Bitcoin’s price dipped below $57,000 on Tuesday as analysts said the extreme buying in the market could mean the rally may soon be running out of steam.
They pointed to the bitcoin Fear & Greed Index, which entered “extreme greed” territory last week and is at the highest level since early September, which preceded a sharp sell-off in bitcoin.
Comments from J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon at a conference on Monday contributed to a sour mood across crypto markets. Dimon stated that governments will regulate bitcoin, which he personally thinks is “worthless.”
On the regulatory front, “China’s domestic energy and power crunch has led to increased scrutiny of mining projects in various regions, such as the seizure of idle mining machines in inner Mongolia,” WuBlockchain wrote in a Monday newsletter.
Some analysts consider the recent rally in crypto prices is being driven by continued speculation the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will finally approve a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), although others are skeptical an approval will have a beneficial effect on bitcoin’s price.
Bitcoin (BTC): $55,336, -3.7%Ether (ETH): $3,466, -1.5%S&P 500: -0.2%Gold: $1,761, +0.4%10-year Treasury yield closed at 1.566%
“The market is over-emphasizing (SEC Chairman) Gary Gensler’s public comments about support for the [Chicago Mercantile Exchange] and futures,” Jeff Dorman, chief investment officer at Arca, a digital asset management firm, in an email to CoinDesk. “We believe the concerns the SEC has raised historically regarding market manipulation of bitcoin and unregulated exchanges have not been solved.”
Still, some analysts remain optimistic, pointing to improving blockchain data and bitcoin’s rising price trend.
Transaction activity on the rise
Increasing transaction activity on the Bitcoin blockchain could point to fresh buying demand this quarter, according to data compiled by Glassnode.
“Active entities, the count of individual participants on-chain each day, has grown 19% to this week, reaching around 291K active entities per day,” Glassnode wrote in a blog post. “More active market participants have historically correlated with growing interest in the asset during early stage bull markets.”
The value and size of transactions are also increasing, which could mean large buyers are starting to accumulate BTC after the sell-off last month.
The chart below shows bitcoin’s transfer volume as a percentage of the realized market capitalization. Transfer volume greater than 3% of the realized market cap typically marks the beginning of a bullish market phase as the relative value of network utility increases, according to Glassnode.
Bitcoin miner profits recover
“The increasing bitcoin price coupled with a stagnating hashrate (blockchain computing power) has made 2021 a very lucrative year for bitcoin miners,” Arcane Research wrote in a Tuesday report.
Bitcoin mining profitability accelerated during the first days of October, which also led to a brief rise in some miner share prices, although performance is mixed. Marathon Digital (NASDAQ: MARA) stock is up about 64% over the past three months, compared to an 11% decline in Riot Blockchain (NASDAQ: RIOT) and a 69% rise in BTC during the same period.
“It’s essential to keep in mind that these calculations don’t consider all the costs of bitcoin mining, only the operational,” Arcane wrote, which means miners will need to sustain margin growth.
“As more miners come online it gets harder to access hardware and hosting so those costs go up, competition and profitability starts coming down and only the large-scale miners are able to survive long term,” Fred Thiel, CEO of Marathon Digital Holdings, said during an interview with CoinDesk.
Binance dedicates another $1 billion to Binance Smart Chain (BSC) project: Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume, announced Tuesday it had committed $1 billion to further boost BSC’s growth, reported CoinDesk’s Muyao Shen. A year ago, Binance put up $100 million to support decentralized finance (DeFi) projects on BSC. “BSC’s growth has attracted 100 million more DeFi users with just an initial funding of $100 million,” Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao said in a press release. “With the new contribution of $1 billion, it can disrupt traditional finance and accelerate global mass adoption of digital assets to become the first-ever blockchain ecosystem with one billion users.”XDEFI releases cross-chain wallet for DeFi and NFTs: XDEFI Wallet has released a rival to MetaMask that was built with decentralized finance (DeFi) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in mind and allows users to interact across multiple blockchains, reported CoinDesk’s Jamie Crawley. XDEFI offers access to chains such as THORChain and Terra and aims to allow users to move between protocols easily and automatically add new chains. Support for the Arbitum, Avalanche and Solana blockchains will be added in due course, XDEFI said Tuesday.
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Most digital assets in the CoinDesk 20 ended the day lower.
Notable winners as of 21:00 UTC (4:00 p.m. ET):
Polkadot (DOT), +0.8%
Filecoin (FIL), -6.4%Uniswap (UNI), -4.1%