Bitcoin returned above $56,000 on Wednesday after trading in a tight range over the past few days. The cryptocurrency’s price is up about 3% over the past 24 hours compared to a 1% rise in ether over the same period.
The recovery in cryptocurrencies over the past week has decoupled from equity markets, with bitcoin squarely in the lead with a near 18% price rise for the month to date. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 is down about 4% from an all-time high in September, albeit with less or a roller coaster in price volatility than cryptocurrencies.
For now, analysts are monitoring blockchain data, which points to continued upside for bitcoin. “Despite China’s crypto ban, it seems miners, including those who were in China, are holding BTC in mining wallets,” Ki Young Ju, CEO of CryptoQuant, wrote in a blogpost, referring to the decline in miner outflows, which tends to be a bullish price indicator.
Bitcoin (BTC): $57,387, +3.9%
Ether (ETH): $3,528, +1.5%
S&P 500: +0.3%
Gold: $1,791, +1.8%
10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.544%
Closing in on the high
Bitcoin is currently about 10% away from an all-time price high around $63,000, marking a sharp recovery from a near 50% drawdown (percentage decline from peak to trough) two months ago. The speed of bitcoin’s price recovery is far greater than the S&P 500, which produced negative returns over the past three months compared to a near 70% rise in BTC over the same period.
However, over the long term, the chart below shows bitcoin’s drawdowns tend to be more severe than for equities. This is mainly due to the cryptocurrency’s higher volatility, which can accelerate price moves.
Less crypto price volatility ahead
Days of extreme price volatility during market downturns may be behind us because traders are increasingly using stablecoins or fiat currencies as collateral to trade futures contracts – an obligation to buy or sell the underlying at a later date at an agreed-upon price, CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole wrote in the Wednesday edition of the “First Mover” newsletter.
Since May, the percentage of coin-margined futures contracts’ open interest has been on a decline and recently fell below 50%, according to Glassnode data quoted by Delphi Digital. Meanwhile, the percentage of the dollar- or stablecoin-margined open interest is ticking higher, as shown in the chart below. Open interest refers to the number of futures contracts traded but not squared off with an offsetting position.
On a related note, the 30-day volatility of bitcoin and ether declined over the past few months but remains elevated given the recent price rally across cryptocurrencies. The S&P 500 Index also experienced a brief rise in volatility around the end of September.
Polkadot sets date for hotly anticipated parachain auctions: Polkadot’s parachain auction process will kick off next month on Nov. 11, reported CoinDesk’s Ian Allison. The process will decide which project will be allocated slots for building on the Polkadot network. The last technical steps to complete before launching parachains on Polkadot were the finalization of parachain disputes and Polkadot’s full code audit, both of which have now been completed, according to Polkadot founder Robert Habermeier.
Solana’s Phantom adds safety rails after scammers drain wallets: Solana-based digital wallet Phantom has shored up its cyber defenses after weeks of user-reported scams that drained victims’ crypto token balances, reported CoinDesk’s Danny Nelson. The wallet, analogous to Ethereum’s Metamask, exiled its “auto-approve” transaction feature to the back of the app, an Oct. 7 blog post said. It also cleaned up the transaction preview user interface and said an anti-phishing website blocker is slated for future rollout.
Global finance watchdog says $133B stablecoin sector remains niche: A Financial Stability Board (FSB) survey has found that stablecoins, or cryptocurrencies pegged to real-world assets, are currently not being used at a significant scale for mainstream payments, reported CoinDesk’s Sandali Handagama. The finding was mentioned Wednesday in an FSB progress report for enhancing cross-border payments. “From a policy perspective, there is value in assessing whether and how the use of well-designed global [stablecoins] could enhance cross-border payments. An action to that extent has been added,” the report said.
Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day higher.
Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):
Polkadot (DOT): +23.8%
Stellar (XLM): +8.0%