First Mover Americas: Bitcoin at $50K. What Next?

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for Feb. 13, 2024.

AccessTimeIconFeb 13, 2024 at 1:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 5:48 a.m. UTC
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Solana’s SOL led gains among major cryptocurrencies as bitcoin (BTC) briefly crossed the $50,000 mark late Monday, sparking renewed bullish sentiment among traders. SOL jumped 8%, while ether (ETH) rose 6.6% as bitcoin saw buying pressure after the New York market opened on Monday. Ordinals (ORDI), the project allowing the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Bitcoin, jumped 15% on Tuesday while Avalanche’s AVAX climbed 6%. Growth in major and alternative tokens has seemingly tracked the rise of bitcoin, which touched levels not seen since late 2021. Bitcoin’s rally has been attributed mainly to ETF approvals, but some analysts also point to the record run in U.S. equities as another source for the added demand. LMAX Digital said in a morning note: "While we wouldn’t rule this out, correlations between bitcoin and traditional assets have been less relevant in recent months." LMAX said its focus is now on a retest of the record high from 2021, "Monday’s push through the January high and above $50k has set the stage for this next big run to the topside."

Franklin Templeton has applied for a spot Ethereum exchange-traded fund (ETF), a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) shows. The asset manager joins BlackRock, Fidelity, Ark and 21Shares, Grayscale, VanEck, Invesco and Galaxy, and Hashdex, who have all submitted applications in recent months. The filing comes roughly four weeks after Franklin, among nine other issuers, launched a spot bitcoin ETF. Asset management giant BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) and Fidelity’s Wise Origin Bitcoin Fund (FBTC) have seen the most demand. Franklin has had a less successful start, with only roughly $70 million in inflows since its introduction.

Crypto traders are snapping cheap, out-of-the-money (OTM) bitcoin calls at levels around the cryptocurrency’s lifetime high of $69,000. Over the weekend, many call options at strikes $65,000, $70,000 and $75,000 changed hands on Deribit, the leading crypto options exchange by volumes and open interest. On Deribit, one options contract represents one BTC. Call options give investors the right to buy the underlying asset at a specific price by a stated date, while puts confer the right to sell. A call buyer is implicitly bullish on the market. The mass buying of higher strike calls reflects a bullish mood among sophisticated market participants. "We see a concentration of open interest in $50k calls and have seen flows in $50K, $60K and $75K calls in the listed options markets from April to June maturities," Kelly Greer, head of Americas sales at Galaxy, told CoinDesk in an interview.

Chart of the Day

  • The latest fund manager survey from Bank of America shows investor allocation to technology stocks is now at the highest since August 2020.
  • The survey also showed cash levels with fund managers near levels where a contrarian sell signal is triggered.
  • A potential bearish turnaround in the technology stocks could weigh on the crypto market.
  • Source: BofA Global Fund Manager Survey, Lisa Abramowicz:

- Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Lyllah Ledesma

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

Omkar Godbole

Omkar Godbole is a Co-Managing Editor on CoinDesk's Markets team.

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