaverse as a “virtual world for immersive co-experiences that is persistently available and where users can explore vast numbers of experiences concurrently.” It is a medium through which we socialize with others, and/or speculate on digital assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFT).
  • Smart contract platform Agoric launches Public Chain: Agoric hopes to attract JavaScript developers to decentralized finance (DeFi) apps with a development environment providing reusable governance, lending and trading components, CoinDesk’s Brandy Betz reported. The private token sale had participation from early investors including MetaStable, Polychain, Rockaway and Gumi Ventures.
  • Decentralized search engine Presearch integrates with NFT marketplace OpenSea: Presearch aspires to be a kind of “Google ... for the Web 3 era of decentralization, CoinDesk’s Jamie Crawley reported. The company’s aim for the integration with the world’s largest NFT marketplace is to streamline the way in which users can search for NFTs.
  • Sotheby’s to allow live bidding in ether for works by Banksy: Auctioneer Oliver Barker will be fielding real-time bids for the famed street artist’s “Trolley Hunters” and “Love Is In The Air.” The upcoming virtual exhibition on Nov. 18 will be held at Sotheby’s “headquarters” in Decentraland, CoinDesk’s Tanzeel Akhtar reported.

Relevant news

Other markets

Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day lower.

Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):

  • The Graph (GRT), +2.48%
  • Polygon (MATIC), +1.72%
  • Polkadot (DOT), +1.54%

Notable losers:

  • Algorand (ALGO), -4.85%
  • Litecoin (LTC), -4.27%
  • Filecoin (FIL), -3.11%


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Damanick is a crypto market analyst at CoinDesk where he writes the daily Market Wrap and provides technical analysis. He is a Chartered Market Technician designation holder and member of the CMT Association. Damanick is also a portfolio manager at Cannon Advisors, which does not invest in digital assets. Damanick does not own cryptocurrencies.