First Mover Americas: Is Bitcoin Rallying Ahead of Schedule?

The latest price moves in crypto markets in context for March 1, 2024.

AccessTimeIconMar 1, 2024 at 1:01 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 9, 2024 at 6:02 a.m. UTC

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.

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Crypto prices. (CoinDesk Indices)
Crypto prices. (CoinDesk Indices) (CoinDesk Indices)

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Bitcoin (BTC) has gained over 40% in four weeks and is just 10% short of challenging its record high near $69,000. The surge is consistent with the cryptocurrency's record of rallying ahead of and after the quadrennial mining reward halving. That said, bitcoin call-put skews, which measure the cost of call options relative to puts over different maturities, suggest investors' bullish expectations have materialized too soon. Data tracked by Amberdata show longer-duration call-put skews no longer exhibit a stronger call bias than short-duration skews and both have converged at around 5.5%. "This may be due to the heightened speculative sentiment among investors, which has led to a decrease in demand for far-month options. But we cannot rule out another possibility: As prices rise, investors' expectations are realized ahead of schedule, and they are relatively cautious about the possibility of further sharp rises," crypto financial platform BloFin said on X.

Users of Robinhood's wallet can access swaps on Arbitrum in the coming months, the stocks-and-crypto-trading platform announced Thursday at ETHDenver. The two entities will work "to support access to cross-chain swaps and other campaigns that lower the barriers to use Web3 on Robinhood Wallet," Robinhood's press release said. Arbitrum is a layer-2 product, processing transactions cheaper and faster than the Ethereum blockchain. Arbitrum's ARB token surged 11% to $2.08 following the announcement and has since retreated to $1.97.

U.S. SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce said at ETHDenver that the litigious market watchdog is currently operating in an “enforcement-only mode” when regulating the crypto industry. Pierce bemoaned that a regulator needed to attend Ethereum-focused crypto gatherings while stressing the need for crypto rules. “What I reflect is the fact that you all are spending part of your brainpower,” wondering how to avoid getting sued, she said to the conference’s packed main stage. “If we had clearer rules, you could focus on building.”

Chart of the Day

Daily transaction activity on Ethereum layer-2 scaling solutions. (IntoTheBlock)
Daily transaction activity on Ethereum layer-2 scaling solutions. (IntoTheBlock) (IntoTheBlock)
  • The chart shows daily transaction activity on Ethereum layer-2 scaling products Arbitrum, Optimism and Base since March 2023.
  • The activity has surged 91% this year.
  • Ethereum’s Dencun upgrade, slated to happen this month, will introduce so-called blob-carrying transactions, boosting scalability and reducing transaction costs for layer-2 offerings.
  • Source: IntoTheBlock

- Omkar Godbole

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Edited by Sheldon Reback.

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Omkar Godbole

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