Bitcoin Plumbs 6-Month Low Near $25K and Higher Oil Prices Suggest Further Pressure

"This is exactly what apathy looks like," said one crypto analyst.

AccessTimeIconSep 5, 2023 at 3:41 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 6, 2023 at 6:27 p.m. UTC

The price of bitcoin (BTC) emerged from the long Labor Day weekend in the red, the price falling nearly 1% over the past 24 hours to below $25,700. It was one week ago at this time that bitcoin surged to above $28,000 on Grayscale's court victory in its suit against the SEC over that agency's rejection of converting the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) to a spot bitcoin ETF.

The excitement about an imminent approval quickly died down though, and the SEC further cooled passions later in the week when it delayed decisions on a large handful of other spot bitcoin ETF applications, including from the likes of BlackRock and Fidelity.

The level of $25,000 is roughly the lowest print for bitcoin since mid-March (the price was on the way up then).

"This is exactly what apathy looks like," said well-followed analyst Will Clemente over the weekend. He noted crypto's total trading volume is the weakest since 2020, Google search trends at multi-year lows and realized volatility and weekly Bollinger Bands all near record lows.

Macro news suggests continued pressure on prices

In separate announcements on Monday morning, Saudi Arabia and Russia surprised markets, each saying they would extend oil production cuts for another three months until December. The news sent the price of WTI crude oil up by more than 1% to $86.74, its strongest level since November 2022.

At the margin, higher oil prices lead to higher prices at the pump, which lead to higher inflation readings and thus higher interest rates. To the extent that interest rate instruments compete with risk assets for capital, the news on oil in the short term could be considered bearish for bitcoin prices, i.e. Why buy bitcoin when 30-day T-bills offer 5% interest?

Markets will get their next official read on U.S. inflation on Sept. 13 when the government releases its Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for August.

Solana a bright spot

Fading the flattish to downward action in crypto on Monday is Solana's SOL token, which is higher by 3.7% over the past 24 hours. Visa (V) earlier today announced an expansion in its stablecoin settlement capabilities with Circle’s USDC stablecoin to the Solana blockchain.

"By leveraging stablecoins like USDC and global blockchain networks like Solana and Ethereum, we're helping to improve the speed of cross-border settlement and providing a modern option for our clients to easily send or receive funds from Visa’s treasury,” Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, said in a statement.


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Stephen  Alpher

Stephen Alpher is CoinDesk's managing editor for Markets. He holds BTC above CoinDesk’s disclosure threshold of $1,000.