1. Market Wrap: Bitcoin Rises Even as Indicator Shows Extreme Bearish Sentiment
Some traders buy on the dip as BTC appears oversold; altcoins outperform.
Bitcoin is in recovery mode as some indicators suggest the sell-off is approaching oversold levels. For example, the relative strength index (RSI) on the daily chart is rising from oversold territory. But the bitcoin Fear & Greed Index is approaching extreme levels last seen in May, which is a bearish sign.
At press time, bitcoin was trading at about $44,800. It is up 3% over the past 24 hours, compared with a 4% rise in ETH and an 11% rise in Avalanche’s AVAX token over the same period.
Altcoins are outperforming bitcoin on the way up after they took a relatively bigger hit during the sell-off earlier this week, CoinDesk’s Lyllah Ledesma wrote.
Some traders have been buying the dip, especially long-term BTC holders, according to blockchain data. Still, some analysts remain skeptical of the recent rebound and expect BTC resistance at $47,000 to stall the upside.
Other traders remain active, seeking opportunities for investments that will outperform BTC by using options and futures strategies. “Over time, a lot of folks that deployed in crypto went for vanilla (passive) strategies, but saw that they could get more alpha and mitigate risk with active strategies,” crypto hedge fund BKCoin Capital said.
Bitcoin (BTC), $44,786, +3.5%
Ether (ETH), $3,144, +4.3%
S&P 500: +1.2%
Gold: $1,748, -1.1%
10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.427%
Extreme market fear
Meanwhile, bitcoin’s Fear & Greed Index is sending bearish signals. Some analysts view that as a contrarian signal and expect bullish sentiment to return into the fourth quarter.
“Bitcoin lost its momentum before the greed level was hit, when another market crash happened, and the Fear and Greed Index fell right back into the fearful levels,” Arcane Research wrote in a report on Tuesday, highlighting the recent whipsaws in market sentiment.
Historically, extreme levels in the Fear & Greed Index preceded turning points in BTC’s price, like when it hit an all-time high of about $63,000 in April and sunk to a recent low at around $30,000 support in July.
Spot BTC volume remains muted as BTC consolidates below the $50,000 price level, suggesting bearish sentiment could take some time to wane.
2. Chaotic TIME Magazine NFT Launch Sends Gas Fees Spiraling
TIME president Keith Grossman admits the rollout was “not ideal.”
Yesterday afternoon, TIME Magazine announced a new collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) offering “unlimited access” to its website through 2023. Dubbed “TIMEPieces,” the collection consists of 4,676 tokens tied to digital artworks, each priced at .1 ETH, or around $310.
When the sale opened to the public earlier today, all 4,676 were gone in minutes.
But the sale also clogged the Ethereum blockchain, sending fees to astronomical highs — buyers spent almost four times as much on transaction fees as they did on the NFTs themselves, according to a datatracker from an analyst called Banterlytics. One address paid $70,000 for 10 of TIME’s NFTs.
The plan for the launch was simple enough — the NFTs would go on sale at a set time, and prospective buyers would need to have their finger on the trigger.
Even outside of crypto, this is a broken system. High-profile sales for concert tickets and sneaker drops are already dominated by automated “bots” that can snap up an entire supply in seconds. The high-rollers behind the bots can take advantage by charging unreasonable prices for assets on the secondary market (it’s also known as “scalping”).
That’s what happened here, too. According to the blockchain explorer Etherscan, the 100 addresses with the most NFTs now own around 24% of the total supply.
The Ethereum blockchain compounds the problem with something called a “priority fee.” These are additional fees users can pay to incentivize miners to accept their transactions first, before other users who haven’t put up as much cash. When too many people try to use the network at once, it creates a bottleneck; users who can afford to pay those exorbitant fees can effectively cut the line.
3. Kentucky Becomes 4th US State to Act Against Crypto Lender Celsius
The regulator is alleging Celsius’ interest-bearing accounts violate state securities law.
The Celsius Network has drawn the ire of Kentucky’s securities regulator in the latest legal move by a U.S. state against the crypto startup and its lending products.
In a filing Thursday, the state’s Division of Securities, part of the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions, entered an emergency order to cease and desist against the startup over its “Earn Interest Accounts.”
The regulator takes issue with the startup’s language regarding interest earned on certain crypto accounts that Celsius dubs “rewards” or a “financing fee.” The regulator is alleging Celsius’ interest-bearing accounts violate state securities law and fail to disclose to customers what occurs with their deposits, nor are the customers protected under state securities protections.
Celsius may request an emergency hearing to challenge the decision or may appeal via the courts.
Kentucky’s filing is yet another blow to the embattled startup that has already drawn the regulatory ire of Texas, Alabama and New Jersey.
Last week, Celsius CEO Alex Mashinsky dismissed his crypto lending firm’s standoff with state regulators, telling a live-streamed ask-me-anything audience that he welcomes the chance to “educate” the regulators on how his business functions.
4. Grape Network, the Startup That Broke Solana, Raises $1.8M
Key contributor Dean Pappas said he didn’t mean for his project’s public token sale to crash an entire ecosystem. Now VCs are following suit.
Grape Network, the project whose token sale broke Solana last week, has raised $1.8 million in total from venture capital (VC) firms and that now-infamous $GRAPE offering.
The community toolkit developer closed a $1.2 million round led by Multicoin Capital on Thursday. The venture funding comes on the heels of last week’s $600,000 public sale that was so overheated with bot-buyers that it knocked host blockchain Solana offline for nearly a full day.
“We didn’t break it out of intention,” Grape Network founder and core contributor Dean Pappas told CoinDesk in an interview. “But we were part of the reason it got broken.”
His startup has been building tools to help non-fungible token (NFT) holders prove their JPEG bona fides since a Solana hackathon in May. Now, top Solana projects like Degenerate Ape Academy and Saber use Grape, among others, perhaps explaining the excitement around its token sale.
5. Hong Kong-Based Crypto Unicorn Amber Group Eyes US Listing
The financial services firm’s offering may raise regulatory eyebrows in the U.S.
Crypto financial services firm Amber Group is weighing a direct listing, with the U.S as the “likely destination,” according to its CEO.
A direct listing is “on the table” in the next two years, Michael Wu said in an interview with South China Morning Post.
“The U.S is a likely destination, but we’re open-minded,” he said.
Aspects of Amber’s plans may raise regulatory concern in the U.S. Amber allows customers to earn interest on crypto holdings by lending to other clients at a higher rate. Publicly listed crypto exchange Coinbase recently aborted plans to launch a similar service after the Securities and Exchange Commission threatened to sue it for offering what it considered to be an unregistered security product.
Amber Group also offers algorithmic, high-frequency and over-the-counter trading to institutional clients and has operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Canada.
The company attained unicorn status in June following a $100 million funding round that gave it a valuation of $1 billion. Its investors include Tiger Global Management, Coinbase Ventures and Blockchain.com.
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September 24, 2021