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Bitcoin Shakes Off the Bears and Aims for $20,000 By End Of Year, Can It Make It?

Bitcoin remains rangebound, hovering around its yearly lows, with some short timeframe bullish momentum. The cryptocurrency suffered amid the FTX’s collapse and the subsequent contagion, but market participants seem more optimistic about potential profits. 

As of this writing, Bitcoin has retraced back to yesterday’s highs. The BTC’s price is trading at $16,500 with sideways movement across the board. Other cryptocurrencies in the top 10 by market cap display similar price action. XRP remains the best-performing asset on the ranking. 

BTC’s price moving sideways on the daily chart. Source: BTCUSDT Tradingview

Bitcoin Sentiment Improves On The Derivatives Sector

Data from the Options platform Deribit indicates that the shift in sentiment impacts this sector. The FTX collapse and the uncertainty around other crypto companies, such as Digital Currency Group (DCG) and crypto lender Genesis, kept the market on its toes.

The latter company halted the withdrawal requests from its customers, and it’s looking to raise emergency capital to resume operations. According to the rumors that circulated last week, Genesis’s parent company DCG might be affected. 

The company denied the speculations and reaffirmed its long-term intentions to stay in the industry. As a result, the crypto market bounced as investors’ confidence improved. In addition, the U.S. Federal Reserve is hinting at a potential pivot. 

These two elements support the bullish momentum. Deribit noted that bulls took advantage of last week’s downside price action to accumulate Calls (buy orders) on the cheap. 

Optimistic investors are acquiring calls with strike prices above $17,000, $18,000, and $19,000 into December. In other words, the options market is betting on Bitcoin, trending higher by the end of the year. 

Deribit noted the following on Implied Volatility (IV), a metric affected by recent events. The metric is returning to normal levels hinting at the market finally absorbing any risk associated with FTX: However, options with close expiration dates (December 2th) might decay in value due to the low trading volume weekend. 

(…) the news flow reprieve has also allowed implied vol to retrace from a high-tension backwardation a few days ago, to a more normal contango term structure.

BTC Options’ implied volatility declines after the FTX collapse. Source: Deribit
A Christmas Miracle?

In the last 24 hours, the options trading venue noted, bearish investors have been offloading some of their sell (put) contracts. These investors are betting on Bitcoin going lower than $10,000. There is still some bearish activity targeting the end of 2022. 

However, these investors might be hedging long spot positions and shielding themselves from potential unexpected events. The current state of the crypto market and the possibility of more contagion make this strategy favorable for long-term investors. 

Additional data provided by Deribit indicates that the sector has almost $5 billion in total Open Interest (OI). The majority of this metric seems positioned to the upside. 

For the December 30th expiry, bullish investors are betting at Bitcoin surpassing $30,000. The max pain scenario, where most options expired worthless, stands at $20,000. 

BTC Options’ Open Interest for the December 30th expiry. Source: Deribit

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Bitcoin At $1,000: Looking Back At Nine Years Of Bull Run

If the first part of the above headline about Bitcoin price had your heart pumping, it might be time to reduce the amount of leverage you are using.

No, we aren’t calling for BTC to reach a target of $1,000 – we are instead looking back and celebrating the nine-year anniversary of the first time Bitcoin breached above $1,000.

Nine Years Ago: BTC Breaks Above $1,000

Bitcoin is now in the midst of its fourth ever bear market and currently trading at a price of around $16,000 per coin. After the dramatic fall from $69,000 in late 2021 to current levels, sentiment has taken a beating. It isn’t unusual to see targets on crypto Twitter for $1,000 BTC in the days ahead.

Today, however, we aren’t as focused on future targets for the top cryptocurrency, but the long journey Bitcoin has had from when it first passed $1,000.

Nine years ago from yesterday, on November 27, 2013, BTC breached above $1,000. The level proved to be significant at the time, with BTCUSD trading above $1,000 for less than ten days before the 2014-2015 bear market started.

From that point on, it was more than 1000 days before Bitcoin passed $1,000 again. But when it passed it again, Bitcoin became a household name.

Bitcoin breached $1,000 exactly nine years ago yesterday | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

Where To Next: $1K or $1M Per Bitcoin?

$1,000 per BTC was significant for several reasons. It was a large, rounded number in US dollars, but 1 BTC was almost exactly the same price of an ounce of gold at the time.

After breaching above $1,000 a second time, Bitcoin went on to climb just under 2,000% to nearly $20,000 per coin. Today, five years later, BTC is below the 2017 bull market peak.

Related Reading: Bitcoin At $1M By 2030: Why Cathie Wood Remains Confident In Bold Bet

From the $1,000 milestone to current prices at around $16,000 per BTC, the top cryptocurrency still has more than 16,000% ROI its held onto. From its inception, it has gained more than 150,000,000% cumulatively.

Despite this, there are equal calls for a revisit to the $1,000 level as there are for Bitcoin reaching $1 million per coin, making BTC the most interesting speculative asset of all-time.

Follow @TonySpilotroBTC on Twitter or join the TonyTradesBTC Telegram for exclusive daily market insights and technical analysis education. Please note: Content is educational and should not be considered investment advice.

