Bitcoin (BTC) returned above $38,000 on Monday as bearish sentiment faded. The cryptocurrency was up 2% over the past 24 hours, versus a 4% rise in ether (ETH) over the same period. Metaverse tokens MANA and SAND were up 17% and 9%, respectively, on Monday.
It appears selling pressure is starting to wane after a rough start to the year. In the bitcoin options market, the put-call open interest ratio, which measures the number of open positions in put options relative to those in calls, rose to a six-month high of 0.62 on Sunday. A higher put-call ratio is typically viewed as a contrarian indicator, suggesting bearish sentiment is near a peak.
Historically, bitcoin produces positive returns in February, which could offer some hope for bullish traders. Technical indicators suggest short-term buyers could remain active around the $35,000-$37,000 support zone, although upside appears to be limited toward $45,000.
Despite the recent price bounce, some analysts remain skeptical because macroeconomic and regulatory risks remain elevated.
"Regulation concerns arise as the Biden administration prepares to release an executive order in February to regulate bitcoin as a matter of national security," Marcus Sotiriou, an analyst at the U.K.-based digital asset broker GlobalBlock, wrote in an email to CoinDesk. "It is hard to predict whether this executive order will have a positive or negative impact on the industry."
"The situation in the crypto market remains very fragile. Bitcoin could end up falling for the third month in a row," Alex Kuptsikevich, an analyst at FxPro, wrote in an email to CoinDesk.
●Bitcoin (BTC): $37696, +5.55%
●Ether (ETH): $2517, +7.51%
●S&P 500 daily close: $4432, +2.43%
●Gold: $1790 per troy ounce, −0.17%
●Ten-year Treasury yield daily close: 1.78%
Bitcoin, ether and gold prices are taken at approximately 4pm New York time. Bitcoin is the CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index (XBX); Ether is the CoinDesk Ether Price Index (ETX); Gold is the COMEX spot price. Information about CoinDesk Indices can be found at coindesk.com/indices.
Over the past nine years, bitcoin produced an average return of 12% in February, and ended the month with a gain 86% of the time, according to data compiled by StockCharts. Generally, equities also perform well during the second quarter, which means investors could start to increase their exposure to speculative assets.
"We see a short-term setup forming for a bounce, especially on a close back above $40K BTC and $3K ETH" in February, QCP Capital, a crypto trading firm, wrote in a Monday report. The firm also expects market expectations for a U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike to moderate over the next two months, which could benefit equities and cryptocurrencies.
Still, historical returns is no guarantee of future returns.
Crypto fund flows rise
Investors put money into cryptocurrency funds for a second straight week as the bitcoin market stabilized following one of its worst-ever starts to a year.
Crypto funds saw inflows of $19 million during the seven days through Jan. 28, according to a report Monday from the digital-asset manager CoinShares.
Notably, some $22.1 million flowed into bitcoin-focused funds last week, while Ethereum-focused funds suffered outflows of $26.8 million. Read more here.
- Meta joins crypto alliance led by Jack Dorsey’s Block: Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is joining the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a consortium of tech and crypto companies led by Jack Dorsey’s payments company, Block (the company formerly known as Square). Meta will join over two dozen other companies that, by joining COPA, have pledged not to enforce their “core cryptocurrency patents” – broadly defined by Max Sills, the general manager of COPA as any “technology that enables the creation, mining, storage, transmission, settlement, integrity, or security of cryptocurrencies.” Read more by Cheyenne Ligon here.
- Arcade launches NFT lending platform: Lending platform Arcade has introduced the Pawn Protocol in a bid to bring liquidity to the non-fungible token (NFT) market, the company announced Monday. The platform is a peer-to-peer marketplace that allows users to access fixed-rate loans collateralized by their Ethereum-based NFTs, using an escrow system, according to Eli Tan. Read more here.
- Flow Blockchain gets Circle’s full USDC treatment: Circle’s dollar-backed stablecoin USDC can now be minted and redeemed across Flow, the high-speed blockchain platform created by non-fungible token (NFT) pioneers Dapper Labs. Circle previously announced a partnership with Dapper in 2020 to enable USDC as a payment processor and custodian for Dapper wallet users, according to Ian Allison. Read more here.
Digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day higher.
Sector classifications are provided via the Digital Asset Classification Standard (DACS), developed by CoinDesk Indices to provide a reliable, comprehensive, and standardized classification system for digital assets. The CoinDesk 20 is a ranking of the largest digital assets by volume on trusted exchanges.
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