Market Wrap: Bitcoin Drops to $36.3K as DeFi Jumps to $32B on Ether FOMO
Bitcoin has had an up-and-down day and ether has performed similarly. But decentralized finance hit a new milestone.
Bitcoin’s price had dropped Thursday, dipping to as low as $36,207, according to CoinDesk 20 data. Now, at press time, it has come back up, to $37,616.
“Still trading around the 50-day moving average, so all good,” said Chris Thomas, head of institutional sales for Swissquote Bank. “Moved a long way back up over the last week or so again, so there’s just a little lack of energy today. And no more Elon pumps!”
Elon Musk may not be tweeting about bitcoin – he seems to favor dogecoin (DOGE) at the moment – but Thomas is right about the technicals: On the TradingView chart, the 50-day BTC price moving average has been bullish since October.
“Is it more sellers than buyers? Honestly, if I said anything it would be a false narrative,” said Vishal Shah, founder of crypto derivatives venue Alpha5. “Nothing has happened to change the course of anything here, just taking a breather here it seems.”
It still seems there’s been some rotation out of bitcoin and into other cryptocurrencies, or “altcoins.” One metric to watch: The share of trading volume of cryptocurrencies other than bitcoin, particularly ether, is now larger than ever, according to CoinDesk 20 exchange volume data.
“Ether and the alts have been pushed quite aggressively over the last week or two so it’s a bit of profit taking,” said Swissquote’s Thomas, “Just looking at it all, not really much of a pullback. I think it’s just a pause for a breath.”
Some bullish analysts are undeterred. “These markets are going to surprise a lot of people to the upside,” said Rupert Douglas, head of institutional sales for crypto custody provider Koine. “Bitcoin is strong and is going to hit $100,000 this year, but ether is where you want to park your capital.”
“We’re going to look back in three months’ time and think ETH at $1,600 was cheap,” Douglas added.
Ether FOMO fuels DeFi but fees cause mixed feelings
Ether (ETH), the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, was up Thursday trading around $1,652 and climbing 1% in 24 hours as of 21:15 UTC (4:15 p.m. ET).
The amount of crypto in USD values locked in decentralized finance (DeFi) has crossed $32 billion, at $32.8 billion as of press time. That’s a gain of over 197% in the past three months, according to data aggregator DeFi Pulse.
Constantin Kogan, partner at crypto investment firm Wave Financial, points to ether’s all-time high as one of reasons for DeFi’s massive appreciation. Ether hit $1,697 Wednesday, according to CoinDesk 20 data. However, Kogan is concerned about fees, which often plague the ether market when ether gets hot.
“The all-time high is great. For the whales [large holders of the currency] the fees don’t matter,” Kogan told CoinDesk. “It’s simply not (good) for average people; expensive tech and just waiting for ETH 2.0 to launch. Hard for average people.”
Digital assets on theare mixed Thursday but mostly green. Notable winners as of 21:15 UTC (4:15 p.m. ET):