Featured image from iStockPhoto, Charts from TradingView.com

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Crypto Fraud in UK Claims 32% to £226M amid Recession

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Crypto Fraud in UK Claims 32% to £226M amid Recession

Many UK residents are currently struggling to survive in the wake of a recession that is taking a toll on all and sundry, leading to a rise in crypto fraud. In hard times like this, criminals seek to exploit people and reap their funds. Reports have shown that crypto fraud in the UK grew 32% over the past year. According to data from the UK police unit Action Fraud, about £226 million ($273 million) was lost in crypto fraud over the past year.

UK Crypto Fraud Increases amid Recession

The recession in the UK is getting worse by the day, with readings suggesting that the economy is shrinking at a 0.4% quarterly rate. A major survey also added that the economic downturn could linger into the coming year. While S&P Global’s poll places the economic fall at a 0.4% quarterly rate, Gloom said it was widespread. There are also expectations that new businesses may stumble to the point of no recovery.

The cost of living has increased amid the recession, and many are now vulnerable to fraudsters. A forensic accountant at Pinsent Masons, Hinesh Shah, told Financial Times on Monday:

“Whenever times are tough, fraudsters always seek to prey on less experienced investors by promising huge returns.”

There have been major discussions on crypto in the UK and the presence of crypto firms in the country. The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a report that crypto fraud is tied to increased cyber crimes. The agency noted 5,568 suspected crypto scams between the 1st of April 2021 and the 31st of March this year. The reports increased 36% YoY, and the UK financial watchdog intensified its commitment to warning consumers of the risks of crypto investments. There are currently 39 crypto-asset firms legally operating in the US, with 246 running without undergoing necessary procedures. The FCA’s executive director of markets, Sarah Pritchard, stated:

“Setting high standards and acting quickly to crack down on problem firms will help ensure market and consumer confidence, supporting the integrity and growth of UK financial services.”

With the recent happenings in the UK, crypto fraud is almost inevitable not to record crypto fraud cases. Illicit activities involving cryptocurrencies make major news headlines, and law enforcement has seized crypto assets worth millions due to criminal acts.

About a month ago, UK lawmakers agreed to legally see crypto as a regulated financial instrument. Parliamentarian Andrew Griffit proposed that crypto should be regulated in the country. He added that this would not mean that it would have preferential treatment. Instead, it would help the UK’s regulatory framework for financial assets.

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Crypto Fraud in UK Claims 32% to £226M amid Recession

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Genesis Bankruptcy by EOY Now At 59% – Sentiment Of Bitcoin Investors Pivots

A possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Genesis Trading and parent company DCG is still depressing the sentiment on the Bitcoin market. Genesis last commented on Twitter on November 16. Parent company DCG last spoke out on November 18 via the social media platform.

Investors, however, seem to take a rather positive view of the silence. As recent data from the world’s largest decentralized prediction market Polymarket shows market participants now estimate the probability of a Genesis insolvency at only 59% by the end of year (EOY).

The peak value was 81%. Thus, the narrative appears to have pivoted to the extent that the problem is fixable for Genesis and DCG. Expert opinions currently suggest that it is more of a liquidity shortage than a solvency problem for DCG.

Source: Twitter

Bitcoin Experts Warn Against False Panic

Bitcoin OG Samson Mow explained that the DCG group has real assets and income-generating businesses, and the problem is primarily a liquidity shortage.

According to Mow, Genesis and DCG have enough assets to pay debts, they’re just not available in cash. The worst-case scenario, a bankruptcy of Genesis and DCG “seems unlikely” for him.

Since DCG has high revenues and assets, insolvency of Genesis would not be the end of the parent company. To that extent, Mow considers the theory that Grayscale could be liquidated and the 634,000 BTC could hit the open market also “an unlikely outcome.”

DCG still has a number of good assets, including Grayscale, which generates around $500 to $800 million a year in management fees. According to Mow, the likely outcome is a restructuring or an outright buyout by a bigger player.

Ryan Selkis, founder of Messari, currently strikes a similar tone. He also warns against scaremongering that DCG can simply “dump” its GBTC shares. “That’s part of their liquidity crisis, but also net good news for GBTC shareholders and FUD fighting,” Selkis said.

The reason is that Grayscale has to follow strict rules. Thus, DCG cannot simply sell its nearly $800 million worth of GBTC shares because it is not an ETF as desired but a listed vehicle that falls under Rule 144.

Because of this, there are two important restrictions. DCG must make public a notice of proposed sales. Furthermore, there are caps on sales of 1% of outstanding shares or weekly trading volume.

Given GBTC has a daily volume of ~4.5mm shares that works out to quarterly cap on sales of 2.5mm shares ($23mm / quarter) under the trading test and 6.9mm shares ($62mm / quarter) under the asset test.

If Grayscale were to start forced sales, it would send the price of GBTC further down, and the discount would continue to grow. According to Selkis, this liquidity problem makes it much more likely that DCG-Genesis will refinance using GBTC as collateral.

At press time, Bitcoin was trading at $16,157. Thus, the next important resistance is currently at $16,310, while the support at $16,050 is of major concern.

Bitcoin price, 1-hour chart. Source: TradingView

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