First Mover Americas: BTC Retreats From Weekend High of $24K, ETH Options Open Interest Surpasses BTC's on Deribit

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Aug. 1, 2022.

AccessTimeIconAug 1, 2022 at 2:34 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 6:20 p.m. UTC
  • Price Point: Bitcoin reached above $24,000 over the weekend but has dipped since. Levels reached this weekend were the highest since mid-June.
  • Market Moves: Ether continues to be the hot topic among investors ahead of the Merge, with ETH open interest on the Deribit options exchange surpassing bitcoin's open interest for the first time.

This article originally appeared in First Mover, CoinDesk’s daily newsletter putting the latest moves in crypto markets in context. Subscribe to get it in your inbox every day.

Price Point

Bitcoin (BTC) was down 2% on the day after a weekend that saw the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market value hit its highest levels since mid-June.

BTC reached $24,593 on Sunday, according to CoinDesk data.

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Bitcoin price chart over the weekend. (CoinDesk)

Ether (ETH), the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency by market value, was down 3% at $1,649 on Monday.

In traditional markets, U.S. futures dipped alongside the dollar and oil. Contracts on the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were lower Monday after major indexes finished July with their best month since 2020.

The rest of the crypto market was also down, apart from decentralized data storage network Filecoin's FIL token, which was up 12% on the day.

In the news, the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority said in a policy document that investment in crypto assets should be capped, with consumers warned that they could lose all their money.

Bank of America said in a report the Ethereum blockchain needs to make scalability improvements in order to hold its market position. The report said blockchains Binance Smart Chain, Tron, Avalanche and Solana have taken market share from Ethereum due to their proof-of-stake consensus mechanisms, lower transaction fees and greater scalability.

The decentralized finance (DeFi) platform Aave’s proposal to launch a native crypto-based stablecoin GHO was passed over the weekend with 99% votes in favor of the proposal, its governance page shows.

An interest piece I read over the weekend was Andres Angler’s piece on two football teams transferring a South American player using USDC. The exchange was carried out by Latin America’s Bitso, with a player from Argentina’s team Banfield to São Paulo, one of Brazil's teams. Read the full story here.

CoinDesk research analyst George Kaloudis wrote an in-depth article on the hot topic of cryptos being securities and whether it matters. You can read it here.

Biggest Gainers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Terra LUNA +28.0% Smart Contract Platform

Biggest Losers

Asset Ticker Returns DACS Sector
Cosmos ATOM −6.6% Smart Contract Platform
Loopring LRC −6.5% Smart Contract Platform
Avalanche AVAX −6.5% Smart Contract Platform

Market Moves

ETH Open Interest Surpasses BTC Open Interest on Deribit For First Time

According to data from Glassnode, via Colin Wu, the open interest of Deribit ether options with a notional value of $5.6 billion exceeded the open interest of BTC options (about $4.3 billion) for the first time in history. Open interest is the total number of outstanding derivative contracts that have not been settled.

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BTC, ETH options open interest (Glassnode)

Currently, ether options are mainly call options, with a put/call ratio of 0.26. The call options period is mainly concentrated on September 30 and December 30 contracts, with 1.2 billion and 1.8 billion respectively.

“The upcoming Merge is a massive driver of price right now,” said Charles Storry, head of growth at Phuture, a crypto index platform.

He said that about 40% of ether’s price movement today is because of the Merge, or Ethereum's shift from a proof-of-work to a proof-of-stake protocol. The Merge is set to take place on Sept. 19.

Head of Europe at Hashdex, Laurent Kssis, said that he suspects many investors have already taken decent positions at cheaper ETH levels to account for the potential rally.

“All will be down to the Ethereum Merge in September,” said Kssis. “This is an example of position building.”

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Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

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